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The English piano in the Classical Period: Its Music, Performers, and Influences

Brownell, A. (2010). The English piano in the Classical Period: Its Music, Performers, and Influences. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


Despite an abundance of research and literature on the Viennese piano in the Classical period, the influential role of the English instrument and its literature – in terms of keyboard idiom and compositional style – still remains something of a blind spot. This thesis attempts to address this imbalance by providing an overview of the most significant literature of the period, guided by the premise that the characteristics of the English instrument led to a style of keyboard writing that is distinct from the Viennese Classical style. The advent of the piano in England is traced, establishing the traits of the ‘English grand’ piano in the English harpsichord and other early instruments. This is followed by an overview of early piano concerti by James Hook, J.C. Bach, and Schroeter. Stylistic evolution in the early works of Clementi and Dussek is analysed, as well as that of Haydn’s London works. The thesis concludes with a chapter examining the interaction c. 1800 between the London and Viennese schools, demonstrating how contact with the more progressive London school precipitated changes in the Viennese keyboard style and the instrument itself.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
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