The Regulation and Reform of Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century England

Paul Watt

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Music criticism in England underwent profound change from the 1880s to the
1920s. It gave rise to ‘New criticism’ that aimed to be rational, impartial and
intellectually authoritative. It was a break from the criticism of old: the work of
the opinionated journalist who wrote descriptive concert reviews with invective,
cliché, bias and bombast. Critics such as Ernest Newman (1868–1959),
John F. Runciman (1866–1916) and Michel D. Calvocoressi (1877–1944) fostered
this new school and wrote extensively of their aspirations for musical
criticism in their own times and for the future. This book charts the genesis
of this new wave of musical criticism that sought to regulate and reform the
profession of music critic. Alongside the establishment of principles, training
manuals and schools for critics, hundreds of journal articles and dozens
of books were written that encouraged new criticism, which also had a bearing
on scholarly writing in biography, aesthetics and history. The Regulation
and Reform of Music Criticism in Nineteenth-Century England considers the
influence and advocacy of individual critics and the role that institutions, such
as the Musical Association and the Musical Times , played in this period of
change. The book also explores the impact that French and German writers
had on their English counterparts, demonstrating the internationalization of
critical thought of the period.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages132
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-26775-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-28866-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameRoyal Musical Association Monographs

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