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Domestic piano music in Victorian England : the case of (Edward) Sydney Smith (1839-89)

Dunnington, Graham


Graham Dunnington


Alastair, 1964 Borthwick


[From the preface]:
The history of music-making in Victorian and Edwardian England has, in recent decades, been well documented. The dedication and hard work of legions of amateur singers and brass players is now appreciated and admired, and this admiration also extends to those working behind the scenes – the wives and daughters who washed uniforms, sewed on loose buttons, polished brass instruments, made teas and sandwiches for rehearsals etc. Theirs is an important story. However, there were countless other amateur musicians whose histories are much harder to unearth – the tens of thousands of amateur pianists, who laboured at their instruments for many hours in order to provide entertainment for themselves, their families, and for visitors. Their stories have remained hidden from the modern gaze because the nineteenth-century home was a private world of respectable domesticity. This thesis aims to uncover something of this hidden world of domestic music-making, through an examination of the piano compositions of (Edward) Sydney Smith (1839-89), probably the most prolific English composer working in this field.


Dunnington, G. (2011). Domestic piano music in Victorian England : the case of (Edward) Sydney Smith (1839-89). (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Music
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Music, The University of Hull
Award Date Jun 1, 2011


Thesis (17.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2011 Dunnington, Graham. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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