London: a City of Unrivalled Riches

  • William Weber
Part of the Man & Music book series (MAMU)


Public musical life of the modern sort emerged first and foremost in eighteenth-century London. In concert life above all, London set the pace for European cities. Italy, of course, had spawned opera — the original form of public music — and France (or rather Paris) developed the most important early public concert series, the Concert Spirituel. But by the second half of the century London had a multitude of musical riches such as no other city could rival. Its Italian opera was among the best; its concert offerings were the most numerous and varied; its musicians developed precocious entrepreneurial skills; and musical taste took a new direction: the revering of old music in performance. These activities looked ahead to the nineteenth century. By 1800 there had been knit together a fabric of musicians, organizations, publics and tastes that were recognizably modern in ways that those of 1700 were not.


Eighteenth Century Late Eighteenth Century Symphony Orchestra Sheet Music Musical Taste 
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Copyright information

© Granada Group and Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Weber

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