Nineteenth-Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal
This essay examines the implications behind the brass band movement in the nineteenth and early twentieth century in Britain. The activity was encouraged by middle-class entrepreneurs as a social improvement exercise for the working class. The music was meant to refine their taste and prevent them from engaging in less desirable recreational activities; at the same time the competitive aspect of performances was seen as the best possible means to motivate improvement in musicians. While the activity was intended to promote middle-class musical values, as competitive practices developed a distinct musical tradition with values that deviated from the middle-class tradition emerged. Through an examination of contemporary discussion on brass band contests and musical practices, Odello discusses the Victorian concepts of musical culture, athleticism, and class values that shaped this tradition as well as how people perceive the social influences of music and use those ideas to attempt to shape society.
© 2016 Taylor & Francis
Odello, D. "Musical Athleticism: Victorian Brass Band Contests and the Shaping of Working-Class Men." Nineteenth-Century Contexts 38:2 (2016), 141-154.