Music and Orientalism in the British Empire, 1780s–1940s: Portrayal of the East, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Music and Orientalism in the British Empire, 1780s–1940s

Portrayal of the East, 1st Edition

By Bennett Zon

Edited by Martin Clayton


368 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138265165
pub: 2016-11-15
SAVE ~$11.99
Hardback: 9780754656043
pub: 2007-07-28
SAVE ~$33.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315090931
pub: 2017-07-05
from $29.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Filling a significant gap in current scholarship, the fourteen original essays that make up this volume individually and collectively reflect on the relationship between music and Orientalism in the British Empire over the course of the long nineteenth century. The book is in four themed sections. 'Portrayal of the East' traces the routes from encounter to representation and restores the Orient to its rightful place in histories of Orientalism. 'Interpreting Concert Music' looks at one of the principal forms in which Orientalism could be brought to an eager and largely receptive - yet sometimes resistant - mass market. 'Words and Music' investigates the confluence of musical and Orientalist themes in different genres of writing, including criticism, fiction and travel writing. Finally, 'The Orientalist Stage' discusses crucial sites of Orientalist representation - music theatre and opera - as well as tracing similar phenomena in twentieth-century Hindi cinema. These final chapters examine the rendering of the East as 'unachievable and unrecognizable' for the consuming gaze of the western spectator.


'Martin Clayton and Bennett Zon’s anthology is a signal contribution to transcultural music studies in general and to the British postcolonial studies in particular. These studies range from Elgar to light musical theatre to film music, and indeed into travel literature and fiction also. The primary concern here is musical matters in the British Empire in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with emphasis on India; the musical and critical disciplines will certainly benefit from this research because much of it is to this point unknown. This book will spark both debate and, I predict, inspire similar projects focusing on other countries'. Jonathan Bellman, University of Northern Colorado, USA. ’The essays dealing with British composers Edward Elgar and Granville Bantock and with orientalist music theatre and opera are … valuable as empirical studies on little-researched topics or for bringing their subjects within the interpretive ambit of the collection's concerns.’ Victorian Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Martin Clayton and Bennett Zon. Part I Portrayal of the East: Encountering the other, redefining the self: Hindostannie airs, Haydn's folksong settings and the 'common practice' style, Nicholas Cook; Mamia, Ammani and other Bayadères: Europe's portrayal of India's temple dancers, Joep Bor; Musical renaissance and its margins in England and India, 1874-1914, Martin Clayton; Mizrakh, Jewish music and the journey to the East, Philip V. Bohlman and Ruth Davis. Part II Interpreting Concert Music: Granville Bantock and the Orient in the Midlands, Fiona Richards; 'An inoffensive thing': Elgar, The Crown of India and Empire, Corissa Gould; Patriotic vigour or voice of the Orient? Re-reading Elgar's Caractacus, Laura Upperton; Negotiating orientalism: the Kaccheri and the critic in colonial South India, Lakshmi Subramanian. Part III Words and Music: 'Violent passions' and 'inhuman excess': simplicity and the representation of non-Western music in 19th-century British travel literature, Bennett Zon; Creative women and 'exoticism' at the last fin-de-siècle, Sophie Fuller; Tom-toms, dream-fugues and poppy juice: East meets West in 19th-century fiction, Phyllis Weliver. Part IV The Orientalist Stage: Chu Chin Chow and orientalist musical theatre in Britain during the First World War, William A. Everett; A parallel reading of the 'Oriental' and South American opera libretti set by Sir Henry Bishop, Claire Mabilat; Musicking the other: orientalism in the Hindi cinema, Greg Booth. Index.

About the Author/Editor

Martin Clayton is Senior Lecturer in Music at the Open University, UK. He has written on topics including rhythm and metre, the history of comparative musicology, and musical encounters between India and the West. His publications include Time in Indian Music (2000), The Cultural Study of Music (co-editor, 2003) and Music, Time and Place (2007). Bennett Zon is Reader in Music, Director of the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Music and Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University. He has published The English Plainchant Revival (1999), Music and Metaphor in Nineteenth-Century British Musicology (2000) and Representing Non-Western Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2007). Zon is General Editor of Nineteenth-Century Music Review and the Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain book series.

About the Series

Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain

So much of our ‘common’ knowledge of music in nineteenth-century Britain is bound up with received ideas. This series disputes their validity through research critically reassessing our perceptions of the period. Volumes in the series cover wide-ranging areas such as composers and composition; conductors, management and entrepreneurship; performers and performing; music criticism and the press; concert venues and promoters; church music and music theology; repertoire, genre, analysis and theory; instruments and technology; music education and pedagogy; publishing, printing and book selling; reception, historiography and biography; women and music; masculinity and music; gender and sexuality; domestic music-making; empire, orientalism and exoticism; and music in literature, poetry, theatre and dance.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General