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Piano lessons in the English country house, 1785-1845

Cave, Penelope (2013) Piano lessons in the English country house, 1785-1845 University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis , 392pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


Two largely unexplored collections form the basis for research on the significance of piano lessons in the country homes of the British elite in the years around 1800. The owners of the music libraries were the Egerton family at Tatton Park, Cheshire and the Aclands of Killerton House, Devon. The women who married into these families, along with their children, form casestudies that stretch the boundaries of domestic amateur music-making, within an overlooked area of English keyboard repertoire. The piano was emerging as the ideal instrument for girls and women in the home, and this study examines the instruments at their disposal, providing substantial new information on the important Broadwood grand that belonged to Lydia Hoare Acland. Teachers, pupils and pedagogical tools cast light on the transition from a girl’s polite pastime to an emerging school of excellence, and this thesis examines, in detail, the practice of preluding in the education of Elizabeth Sykes Egerton, placing it against the broader background of women’s instruction in the ‘science of music’. The repertoire in the two family collections is a huge, multi-layered resource that adds colour to the outlines of early piano pedagogy, and exemplifies a breadth of skill across three or four generations. In this thesis, I place these important printed music collections in the context of additional contemporary sources, including diaries, memoirs, manuscript music and a commonplace book. Considering these collections in this wider arena, not only reveals a rich picture of early piano pedagogy, but also yields insights into the lives of the individuals who bought and used music for performance, study and sociability.

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Published date: 1 September 2013
Organisations: University of Southampton, Music


Local EPrints ID: 366438
PURE UUID: beb9e360-2d63-46a2-a824-459d462d4bb5

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Date deposited: 08 Jul 2014 12:13
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:13

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Author: Penelope Cave
Thesis advisor: Laura Brooks

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