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Music and the New Global CultureFrom the Great Exhibitions to the Jazz Age$
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Harry Liebersohn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226621265

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226649306.001.0001

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A German Connoisseur in Cosmopolitan England

A German Connoisseur in Cosmopolitan England

Chapter:
(p.29) 1 A German Connoisseur in Cosmopolitan England
Source:
Music and the New Global Culture
Author(s):

Harry Liebersohn

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226649306.003.0002

Carl Engel was a founder of the comparative musicological tradition that influenced the early music, folk music, and ethnomusicology movements of the twentieth century. Born in provincial Hanover and educated in Germany, he emigrated to England. First he enjoyed the rich musical culture of mid-century Manchester under the leadership of Charles Hallé. After marrying into an upper-class family Engel moved to London. There he wrote Introduction to the Study of National Music (1866), a plea for a salvage anthropology of music; and Notes and Queries on Anthropology (1879), which emphasized the need for accurate recording of unfamiliar music. Engel became an advisor to the South Kensington Museum, later renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, an outcome of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Engel’s cosmopolitanism contrasts with the nationalism of a later generation of English musicologists and performers. Cecil Sharp and Vaughan Williams exemplify a growing nationalism within the English Musical Renaissance. In a biographical irony, Engel hosted his nephew, Carl Peters, who relieved his loneliness and depression after his wife’s death; later Peters turned into a notorious German colonial administrator. But there was no uniform retreat from cosmopolitanism: Gustav Holst’s interest in Indian music and culture illustrates an ongoing cosmopolitanism.

Keywords:   Carl Engel, salvage anthropology, Victoria and Albert Museum, Great Exhibition of 1851, English Musical Renaissance, Gustav Holst, Carl Peters

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