Dedicated to classics and hits.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Review: Music & Society Since 1815

Music & Society: Since 1815
by Henry Raynor
p.  1975
Crescendo Publishing

  This is volume 2/2.  Volume 2 covers the time from 1815 to "the present" which for this author seems to be sometime in the mid 1950s.  After 1815 the social history of music begins to take on it's present shape.  You get the story of Liszt: A very modern seeming pop star of the mid 19th century.  Raynor discusses the commercialization of Opera in terms that prefigure the rise of popular culture.  An interesting chapter discusses the rise of the symphony orchestra concert as a manifestation of industrial society.

  However, in my mind the most intriguing chapter was Raynor's first chapter- on the impact that the decline of court patronage had on composers in the mid-19th century.  To my mind, it that situation bears parallels to the contemporary situation where digital culture has destroyed traditional forms of artist revenue without providing replacement.  In the early 19th century, it was a situation where royal patronage was dissapearing but the mass market had not yet appeared.  It was tough sledding for a few decades, and helped give rise to the idea of the unrecognized tortured genius artist tha has been regerttably with us ever since.  For the record, the first guy to pull that routine.. Schubert.  Schubert.

No comments:

Blog Archive