"The lyric repository": literate conviviality

Conference paper


Price, C. 2018. "The lyric repository": literate conviviality.
AuthorsPrice, C.
TypeConference paper
Description

The image opposite the title page of a 1787 publication by Samuel French of a book of lyrics, “selected for their poetical and literary merit” is the subject of this paper. It is a cartoon: the work of Thomas Rowlandson. The slim volume in which it appears is kept in the British Museum Prints and Drawings collection (no. 1880,0911.2051).

Such books formed something of a literary sub-genre in their own right, and were clearly designed to appeal to a literate bourgeoisie. The engraving—“with etched vignette of harp, sheet music and laurel”—and the Latin quotations, attest to the cultural narrative in which this publication wishes to situate itself; here are all the hallmarks of a venerable classical tradition.

By contrast, Rowlandson’s caricature seems to undercut this seriousness of intent: a group of men—women conspicuously absent from this company, as in all such representations—sit around a table laden with glasses and punch bowl, singing in a manner strongly suggestive of alcohol-fuelled conviviality. The publisher of the volume seems not to have noticed a subversion which is all too apparent to modern eyes.

This paper will examine this and other books and prints—and the musical repertoire to which they refer—to offer some insight into a cultural phenomenon which has not been granted much critical scrutiny: the gathering for convivial song in more or less formal contexts. Using recorded extracts created in the course of recent research, some explanation for this subaltern behaviour will be sought in its own words and music.

Year2018
ConferenceThe 34th Annual Conference on Music in 18th-Century Britain
Publication process dates
Deposited31 Jul 2019
Completed30 Nov 2018
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
Permalink -

https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8907x/-the-lyric-repository-literate-conviviality

Download files

Accepted author manuscript
  • 1
    total views
  • 1
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Of mathematics, marrow-bones and marriage: eighteenth-century convivial song
Price, C. 2020. Of mathematics, marrow-bones and marriage: eighteenth-century convivial song. in: The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Music Edinburgh University Press.
Catch and Glee Club prizes in the long nineteenth century: nurturing a 'national music'
Price, C. 2019. Catch and Glee Club prizes in the long nineteenth century: nurturing a 'national music'.
“Pictorially speaking, so ludicrous": George IV on the dance floor
Price, C. 2018. “Pictorially speaking, so ludicrous": George IV on the dance floor. Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography. XLIII (1-2), pp. 49-66.
“Useless in the choir”: the music and musicians of Canterbury Cathedral 1700-1760
Price, C. 2016. “Useless in the choir”: the music and musicians of Canterbury Cathedral 1700-1760.
The Canterbury Catch Club print – a performance of class
Price, C. 2017. The Canterbury Catch Club print – a performance of class. Music in Art. XLII (1-2).
The English catch and glee – from drunken debauchery to civic respectability
Price, C. 2016. The English catch and glee – from drunken debauchery to civic respectability.
Bourgeois self-representation: a methodological case-study in musical iconography
Price, C. 2016. Bourgeois self-representation: a methodological case-study in musical iconography.
Harmony and unanimity? – the bourgeois self-image of the Canterbury Catch Club
Price, C. 2016. Harmony and unanimity? – the bourgeois self-image of the Canterbury Catch Club.
The Canterbury Catch Club: a performance of class
Price, C. 2016. The Canterbury Catch Club: a performance of class.
An evening with the Canterbury Catch Club
Price, C. 2015. An evening with the Canterbury Catch Club. Canterbury Cathedral Lodge 21 Oct 2015
Chris Price & the Canterbury Catch Club: 3 short films
Price, C. 2016. Chris Price & the Canterbury Catch Club: 3 short films.
Unsung singers: the musicians of Canterbury 1770-1865
Price, C. 2015. Unsung singers: the musicians of Canterbury 1770-1865.
The Serpentine River is coming upstairs: rediscovering the music of the Canterbury Catch Club
Price, C. 2014. The Serpentine River is coming upstairs: rediscovering the music of the Canterbury Catch Club.
The Serpentine River is Coming Upstairs: rediscovering the music of the Canterbury Catch Club
Price, C. 2014. The Serpentine River is Coming Upstairs: rediscovering the music of the Canterbury Catch Club.
As Thomas Was Cudgell’d One Day By His Wife: rediscovering the music of the Canterbury Catch Club
Price, C. 2014. As Thomas Was Cudgell’d One Day By His Wife: rediscovering the music of the Canterbury Catch Club.
"Not of heroic build": the literate glee
Price, C. 2015. "Not of heroic build": the literate glee.
"The folly of the farce is done": death and grief in convivial song
Price, C. 2015. "The folly of the farce is done": death and grief in convivial song.
As Thomas was cudgell'd one day by his wife and other stories: music from the Canterbury Catch Club
Price, C. Price, C. (ed.) 2015. As Thomas was cudgell'd one day by his wife and other stories: music from the Canterbury Catch Club. Canterbury Christ Church University.