"Music as a Pursuit for Men": Accompanied Keyboard Music as Domestic Recreation in England

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In his essay "Music as a Pursuit for Men," published in 1820, Norwich newspaperman and gentleman amateur Richard Mackenzie Bacon champions music as a masculine pastime. His case rests largely on an attribute that does not seem to have impressed other British apologists of the art in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: unlike more commonplace male recreation, including the "styled manly exercises" of hunting, fishing, and field sports that Bacon calls "purely selfish," the performance of music normally involves participation with women. Bacon believes all-male pursuits have been replaced, in his more civilized age, by "the rational delights of a mixed society" and that "pleasures have. . . become more domestic and more dependent upon the choice of such employments as are alike interesting to both sexes." "I am either right or wrong in my methods of estimating our happiness," Bacon writes,

they either do or do not consist with a considerable proportion of our time with the other sex. It is or it is not essential to us to possess the power of promoting, enjoying, heightening, and enlarging their gratifications.1

If Bacon seems to assume that the performance of music is ordinarily a preserve of women, a similar slant can be detected in other essays that appear in the important periodical of which he was founder and editor, The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review.2 Bacon's essay "On the Objects of Musical Education," for example, is entirely concerned with the musical education of women. It was only after one of his daughters pointed out that he had "left the question untouched as it regards men" that Bacon noticed his omission and corrected it in the present essay.3 That a gentleman should be a connoisseur is never in doubt. Both of these essays concern only performance. And that is an area in which, unlike his seventeenth-century counterpart, the Complete Gentleman of Bacon's day was not automatically expected to be a participant. In contemporary British courtesy writings and treatises on education, the approach is much the same. Music is thought to have a different place in the lives of men and women. It is to be studied with different emphases and often for different purposes. If men are to engage in performance at all they are to play a role different from that of women. These different roles for men and women have an important bearing on any consideration of music written for amateurs in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, and particularly on a genre that has come to be called accompanied keyboard music.

Ensemble works, particularly sonatas, in which a piano or harpsichord is the dominant musical force and various accompanying parts for violin, flute, or cello, are of lesser importance, have attracted sporadic attention in American musicological circles over the last forty years. Much of what has been written about this music concerns its origins and early history in the three or four decades prior to 1770, because it is during this period that the most interesting musical questions arise.4 Briefly, a new arrangement appeared in France in the 1730s, one in which the keyboard instrument, once a supporting player in the basso continuo, rises instead to the prominence of a leading role. In doing so, the keyboard exchanges roles with the violin, the erstwhile soloist, now relegated to the task of accompaniment. This new arrangement presents so remarkable a shift in the relative prominence of the instruments in a chamber music setting that an explanation is needed. This issue, in one form or another, has been at the center of most studies of accompanied keyboard music.

The present study concerns the later history of the genre, not its origins. Drawing upon sources that are available only near the end of the long history of keyboard music with accompaniments in the early nineteenth century, especially Bacon's periodical, which describes the musical world from the perspective of the amateur, the following seeks to demonstrate that the roles of the instruments in some types of accompanied keyboard music are consistent with the roles of men and women amateurs in the context of domestic music-making in England. Although this approach cannot provide a sociological explanation for the origins of accompanied keyboard music—an intriguing line of inquiry that is hindered by the limitations of earlier sources—it can explain the popularity of the form in England.5

The following review from The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review (hereafter QMMR) of a group of new trios for piano, flute, and cello is a good starting point for a discussion of the issues with which we are concerned:

These trios will form a delightful acquisition to the family circle of the amateur. The parts are so well divided between the several players as to prevent any of them from feeling ennui in their performance, which is but too often the case when one unhappy instrument is brought in as a mere accompaniment to others, for which the composer expressly writes. Mr. Nicholson and Mr. Crouch have not been so unjust towards the piano forte, and considering that there would most probably be a lady in the case, their gallantry might have been impeached had this part been neglected.6

The first question that should be considered is why the reviewer so casually assumes that the pianist in this ensemble would normally be a woman. That women amateurs were often associated with keyboard instruments in the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries is obvious from sources as diverse as English conversation pictures, the works of Jane Austen, and the dedications on title pages of the music itself.7 To a few modern writers this phenomenon is part of a larger network of sexual stereotypes. Specifically, women are thought to have been restricted by custom to performance on keyboard instruments, the guitar, and the harp, while men played only the violin, cello, and various wind instruments, especially the flute.8

This sexual division, if accurately represented, ought to have profound implications concerning the social uses of accompanied keyboard music, since the musical roles of the participants are effectively defined by the instruments they play. Before these implications can be considered, the phenomenon itself needs to be examined in greater detail. There are exceptions that should be explained. Most important, we need to know why these patterns developed.

An obvious apparent weakness in the theory outlined above is the fact that professional male keyboard players are quite visible in England throughout the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. One explanation for this relates to the social status of the professional musician. The gap between public and private performers during this period might seem not particularly wide, considering either the size of the potential audience, in some cases perhaps in the quality of the performance, or even the question of whether admission was charged. Still the social distance between foreign-born professionals and gentlemen of the educated classes was far too great for the same expectations to have applied to both groups.9 No inconsistency exists, then, if male amateurs tolerated without comment the spectacle of male professionals playing keyboard instruments, while at the same time they avoided these instruments themselves.

For women, however, decorum seems to have transcended the status of the performer. Charles Burney writes of the famous singer Madame Mara that she "was in England, when a child, where she played the violin; but she quitted that instrume[n]t and became a singer, by the advise of English ladies, who disliked a female fidler [sic]."10 Bacon discusses violin playing in his "Sketch of Music in London" for 1820, and concludes somewhat warily in a footnote:

We are tempted to ask why should not the prejudice against Ladies playing the violin be overcome? It seems to us to be an instrument particularly adapted to their industry, delicacy, and precision; while what we have heard of female violin playing fully bears out the recommendation we feel disposed to give to its adoption.11

Elsewhere in Bacon's journal, however, in a review of a treatise on playing the flute, the unidentified writer observes:

. . . indeed it can hardly be recommended or expected that the professors of fair faces and soft swelling lips should consent to puff out the one and conceal the other by the use of the flute, while such a display of all the charms of grace and beauty wait upon the use of the harp.12

The evidence presented thus far might seem to suggest that cultural biases were directed only toward women. Indeed, QMMR and other sources from the early nineteenth century offer no corresponding references to performance on keyboard instruments by amateur males. But such references are found elsewhere in the form of retrospective observations made late in the century, as if a pattern, taken for granted at the time, became recognizable through the mirror of hindsight. For example, in a history of the publishing house of Novello, Ewer and Co. written in 1887, the unidentified writer observes that ca. 1837-1847, the examples of continental professionals such as Liszt notwithstanding, "it was a rare thing indeed to find a gentleman capable of playing even a few chords upon the [piano]" and adds that "the piano was an instrument best fitted for the use of ladies."13

One might expect to find admonitions in the courtesy writings of the period to the effect that the violin is unsuitable for women or that performance on the piano is an effeminate act to be avoided by gentlemen. This is not true where men are concerned, but conduct books make clear the roles that are expected in young women. Charles Allen observes in The Polite Lady (London, 1760), that

as most young ladies are taught to play on the harpsichord, the spinet, and guitar, I expect you will learn to perform on all of these instruments, especially on the first, which has a greater variety of notes, and a larger compass than either of the other two.14

In Private Education; Or a Practical Plan for the Studies of Young Ladies (2d ed., London, 1816), Elizabeth Appleton writes that ". . . in female studies [music] simply means the theory and performance upon the piano forte, (of late years) upon the pedal harp; and, finally, the culture of melody in the voice."15 Other sources could be cited, but the basic direction of this sort of writing should be clear enough. Conduct books do not offer specific prohibitions concerning performance on any instrument by either sex, they merely assume a particular role for women. A corresponding role for men is not described, but music is rarely an important consideration in equivalent writing for men in any case. Finally, it might be inferred from the disproportionate number of conduct books addressed to young women that cultural expectations in general were more clearly defined for women than men, a possibility which may help to explain the unequal treatment of male and female professionals.

As for why these patterns originally developed, the best explanation relates to the different place music had in the lives of men and women. For women, music could be a means of filling idle hours or an accomplishment cultivated as a means of securing social advantages for its practitioner. But in either case it was something done alone. For men, by contrast, music—whether catches sung in a tavern or chamber music played in the home—was a social activity. Thus, as David Johnson has written, men traditionally performed on instruments that are used primarily in ensemble settings while the instruments with which women were associated are harmonically "complete" in themselves and may be performed alone.16 To Johnson, these roles reflect a society in which "the men go out to work and meet each other while the women stay put in their own homes." But for the present purposes, the most important facet of this sexual division is that the traditional roles of the sexes tend to put women in positions of prominence as solo performers (this, after all, is the purpose of an ornamental accomplishment), while men are invariably cast in supporting roles.

This holds true even in the relatively infrequent references in the literature to amateur men playing keyboard instruments. For example, Sir John Hawkins describes men playing the harpsichord in ensemble settings early in the eighteenth century, but considering both the date and the sort of music being performed (Corelli) the role of these individuals would have been playing basso continuo.17 Fétis describes a meeting of the Society of Melodists, a private musical association in London, at which a series of gentlemen accompanied glees and other vocal music at the piano.18 Perhaps this apparent breach of decorum was viewed as an allowable exigency, since the Society was an exclusively male organization, as were most similar groups. But again, the important point here is that regardless of whether he is a keyboard player performing basso continuo on the harpsichord, a pianist accompanying vocal music, or a violinist accompanying a piano sonata, the amateur male is typically described as a supporting member in a collective endeavor rather than a soloist.

The next question that should be considered is under what circumstances might this music have been performed? QMMR describes two kinds of "private concerts" at which it seems possible accompanied keyboard music might have been played by amateurs: "family concerts, or the musical assemblies of a few lovers of the art, for the purpose of practice together," and "concerts given to large audiences, such as those which take place at the houses of the nobility and opulent virtuosi."19 The latter, which often involved participation by professionals, resemble too closely the public concerts of the period to be of interest here. In fact, to learn about private concerts made up exclusively of amateurs it is necessary to descend somewhat on the social scale and consider the activities of the cultivated middle class, since Bacon writes in 1825 that "a regular amateur concert, amongst persons of rank, is a thing almost unknown."20

Unfortunately, Bacon does not describe the music performed at his "musical assemblies of a few lovers of the art," but the performance of ensemble keyboard music in "family concerts" is often mentioned in QMMR. In a review of a polonaise for flute and piano the unidentified reviewer observes that

. . . this composition is worthy [of] the regard of all flute players, and it is moreover acceptable to those who love music as the solace of domestic hours, inasmuch as it combines the two instruments in a way to render it peculiarly fitted to those stores, which are treasured up by musical families against winter's evening hours.21

This review, as in the review of the trios by Crouch and Nicholson quoted above, goes on to applaud the fact that the flute is not a mere accompaniment; in this polonaise, in fact, the piano is the accompanying instrument. Although keyboard works with optional accompaniments were disappearing from the musical scene in the early nineteenth century, the inequality of the instruments of which the first reviewer complains is still often assumed without comment in QMMR. For example, in a review of some piano trios by George Onslow the reviewer writes that the keyboard part, while still not particularly difficult, is "showy and pleasing for the pianiste [sic], while the parts for the violin and violoncello are within the scope of every respectable player."22

Moreover, this inequality may have been a particular characteristic of works designed for domestic performance. In a review of some new "arrangements of operas, overtures, etc. for the piano forte and other instruments," another reviewer observes that one of the many benefits of such arrangements is the fact that "they are usually adapted with easy accompaniments, and thus afford the materials for a very interesting concert de famille."23

Earlier research has identified two functions of the accompaniments which help to explain why some felt "ennui" in performance when their "unhappy instrument [was] brought in as a mere accompaniment to others." First, the accompaniments were needed both to reinforce the weak tone of the harpsichord or early piano and to fill out the thin texture of the keyboard part. This purpose can be accomplished through the use of compositional devices (for example, merely doubling the top and bottom lines of the keyboard part) that result in relatively simple accompaniments.24 Beyond this purely musical function, however, the accompaniments also had a social purpose: to provide mediocre amateur string and wind players with a way to "join in the fun" (as William Newman puts it) by giving them something easy to play. Indeed, Newman finds that in later accompanied sonatas, the violin parts are "ridiculously simple" even in comparison with the keyboard part.25

The role of the accompaniments outlined above is, of course, entirely consistent with the role Bacon prescribes in his musical desideratum for the gentleman amateur: that he "possess the power of promoting, enjoying, heightening, and enlarging" the recreation of women. Modern scholarship often describes the relationships among the instruments in competitive or hierarchical terms (for example, dominant/subordinate, leading role/supporting role, etc.). This terminology may describe the roles of the instruments in a purely musical sense, but the suggestion of competition is incompatible with the roles of the performers as they are seen by the male contributors to QMMR. Bacon acknowledges that interacting with women on their own terms, which he calls the "highest species of social intercourse," can involve opportunities for undesirable competition between the sexes, but he simply cannot imagine music as an arena in which this could take place. Thus, although he ranks literary discourse first among the intellectual pursuits men can enjoy in the company of women, it is a mixed pleasure:

In conversation it is but too common to contend for victory as well as for truth—it is but too common to suffer under the inferiority we can but admit. In music we surrender ourselves up to sensations, and so long as we are contributing and have an actual share in the production of effects, all painful sense of the difference of talent is forgotten and lost in the direct operation upon our senses.26

Music, then, is a more beneficial pursuit because it is not an activity in which men compete with women or with anyone else; it is a collective endeavor in which only the overall effect is important and the relative prominence of the individual parts is immaterial.27

If a gentleman were still concerned by Bacon's "painful sense of the difference of talent," there remained yet another defense: women may have exhibited significant technical ability, but this was often dismissed as a mere mechanical skill; music as an intellectual pursuit was a masculine enterprise, and more important. Writings on music education that were published in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries make a clear distinction along these lines between the purposes of music study for men and women.

To Bacon and others, the highest purpose of musical training is to promote "that dependence upon ourselves, and that independence of others, which a consciousness of our power to occupy time worthily, bestows." Bacon argues that this is of particular importance for women because "business, either public or private, engages the hours" of men, but for women who have "no capital—no prevailing object, or rather objects of steady pursuit, the hours cannot pass otherwise than heavily."28

Other sources describe music as an accomplishment for women, often stressing its value as a social tool, sometimes in overtly materialistic terms, as opposed to a branch of knowledge worthy of cultivation for its own sake. In Practical Education (2d ed., 1801), Maria Edgeworth points out the abuse of the art in a society in which the potential benefits of impressive performance ability were considerable by beginning a chapter on "Female Accomplishments" with a fictitious conversation between herself and the mother of a student:

But would not you, as a good mother, consent to have your daughter turned into an automaton for eight hours in every day for fifteen years, for the promise of hearing her, at the end of that time, pronounced the first private performer at the most fashionable, and most crowded concert in London?

The mother first responds that "eight hours a day for fifteen years are [sic] too much. No one need practice so much to become the first performer in England." But when the point is finally made, she responds:

Yet I would give any thing to have my daughter play better than any one in England. What a distinction! She would be immediately taken notice of in all companies! She might get into the first circles in London! She would want neither beauty nor fortune to recommend her! She would be a match for any man, who has any taste for music! And music is universally admired, even by those who have the misfortune to have no taste for it.29

In some sources it is suggested that a single-minded pursuit of performance ability is unattractive because this sort of approach is appropriate only for lower orders of society who are to earn a living through music. Charles Allen encourages music study but recommends that young women not strive for high standards of performance since such a level of ability smacks of professionalism.30 Erasmus Darwin advocates the study of music with the provision that young ladies perform only for amusement but never for a larger audience because

. . . a great apparent attention to trivial accomplishments is liable to give a suspicion, that more valuable acquisitions have been neglected. And, as they consist in an exhibition of the person, they are liable to be attended with vanity, and to extinguish the blush of youthful timidity; which is in young ladies the most powerful of their exterior charms.31

By the end of the eighteenth century, however, Edgeworth suggests that competition for social advantages caused an inflation of performance expectations:

The hope of attaining to that degree of eminence in the fine arts which really deserves celebrity, becomes every day more difficult to private practitioners, because the number of competitors daily increases: and it is in the interest of masters to forward their pupils by every possible means.32

The means by which many teachers forwarded the careers of their pupils was to stress technical skill over any other aspect of music training. John Sidney Hawkins complains that because of this excessive emphasis on performance, girls acquire, "like monkeys, rapidity of execution," but they remain ignorant of even basic theory.33

Other contemporary writings argue against instruction in music theory for young women, however, sometimes implying that women lack the intellectual capacity for such study.34 Indeed, scholarly pursuits in general are often discouraged for women, because, as one conduct book puts it, women risk "exchanging the graces of imagination for the severity and preciseness of a scholar."35

Contemporary writings on masculine education and conduct frequently either discourage the pursuit of music for young men or avoid the subject altogether. Bacon writes that late in the previous century his father held two prejudices against music that were widely held and "concentrate . . . all that has been advanced against the instruction of young men in music." The first is that performance on an instrument is "derogatory to character, both as becomes a man and a gentleman," a notion he claims "was gathered from that courtly pandar [sic] to vice and effeminacy, LORD CHESTERFIELD," and the second was that "the cultivation of music leads to dissolute habits and association with dissolute companions."36

Philip Dormer Stanhope, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield, did indeed write to his son in 1749 that "few things would mortify me more, than to see you bearing a part in a concert, with a fiddle under your chin, or a pipe in your mouth."37 The claim, made by Stanhope and others dating back at least as far as John Locke, that participation in music leads to association with disreputable companions reflects a common prejudice against professional musicians.38 Morality in the usual sense was not the only issue in criticisms of this sort. In his essay "On the Character of Musicians," Bacon suggests that because professional musicians were not usually educated in the liberal arts they were considered unfit for polite society. Bacon describes a liberal education as that quality upon which "depends. . . all the moral rank, if I may so call it, which dignifies a man in society."39

When music is recommended as an appropriate field of study for men, it is not surprising that the more academic subjects of theory and history are usually advocated rather than performance. In his "Enlarged System of Education," Richard Phillips recommends that young girls begin piano study at the age of seven or eight. He does not mention applied music for boys, however, but they are to begin the study of the science of music at age nine.40 Another writer argues that ''as men should be scholars also, and not ignorant of such a valuable part of learning as the simple elements of plain [sic] Geometry, and practical arithmetic," so should men be familiar with the science of music, particularly through the study of ancient writers. "This is the pursuit worthy a gentleman's attention," the writer maintains, "and this the knowledge which alone distinguishes the Musician from the Fidler [sic], and the architect from the bricklayer." In this particular treatise, performance is not discouraged, but men are to play a supporting role in which their knowledge of theory is emphasized:

I would recommend to them a practical knowledge of thorough-bass, which I am well assured is much easier for a Gentleman to acquire, than is generally imagined; or such . . . a proficiency on the violoncello, as will render him a useful performer in concerts of good music, or to accompany a song.41

Thus, even when performance is regarded as an appropriate activity for men, the values of utility and intellect are stressed rather than technical skill. In fact, this writer goes on to encourage men to take up "the tenor, which is easily learnt so far as to play in concerts of the old good authors," and is particularly appropriate for men since it "requires the good judgement of the player, though not his great execution."42

Bacon concludes one of his important essays by wishing for the return of an age "when madrigals were the substitutes for cards and dice, and when 'to be able to sing his part at sight' was considered as one of the requisites of 'the complete gentleman'."43 This desire is understandable in one who practiced music as a gentleman amateur himself: if substantial performance ability really was a social necessity for men in the age of Morley and Peacham it was a skill often in need of defense by the time of Bacon. The declining prestige of music as a masculine pastime in the intervening two centuries is more than matched by the coincident but perhaps not coincidental rise of music as an accomplishment for women, one of the most conspicuous phenomena in the social history of music during the ascendancy of keyboard music with accompaniments. The later history of accompanied keyboard music can be viewed as a point of intersection between these two conflicting tendencies, and much of the genre's popularity during this period can be traced to the fact that it provided participants with an opportunity to perform in a manner consistent with established roles of the sexes.


1"Vetus" (Richard Mackenzie Bacon), "Music as a Pursuit for Men," The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review 2 (1820): 8-9 and 13. Bacon is identified with the pseudonym "Vetus" in J. C. Kassler, The Science of Music in Britain, 1714-1830: A Catalogue of Writings, Lectures and Inventions 2 vols. (New York, 1979), 1: 41; and in Leanne Langley, "The English Musical Journal in the Early Nineteenth Century," (Ph.D. diss., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1983), 240-42.

2Bacon's journal, which has been called the first successful British periodical devoted exclusively to music, was published from 1818 until 1828.

3"Vetus" (Richard MacKenzie Bacon), "On the Objects of Musical Education," The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review 1 (1818-1819): 421-28.

4Among the most accessible recent studies that concern the origins and early history of accompanied keyboard music are: William Newman, "Concerning the Accompanied Clavier Sonata," The Musical Quarterly 33 (1947): 327-49 and The Sonata in the Classic Era (New York, 1972), especially 98-105; Ronald Kidd, "The Emergence of Chamber Music with Obbligato Keyboard in England," Acta Musicologica 44 (1972): 122-44; David Sheldon, "The Transition from Trio to Cembalo-Obbligato Sonata in the Works of J. G. and C. H. Graun," Journal of the American Musicological Society 24 (1971): 395-413; and David Fuller, "Accompanied Keyboard Music," The Musical Quarterly 60 (1974): 222-45. Accompanied keyboard music has also been the subject of recent doctoral dissertations, including, among others: Marion Stern, "Keyboard Quartets and Quintets Published in London, 1765-75: A Contribution to the History of Chamber Music with Obbligato Keyboard," (Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania. 1979); Howard Irving, "The Piano Trio in London from 1791 to 1800," (Ph.D. diss., Louisiana State University, 1980); and Michelle Fillion, "The Accompanied Keyboard Divertimenti of Haydn and His Viennese Contemporaries," (Ph.D. diss., Cornell University, 1982).

5That sociological factors may have influenced the origins or development of the genre is suggested in Fuller, "Accompanied Keyboard Music," 245; and in Newman, "Concerning the Accompanied Clavier Sonata," 339-42.

6QMMR 10 (1828): 254-55. Charles Nicholson (1795-1837) was professor of flute at the Royal Academy of Music from its creation in 1822. His co-author F. W. Crouch (c.1783-1844) was a London cellist and the author of A Complete Treatise on the Violoncello (London, 1826). The trios described in this quotation do not, of course, fit the definition of accompanied keyboard music above in that the three instruments appear to be relatively equal in importance. It should be pointed out, however, that in reviews of works with optional or subordinate accompaniments (i.e., with the words "ad libitum" in the title) in QMMR the accompaniments are almost never mentioned at all unless they are relatively independent.

7Musical meetings were a common subject matter in informal group portraits. In Mario Praz, Conversation Pieces: A Survey of the Informal Group Portrait in Europe and America (University Park, Pennsylvania, 1971), for example, nearly all of the keyboard players shown in domestic settings are women. The social roles of men and women as represented in the visual art of the period are discussed in detail in Richard Leppert, Music and Image: Domesticity, Ideology, and Socio-cultural Formation (Cambridge, 1988). Unfortunately, this excellent study appeared after the present essay was completed and thus can only be given this brief mention.

8Nicholas Temperley, "Domestic Music in England 1800-1860," Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association 85 (1958-59): 35. See also, David Johnson, Music and Society in Lowland Scotland in the Eighteenth Century (London, 1972), 24.

9Concerning the nature of the audience and the possibility of admission being charged for private concerts, in QMMR 7 (1825): 298, Bacon describes some private concerts "where the admission was said to be regulated by lady patronesses" but after the first night "the canon was relaxed, and at the second there was a great many people whom 'nobody knew'." In the same article (297) Bacon writes that the "musical parties" of people of rank "are made up like those which are public, of professional talent, and are public in point of fact, in every thing but the inferiority of the performance and the access of an invited instead of a promiscuous audience." Another contributor, probably Bacon again ("On the Association of Professors with Amateurs" QMMR 1 [1818]: 436), complains that even in concerts composed exclusively of amateurs, an admission charge was too often disguised in the form of "a subscription for buildings, purchase of instruments or music, defraying of expenses" or other such means.

10Charles Burney, The Present State of Music in Germany, the Netherlands and United Provinces 2d ed., 2 vols. (London, 1775), II: 111.

11QMMR 2 (1820): 390.

12QMMR 8 (1826): 54.

13A Short History of Cheap Music (London, 1887), 20.

14Charles Allen, The Polite Lady: Or a Course of Female Education. In a Series of Letters From a Mother to Her Daughter (London, 1760), 23.

15Elizabeth Appleton, Private Education; Or a Practical Plan for the Studies of Young Ladies 2d ed. (London, 1816), 162. For a comprehensive survey of music as a topic in British courtesy writings see Kassler, The Science of Music in Britain.

16Johnson, Music and Society in Lowland Scotland, 24.

17Sir John Hawkins, A General History of the Science and Practice of Music 2 vols. ed. Othmar Wesserly (London, 1776; Graz, 1969), 2: 806-807.

18François-Joseph Fétis, "On the State of Music in London," trans. in The Harmonicon 7 (1829): 185.

19Richard Mackenzie Bacon, "Sketch of Music in London," QMMR 5 (1823): 251-61. See also, "Private Concerts," 7 (1825): 295-310.

20Bacon, "Private Concerts," 297.

21QMMR 2 (1820): 81.

22QMMR 7 (1825): 223.

23QMMR 5 (1823): 111.

24See Newman, "Concerning the Accompanied Clavier Sonata," 342-46.

25Newman, The Sonata in the Classic Era, 100; Newman, "Accompanied," 339.

26Bacon, "Music as a Pursuit for Men," 9.

27Occasionally, however, reviewers of accompanied keyboard music complain about the subordinate status to which the accompanying instruments are relegated. For example, in a review of a "Piano Forte Sonata in G," which is described as "No. 3 of Six Admired Duets for the Piano Forte and Flute" by J. N. Hummel (QMMR 10 [1828]: 114), the reviewer concedes that "it will of course be understood that the flute has the subordinate part in these compositions, as far as execution is concerned," but, he adds somewhat defensively, "the same expression and taste are required, which must be the guides of the principal performer." Moreover, the reviewer's purpose in calling attention to this subordinate status is to compare this work with another sonata from the same set in which the tables are turned and "the piano forte must wait upon the flute."

28Ibid., 425.

29Maria and Robert Edgeworth, Practical Education 2d ed., 3 vols. (London, 1801), 3: 4-5.

30Allen, The Polite Lady, 23-24.

31Erasmus Darwin, A Plan for the Conduct of Female Education, in Boarding Schools (London, 1797), 12.

32Edgeworth, Practical Education, 3: 18.

33John Sidney Hawkins, An Inquiry into the Nature and Principles of Thorough Bass. . . (London, 1817), quoted in Kassler, The Science of Music in Britain, 1: 482.

34"Remarks on the Use and Abuse of Music," The European Magazine and London Review 22 (1793): 30. According to Kassler 2: 1108, this article is a condensed version of an earlier work published under the title Euterpe; or Remarks on the Use and Abuse of Music, as Part of Modern Education in 1778. The unidentified writer actually argues that the female student should be taught the rudiments of theory, but only to the extent that she may "acquire such a knowledge of notes, as may enable her to sing easy, plain, simple tunes by inspection, and not the artificial manner of spelling a song on the keys of their harpsichord."

35Hester Chapone, Letters on the Improvement of the Mind: Addressed to a Lady 2 vols. (London, 1773), 2: 121.

36Bacon, "Music as a Pursuit for Men," 7.

37Philip Dormer Stanhope, Letters Written from the Right Honorable Philip Dormer, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, 4 vols. (London, 1775), 1: 262.

38See, for example, J. C. Kassler, "Burney's Sketch of a Plan for a Public Music School," The Musical Quarterly 58 (1972): 212.

39"Vetus" (Richard Mackenzie Bacon), "On the Character of Musicians," QMMR 1 (1818): 290.

40Sir Richard Phillips, "Enlarged System of Education," Monthly Magazine 34 (1813): 487.

41"Remarks on the Use and Abuse of Music," 31-32.

42Ibid., 32.

43Bacon, "On the Character of Musicians," 293.

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Howard Irving

Howard Irving is Professor of Music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Chairman of the Department of Music.  His recent publications include articles in Nineteenth-Century Music Review, The International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, and a chapter in Ian Biddle and Kristen Gibson, eds., Masculinity and Western Musical Practice (Ashgate, 2009).  He is the author of Ancients and Moderns:  William Crotch and the Development of Classical Music (Ashgate, 1999). His research interests center around topics in British cultural history and aesthetics in the “long” eighteenth century.

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