The aim of this book is to present a detailed account of music in Cork's civic life from the eighteenth century to 1900 and to examine the contexts in which it flourished.
The aim of this book is to present a detailed account of music in Cork's civic life from the eighteenth century to 1900 and to examine the contexts in which it flourished. During the eighteenth century, Cork's merchant elite adopted patterns of sociability that centered on assembly, philanthropy and conviviality. Music featured in Anglican worship, in the theatre, at balls and at concerts. Concerts fulfilled a need for communal assembly and entertainment, whilst also serving civic, philanthropic, commercial, professional and artistic interests. Using a range of sources, particularly newspapers, these areas of musical life are examined in detail in the opening chapters of this book.Further chapters document developments during the 1820s and 1830s, when a changing political background, commercialisation, and concepts of Romanticism and nationalism became evident in concerts and its associated press writing. From 1840 onwards, singing and participation in bands were fostered within the temperance movement.
Choral singing featured in new organisations such as Young Men's Associations and church communities, broadening the base for musical participation at public events, and Choral Societies became prominent. The establishment of musical structures within the city's Catholic churches and the founding of a municipal school of music were cultural milestones of the latter part of the nineteenth century, bringing significant benefits to local communities, and also to the music profession.
Susan O'Regan lectures in Music History at Cork Institute of Technology