The clarinet in London's popular culture (c. 1760-c. 1810)

Crisp, C. J. (2017) The clarinet in London's popular culture (c. 1760-c. 1810). In: Thirty-third Annual Conference on Music in Eighteenth-Century Britain, 24 Nov 2017, Foundling Museum, London. (Unpublished)

[thumbnail of Foundling Hospital Conference Programme 2017 FINAL.docx] Text
Foundling Hospital Conference Programme 2017 FINAL.docx - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (14kB)


Eighteenth-century London was a centre of diverse entertainments and music played a vital role in a myriad of events attended by differing levels of London society. The prevalence of music in London’s culture at this time offered an ideal showcase to present the newest woodwind instrument, the clarinet, to a variety of audiences.
This paper will examine references to the increasing appearance of clarinets at a variety of entertainments in 18th-century London, drawing on a selection of previously undocumented source material. The entertainments considered will include circuses, fairs, the smaller pleasure gardens, debating societies and river parties, demonstrating the growing employment of the instrument in London at this time.
This paper will also provide an insight into how contemporary audiences responded to both the newest woodwind instrument and clarinettists in performance, using reviews and letters to interpret how the instrument was perceived in this centre.
In order to discuss the growing presence of clarinets in London’s popular culture, I will explore research questions such as:

• Which events and entertainments featured clarinets and in what capacity?
• To what extent was the clarinet known and recognized by London audiences and by different classes?
• What contemporary reviews and reports exist of performances including clarinets given at these events?
• Are extant reviews of these performances favourable?

This paper will display the growing use of newest woodwind instrument in 18th-century London, offering fresh insight into the extent to which the clarinet was known and recognized by a wide cross-section of London society.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Clarinet, Eighteenth-century, Classical performance practice
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Divisions: Academic Areas > Conservatoire
Event Title: Thirty-third Annual Conference on Music in Eighteenth-Century Britain
Event Location: Foundling Museum, London
Event Dates: 24 Nov 2017
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Catherine Crisp
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2019 10:42
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 14:25

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item
▲ Top

Our address

I’m looking for