Room for Music: Sounding the Domestic in Georgian Britain
This talk explores the historical evidence for music making in domestic spaces of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. We will consider the rise of the purpose-built music room alongside accounts of temporary structures and multi-use spaces, and contrast formal and semi-formal musical events in the home with music making in intimate or private spaces. Exploring music’s role in endowing different areas of the home with affective and social meanings, we will ask how music could be used to create – or in some cases, to destroy – ideal forms of domesticity.
Jeanice Brooks is Professor of Music at the University of Southampton, UK. Her research interests include music and culture in Renaissance France; musical culture of the mid-twentieth century, especially the career of Nadia Boulanger; and domestic music-making in Britain c. 1800. Recent work includes two edited collections on Boulanger, both appearing in 2020: Nadia Boulanger and Her World, in association with the Bard Music Festival (University of Chicago Press) and Nadia Boulanger: Thoughts on Music (University of Rochester Press); she is also co-editor of the Renaissance volume of the Bloomsbury Cultural History of Western Music (forthcoming 2023). She leads the international Sound Heritage network, bringing together academic music historians, historic performance specialists, and heritage sector professionals for a collaborative approach to the research and interpretation of music in historic houses. This work has led to a co-edited essay collection, Sound Heritage: Making Music Matter in Historic Houses, published by Routledge in 2021. Films, recordings and interpretation resources from this project are available at https://sound-heritage.ac.uk/