A MUSICAL MONARCH: QUEEN VICTORIA’S INTEREST IN THE MUSIC AND COMPOSERS OF HER AGE

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Date
Authors
DeMerchant, Connor
Keyword
Music , Queen Victoria , Victorian , Empire , Prince Albert , Royalty , Monarchy , Culture , Art , Composers , Musicians
Abstract
This thesis explores Queen Victoria’s engagement with the musical world of the nineteenth century and seeks to identify the impact that she had on the music of her age. This research is undertaken using the queen’s journals and letters as the central source. Although heavily edited, the journals are the most significant source when it comes to understanding Queen Victoria and building on the scholarship that exists. Through a close examination of the monarch’s opinions and views on the music that she heard, her early enjoyment of music, the musical education that she received, the influence of Prince Albert during their married life, and the personal interest Victoria took in the music of her age, the thesis examines the impact that Victoria had on British music during her lifetime as both patron and enjoyer. Together with her husband Prince Albert, Victoria sought to elevate British music into what the royal couple saw as professional and sophisticated. In addition to elevating British music and composers through her support, Queen Victoria influenced the Victorian music scene through her patronage of composers and her interest in the musicians and singers she heard perform. Victoria’s impact on Victorian music, through her role as patron of the arts during her lifetime and in terms of her curated musical experience, is explored through the themes of gender, class, and race, with particular attention to the limitations and boundaries of the Queen’s musical explorations. Through these themes, Victoria’s musical experience is investigated to better understand the role of music in her life and identifies what she heard and why, but also identifies the silences in her listening experience. Additionally, the thesis looks at how Victoria herself was an inspiration for musical compositions that sought to either venerate or demonize the monarch.
External DOI