Nineteenth Century English Choral Music

Date of Award

Summer 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Norman H. Pollock

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H85 P37


English music history in the nineteenth century illuminates the larger society of which it was part. Music had lost nearly all of its importance to the English people in the early nineteenth century. This was drastically changed when the sight-singing movement took hold in the early 184Os. It spread rapidly and became a social influence as well as a musical one. People gathered together to learn to read music and then formed choirs in order to perform. Singing societies were organized to serve a variety of purposes, from providing religious outlets to convivial evenings. The societies often bridged wide gaps between social stratas. Mammoth choral festivals were held both in London and in the provinces and choirs became an important part of the Anglican services. By the end of the century the choral movement had helped England to become an important musical nation.


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