For centuries, the sea and those who sail upon it have inspired the imaginations of British musicians. Generations of British artists have viewed the ocean as a metaphor for the mutable human condition - by turns calm and reflective, tempestuous and destructive - and have been influenced as much by its physical presence as by its musical potential. But just as geographical perspectives and attitudes on seascapes have evolved over time, so too have cultural assumptions about their meaning and significance. Changes in how Britons have used the sea to travel, communicate, work, play, and go to war have all irresistibly shaped the way that maritime imagery has been conceived, represented, and disseminated in British music. By exploring the sea's significance within the complex world of British music, this book reveals a network of largely unexamined cultural tropes unique to this island nation. The essays are organised around three main themes: the Sea as Landscape, the Sea as Profession, and the Sea as Metaphor, covering an array of topics drawn from the seventeenth century to the twenty-first. Featuring studies of pieces by the likes of Purcell, Arne, Sullivan, Vaughan Williams, and Davies, as well as examinations of cultural touchstones such as the BBC, the Scottish fishing industry, and the Aldeburgh Festival, The Sea in the British Musical Imagination will be of interest to musicologists as well as scholars in history, British studies, cultural studies, and English literature. ERIC SAYLOR is Associate Professor of Musicology at Drake University. CHRISTOPHER M. SCHEER is Assistant Professor of Musicology at Utah State University. CONTRIBUTORS: Byron Adams, Jenny Doctor, Amanda Eubanks Winkler, James Brooks Kuykendall, Charles Edward McGuire, Alyson McLamore, Louis Niebur, Jennifer Oates, Eric Saylor, Christopher M. Scheer, Aidan J. Thomson, Justin Vickers, Frances Wilkins
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 306
Weight: 824 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 24 mm
This varied and thought-provoking collection is the first to turn sustained musicological attention to the myriad ways in which nautical themes have conditioned...British music. MUSIC & NOTES The subject matter is rich: numerous composers and song-writers over the centuries have treated the sea as muse, and this book covers a diverse range of types of work, from symphonies to sea shanties. [...] As the book's reference to the 'musical imagination' implies, its focus is not exclusively upon musical works and composers; rather, there are many interesting forays here into the broader musical and social contexts and practices surrounding them. [...]There is much here that is intriguing and even moving - [...] something that can rarely be said of an academic book. An additional bonus, finally, is the way in which the book's focus on less predictable repertory invites the reader to venture out on his or her own voyage of musical discovery. -- Alexandra Wilson, Oxford Brookes University
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