First published in 1989, The Singing Bourgeois challenges the myth that the 'Victorian parlour song' was a clear-cut genre.
Derek Scott reveals the huge diversity of musical forms and styles that influenced the songs performed in middle class homes during the nineteenth century, from the assimilation of Celtic and Afro-American culture by songwriters, to the emergence of forms of sacred song performed in the home. The popularity of these domestic songs opened up opportunities to women composers, and a chapter of the book is dedicated to the discussion of women songwriters and their work.
The commercial success of bourgeois song through the sale of sheet music demonstrated how music might be incorporated into a system of capitalist enterprise.
Scott examines the early amateur music market and its evolution into an increasingly professionalized activity towards the end of the century. This new updated edition features an additional chapter which provides a broad survey of music and class in London, drawing on sources that have appeared since the book's first publication.
An overview of recent research is also given in a section of additional notes.
The new bibliography of nineteenth-century British and American popular song is the most comprehensive of its kind and includes information on twentieth-century collections of songs, relevant periodicals, catalogues, dictionaries and indexes, as well as useful databases and internet sites.
The book also features an accompanying CD of songs from the period.