1st Edition

Sound Heritage Making Music Matter in Historic Houses

    384 Pages 66 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    384 Pages 66 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Sound Heritage is the first study of music in the historic house museum, featuring contributions from both music and heritage scholars and professionals in a richly interdisciplinary approach to central issues. It examines how music materials can be used to create narratives about past inhabitants and their surroundings - including aspects of social and cultural life beyond the activity of music making itself - and explores how music as sound, material, and practice can be more consistently and engagingly integrated into the curation and interpretation of historic houses.

    The volume is structured around a selection of thematic chapters and a series of shorter case studies, each focusing on a specific house, object or project. Key themes include:

    • Different types of historic house, including the case of the composer or musician house; what can be learned from museums and galleries about the use of sound and music and what may not transfer to the historic house setting
    • Musical instruments as part of a wider collection; questions of restoration and public use; and the demands of particular collection types such as sheet music
    • Musical objects and pieces of music as storytelling components, and the use of music to affectively colour narratives or experiences.

    This is a pioneering study that will appeal to all those interested in the intersection between Music and Museum and Heritage Studies. It will also be of interest to scholars and researchers of Music History, Popular Music, Performance Studies and Material Culture.

    1 Introduction: Making Music Matter in Historic Houses

    Jeanice Brooks and Wiebke Thormählen

    2 All About House Museums

    Linda Young

    3 Listening Through the Walls: Music Making in the Historic Houses of Rabindranath Tagore

    Suddhaseel Sen and Pramantha Tagore

    4 Engaging the Musical Imagination in Museums and Historic Houses

    Eric de Visscher and Mimi S. Waitzman

    5 Case Study Engaging Visitors with Bach's Music: Sound Concepts and Visitor Experience at the Leipzig Bach Museum

    Kerstin Wiese

    6 Striking a Chord - A Study in Harmony: Music, Musical Instruments and Historic Houses in Practice

    Ben Marks

    7 Case Study History without Words: Visitors Take Matters into Their Own Hands

    Christiane Barth

    8 Mapping Historic House Music Collections in the United Kingdom

    Katrina Faulds, Jonathan Frank and Christopher Scobie

    9 Case study The Dowling Songbook Project

    Helen Mitchell, Neal Peres Da Costa and Matthew Stephens

    10 A Decorated Tune in a Decorated Room: Interpreting the Musical Palimpsest in Historic House Museums

    Matthew Stephens

    11 Case Study Multiple Moments at The Vyne

    Jeanice Brooks and Matthew Tyler-Jones

    12 Music and Stories of Space in the Historic House Museum

    Jeanice Brooks

    13 Case Study Experiencing Sound: Historical Performance and Digital Technology in French Royal Residences

    Vasco Zara

    14 Expanding the Narrative: Public History, Music and the Irish Country House

    Karol Mullaney-Dignam

    15 Case Study Sounds of Hidden Town and the Hidden Town Project

    Franklin Vagnone and John Yeagley

    16 Telling Stories, Sounding Faith: Exhibiting Religion in Historic House Museums

    Wiebke Thormählen

    17 Case Study Listening to the Past: The Context for Music at Mugga Mugga

    Jennifer Gall

    18 Are You Experienced? Intimacy, Authenticity and Emotion in the House Museums of Musicians

    Marion Leonard


    Jeanice Brooks is Professor of Music at the University of Southampton (UK). She leads the AHRC-funded research project "Music, Home and Heritage," and directs both the Austen Family Music Books digitisation project and the international Sound Heritage network.

    Matthew Stephens is Research Librarian, Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums (SLM), and leads the interpretation of the history of domestic music in SLM’s house museums.

    Wiebke Thormählen is a musicologist and violinist, and Reader in Music at the Royal College of Music, London. She is co-investigator on the AHRC-funded research project "Music, Home and Heritage," and has previously co-edited the Routledge Companion to Music, Mind and Well-being (Routledge, 2018).