Musical Renaissance and its margins in England and India, 1874–1914

Clayton, Martin (2007). Musical Renaissance and its margins in England and India, 1874–1914. In: Clayton, Martin and Zon, Bennett eds. Music and Orientalism in the British Empire, 1780s to 1940s: Portrayal of the East. Music in 19th-Century Britain. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, pp. 71–93.



This chapter sketches some of the relationships between movements of musical revival and reform in England and India, and the mutual effects of their interpenetration, concentrating on the period from 1874 to 1914. In England these years are now associated with folk song collection, national music and the 'Musical Renaissance' in India with the adoption of classical music by nationalist movements and the development of an urban, largely Hindu concert culture – also sometimes referred to as a musical renaissance. The story is one of musical worlds that resemble each other closely at times, despite the gross imbalance of political and economic power. It shows the impact of colonialism and Orientalist thought on Indian and English music alike, but also the openness of some parts of the English musical establishment to the possibility of learning from others, and an ambivalent attitude to British institutions and technologies on the part of Indian music reformers.

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