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Title: Creating a notion of 'Britishness' : the role of Scottish music in the negotiation of a common culture, with particular reference to the 18th century accompanied sonata
Author: Nelson, Claire M.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3440 9670
Awarding Body: Royal College of Music
Current Institution: Royal College of Music
Date of Award: 2003
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Since the creation of the British nation in 1707, scholars have traditionally assumed an Anglo-centric bias to British culture. However, in terms of music it has long been acknowledged that throughout the eighteenth century, England experienced a dearth of native compositional innovation. This thesis instead presents Scotland, and in particular Scottish music, as the cultural power-base of eighteenth-century Britain, its influence extending to the early years of the nineteenth century. It contends that the promotion of Scotland's culture, particularly in the period between 1760-1800, was a conscious attempt on the part of Scotland's intellectual classes to provide their homeland with the strongest possible profile within the emergent British national identity. Achieved through the introduction of a number of significant texts in the fields of literature, philosophy and music; the importance of Scottish music in the cultivation of a British national musical culture is demonstrated through an examination of the representation of national identity in, and the political context of, music; its philosophical ideology, status and reception history; and, as far as is possible, the intentions of the composers and editors who created it. As a result, this study demonstrates that British, and in particular London audiences accepted Scottish music as representative of their national musical culture. The popularisation of Scottish music was accomplished at the instigation of a core, interrelated group of individuals - notably including the philosopher James Beattie, and the editor and publisher George Thomson - but resulted in a transformation of the performing practice of music incorporating Scottish melodies. In creating an acceptable compromise between European and Scottish compositional styles, composers such as J C Bach, Pleyel and Kozeluch evolved what was to become known as 'the Scotch style' - a collection of fundamental Scottish characteristics which captured, but did not necessarily replicate, Scotland's native compositional style. As can be heard on the accompanying CD, the accompanied sonata epitomises the sound world of these pseudo-Scots arrangements, whose song-like qualities succeeded in capturing the imagination and attention of Scottish and English audiences alike.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Mus.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available