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Title: Robert Bremner's favourite songs : opera publishing in eighteenth-century London
Author: Holland, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 5180
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2003
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This study uses a collection of opera scores issued by one publisher, Robert Bremner, over a period of twenty years, to highlight key areas in the history of music publishing and Italian opera in London during the mid-to-late eighteenth century. The study is divided into two distinct sections. Volume 2 is a thematic catalogue, specifically prepared from the collection of Bremner's Favourite Songs to indicate the nature and scope of the source material available. Volume 1 acts as a form of `historical commentary' to this, placing the Favourite Songs and Bremner's work in context and examining the issues and questions that can be raised from an investigation of this kind. Volume 1 comprises six chapters, each covering a specific area of the subject matter or emphasising the benefits of a particular type of historical research. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the study, explaining the need for this kind of approach, examining the variety of literature already available and outlining the methodology employed here for both research and presentation. Chapter 2 discuss the scores of the Favourite Songs in relation to music publishing. A brief outline history of the industry within the period is provided and Bremner's own career and output considered. The contents of the scores themselves, as summarised in Volume 2, are then fully explored, considering length, variety, relationship with the original opera plots, presentation and layout. Moving aside slightly from this type of analysis, Chapter 3 looks at the differences in engraving style between and within the scores of the Favourite Songs.Q uestionsr elating to the division of work betweene mployeesa nd theday-to-day running of an eighteenth-century publishing firm are raised and a number of actual engraving styles identified. These help to illustrate the variety of print-types encompassedw ithin the Favourite Songsa nd provide significant scope for further research into this area. Chapter 4 concentrates on Bremner's work in terms of the productions of Italian opera mounted in London, at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket. Close connections between the dates of performance and publication are noted and used to suggest the existence of a possible official agreement between Robert Bremner and the managers of the King's Theatre. The fluctuating fortuneso f the operah ouseo ver the period are consideredw ith regardt o the frequency of production of the Favourite Song scores. A variety of information on individual singers, provided almost solely by the scores themselves, is also noted; again some pointers to further research are given. Chapter 5 is not directly score-based but provokes a number of important questions about the contextual scope and nature of the Favourite Songs. The possibility of an agreed contract between Bremner and the King's Theatre is raised once more, with the use of additional source material. A likely type of consumeris consideredfo r Bremner'sw ork and somet houghtg ivent o the publication of Italian opera in London, beyond the immediate jurisdiction of the Favourite Songs. Chapter 6 offers some conclusions to the present study, outlining the importance of the source material examined and the relevance of the methods used.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available