Some unforeseen circumstances have prevented me updating this blog in recent months. In March I presented some of my work on music in asylums as part of a broader paper on approaches to musical listening in nineteenth-century Britain, as part of the Listening Experience Database conference in Milton Keynes (see http://www.listeningexperience.org/the-experience-of-listening-to-music-methodologies-identities-histories/). I discussed music as therapy alongside examples from my work on music education through public concerts in 1860s Edinburgh, and debates from the 1890s on the role of emotion and intellect in music appreciation. Together these demonstrated some of the ways in which music listening was constructed and approached, beyond the standard concert hall audience. It was interesting, again, to consider the use of music as therapy specifically from the standpoint of listening to music, and particularly the ways in which this intersected with contemporary ideas about music, musical knowledge and the brain.
The very end of March saw the culmination of a project on the music profession in nineteenth-century Britain, with the publication of a volume of essays on this topic (see https://www.routledge.com/The-Music-Profession-in-Britain-1780-1920-New-Perspectives-on-Status/Golding/p/book/9781138291867). This may appear only tangentially related to my current work on music, health and asylums, but it was during some research into the profession of organist in the nineteenth century that I first came across advertisements for asylum organists. This eventually set me off on my current path.
I have also been working on new ways to bring my research to the public, collaborating on a series of recitals based around the theme of music and madness. More on this later this year!
In the meantime this blog will be taking a period of maternity leave.