Leanne Langley: the Social History of Music

Dr Leanne Langley, from King’s College London, showed us how a study of musical artefacts from the past (instruments, tickets, invoices, town plans, posters) can reveal much about the society from which they are taken: the kink in Regent Street opposite the Apple Store (see right) was because John Nash wanted to avoid demolishing a concert hall owned by the London Philharmonic Society, in which he was involved; Sir Henry Wood famously employed women in his orchestra on equal pay with the men, but the reason was less his being enlightened than his wish to intimidate the men into behaving well when performing modern music like Schoenberg’s…

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