Piano playing & men
Posted by Andrea Jutson on April 21, 1998 at 23:00:06:
In response to Playing a round......, written by Kimberley on April 19, 1998 at 22:23:25
Aside from those notable exceptions who made a living from it (e.g. Beethoven) I get the impression from what I've read on the subject (which admittedly isn't much) that men didn't play the piano much. In Emma Thompson's S&S, Colonel Brandon is supposed to be able to play, but that isn't actually in the book- ET just created it to give added interest to her story.
I have a quote from Maggie Lane's excellent Jane Austen's World which says: "It is noticeable that it is the female half of the population who produce the music. The man's role is to listen, appreciate and admire. No gentleman in any of the novels plays an instrument. Some of them sing, but only in a duet with a lady- Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax, for example- or in a mixed group glee, such as that which collects the Bertrams and the Crawfords round the piano at Mansfield Park.
The only solo male singer in the novels is Robert Martin's shepherd's son....The boy, of course, belongs to the lower orders, as does the unnamed violinist who chances to be in the servants' hall at Mansfield Park one evening, and is the cause of an impromptu little ball. Certainly, male musicians are seen in the light of "hirelings"
- to use Jane Austen's term; the inference is that no gentleman learns to play an instrument unless he needs to make a living from it."
Whew!! I hope that clears up any questions:-)
I guess duets really only came along later. Sorry if that squashes any story ideas. Write it anyway!!
- Duets among females Kay 09:06:18 4/23/98 (1)
- Possible artistic license, but ... Leanne S 11:43:10 4/23/98 (0)
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