Music criticism in nineteenth-century England: how did it become a profession?

Title: Music criticism in nineteenth-century England: how did it become a profession?
Author: Watt, Paul
Source document: Musicologica Brunensia. 2017, vol. 52, iss. 1, pp. 117-126
  • ISSN
    1212-0391 (print)
    2336-436X (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
Of the two-dozen professions that emerged in nineteenth-century Britain, such as medicine, the law and the public service, music criticism was a late developer. This paper examines the social, economic and intellectual factors that led to the establishment of music criticism as a profession and the ways institutions such as the Musical Association and the Musical Times contributed to this process of professionalization. I argue that the path to making music criticism a creditable profession was neither a top-down nor bottom-up approach; rather it was a ubiquitous movement driven by newspapers readers, editors and composers.
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