Music Publishing in London From 1780 to 1837 as Reflected in Music Publishers' Catalogues of Music for Sale: A Bibliography and Commentary.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This study documents and analyses the music-selling and publishing industry in London from 1780 to the end of the Georgian period as reflected in publishers' catalogues of music for sale. It assembles the histories and activities of these music publishers in relation to the society they served. Catalogues inform us quite precisely not only of the activities of music publishers, but also the role they played in accommodating, influencing, expanding and educating the contemporary musical taste. In addition, catalogues provide documentary evidence of compositions in issues no longer extant, and even of some works themselves at least by the lesser-known composers. Nearly 600 catalogues in over 1100 states, issued by over 100 London music-publishing firms from 1780 to 1837 have been gathered from the British Library, London; the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and Cambridge University Library, Cambridge. Arguably, publishers' catalogues are among the sharpest yet least appreciated mirrors of changes in musical taste. This study attempts to bring them into the foreground, place them in their proper historical perspective and establish their role in musicological research.