2nd Edition

The Singing Bourgeois Songs of the Victorian Drawing Room and Parlour

By Derek B. Scott Copyright 2001

    First published in 1989, The Singing Bourgeois challenges the myth that the 'Victorian parlour song' was a clear-cut genre. Derek Scott reveals the huge diversity of musical forms and styles that influenced the songs performed in middle class homes during the nineteenth century, from the assimilation of Celtic and Afro-American culture by songwriters, to the emergence of forms of sacred song performed in the home. The popularity of these domestic songs opened up opportunities to women composers, and a chapter of the book is dedicated to the discussion of women songwriters and their work. The commercial success of bourgeois song through the sale of sheet music demonstrated how music might be incorporated into a system of capitalist enterprise. Scott examines the early amateur music market and its evolution into an increasingly professionalized activity towards the end of the century. This new updated edition features an additional chapter which provides a broad survey of music and class in London, drawing on sources that have appeared since the book's first publication. An overview of recent research is also given in a section of additional notes. The new bibliography of nineteenth-century British and American popular song is the most comprehensive of its kind and includes information on twentieth-century collections of songs, relevant periodicals, catalogues, dictionaries and indexes, as well as useful databases and internet sites. The book also features accompanying downloadable resources of songs from the period.

    Contents: Introduction to the first edition; Introduction to the second edition; The foundations of the drawing-room genre; The growth of the market for domestic music; The rise of the woman ballad composer; Cultural assimilation; Sacred songs; Promoters, publishers, and professional performers; A best-selling formula?; Nationalism and imperialism; Hegemony; Continuity and change; Music and social class; Notes; Glossary of musical terms used in the text; Select bibliography; Song index; General index.


    Derek B. Scott

    Review quotes for first edition: ’...the first full-scale attempt to examine the complex relationships among ideology, gender, economics, class, and the distinctive drawing-room repertoire...Celebrated Victorian and Edwardian Ballads is an important complement to the argument he puts forward in his book.’ Cynthia Ellen Patton, Victorian Studies ’...the book is well-researched and is to be prized as an accomplished presentation of some major issues facing the analysis of Victorian middle-class culture. ..it advances the serious academic study of 'popular music' into an area which, up to the 1980s, has been mainly occupied by anthologists.’ Michael Pickering, Popular Music ’Excellent musical analysis, illustrated with copious examples.’ Michael Grosvenor, The Times ’Scott is well read, writes with quiet assurance and engaging enthusiasm, and has enough confidence in his subject to range widely, and indicate possibilities for future research.’ Cyril Ehrlich, English Historical Review Review quotes for second edition: 'Recommended highly.' The Delian 'This is a beautifully written book, with plenty of musical quotations to illustrate it, and combines a great deal of information with a considerable measure of entertainment. The indices are very well prepared, and very helpful, too.' Methodist Newsletter