Musical life in the ‘first industrial city’

Peter J. Martin

in Music and the Sociological Gaze

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780719072161
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701492 | DOI:
Musical life in the ‘first industrial city’

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This chapter pursues some of the implications of William Weber's contention that although they are related in some ways, social class and musical taste must be considered as ‘quite distinct factors’. It develops this theme through a consideration of some of the historical research into the growth of musical institutions in urban areas since the eighteenth century, with particular reference to the situation in Manchester, often considered to be the world's ‘first industrial city’. Here, the emergence of Charles Hallé's orchestra and its symphonic concerts are not seen as the inevitable outcome of class-based ideology, but as a consequence of the successful promotion of a relatively new discourse of aesthetic appreciation by various ‘cultural entrepreneurs’ and the establishment of a ‘classical’ music art world.

Keywords: William Weber; Manchester; social class; musical taste; Charles Hallé; orchestra; symphonic concerts; classical music; musical institutions

Chapter.  9067 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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