Music in the Victorian Era

Music in the Victorian period saw a vast amount of change from what previously was produced before the nineteenth century. Music became an item to unite the classes to a higher extent than ever before, meaning that all classes were becoming able to listen and experience music as opposed to only the very upper classes and the privileged as occurred previously in history. The main developments of The Music Hall allowed people to experience and listen to music, allowing songs to gain popularity and spread throughout the Empire. Due to British Imperialism, many of the new artistic developments had foreign influences and the music was no exception, gaining influences from music across the empire to play in The Music Hall. Concerts were often held in town halls as hobbies and social events, meaning that music became a way for people to socialize and meet new people, allowing the concept of music to grow even further in popularity. New developments in music offered all people a chance to unite and enjoy classical music, meaning that even the working classes and the very poor were able to live a life of luxury, even if it was just for one night.

The Music Hall was an establishment that allowed people of all classes and backgrounds to enjoy classical music. It offered theatrical entertainment, popular music, and comedy and quickly became one of the most popular recreational activities of the Victorian era until its decline in the 1960’s. The first Music Hall was reported to have opened on the 17th of May 1852, meaning it became a symbol of recreational time during the Victorian era. Therefore, the plethora of activities offered in these establishments, including music, trampoline acts, mime artists, and impressionists, became a staple for particularly the middle and upper classes.

New instruments and technology developing were one of the major reasons for the growth in popularity of classical music. In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph which allowed a new way of listening to music that had never been seen before. The most privileged and upper-class citizens were now able to listen to music of their own choice in their homes to accompany dinner parties and events, meaning that music was slowly becoming a more major part of everyday life as technology developed. Additionally, many new instruments were developed during this time which added newfound depth to music and orchestras, furthering the interest and excitement for new music. Brass instruments particularly such as the tuba became developed to add to the orchestra which allowed music to have an entirely new and fresh sound that the Victorians had never heard before. Many percussion instruments were also developed as a result of Imperialism and the influence of other cultures in the Empire on Britain, meaning that a large new mass of instruments was becoming available. With such a new mass of instruments and technology, composers became less inclined to follow traditional normality and began to push the boundaries of music, leading to new exciting songs and a vast amount of experimentation with the arts.

Apologies that this was posted a day late,

From The Victorian Blogger


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