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The National Training School for Music 1873-1882: catalyst or cul-de-sac? a critical analysis of the circumstances leasing to the rise and fall of Sir Henry Cole's music school at South Kensington

Brightwell, Giles William Edward (1999) The National Training School for Music 1873-1882: catalyst or cul-de-sac? a critical analysis of the circumstances leasing to the rise and fall of Sir Henry Cole's music school at South Kensington. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

The National Training School for Music (founded by the Society of Arts at South Kensington on land provided by the Commissioners of the Great Exhibition of 1851) opened on 17 May 1876 after a three-year planning period. As the idea of Sir Henry Cole (Honorary Secretary at the Society of AIlS), it was instituted as a five-year experiment supported by public subscription, after which time the founders intended to transfer management 10 the State. Cast in the mould of, and expected 10 rank with European conservatoires, it was intended to pioneer free music education in Britain and to be the official training school for prospective music teachers as well as composers and performers, to whom the nation could look for the instruction of its young and for the general elevation of its musical taste. Initially Cole had intended to remodel the Royal Academy of Music (foWlded in 1822) as a national school, but this failed and the National Training School for Music was founded separately. Earlier in the century a shift in aesthetic and philosophical positions, brought about by the Utilitarian movement, placed music at the head of the arts. While the Utilitarian movement led in turn to greater democracy, the nationalist Zeitgeist led to an awareness of Britain's musical deficiency and of the need to establish and improve standards in indigenous music. It was the Royal Academy of Music's inability to secure Britain's re-establishment as a musical nation which led to demands both from professional and amateur quarters for a newlyfounded school of music : consequently the National Training School for Music emerged. Cole's vision was admirable, but unworkable without comprehensive government funding. Neither this, nor the founders' original goal to establish 300 free scholarships materialised. Hence financial insecurity prompted one last attempt to amalgamate the School with the Royal Academy of Music under the auspices of a new royal college of music, where fee-paying students were to be educated alongside scholars. However the Academy declined to surrender its charter, and the National Training School for Music was separately remodelled as the Royal College of Music, opening in 1883, with its own charter of incorporation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:1999
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 May 2011 14:43

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