Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘music and history’

‘Rejoice Moscow, Russians are in Paris!’: The curious history of a popular melody

By Jimmy Chen

Within the collection of Cambridge University Library, there is a piece of sheet music for a Russian song dating from the Napoleonic Wars. Insignificant at first glance, this simple song can provide important insights into European musical culture in the early nineteenth century. Read more

Sweet harmony or rough music? Singing in the seventeenth century

By Carys Brown | @HistoryCarys

If you’ve ever been in a roaring rugby crowd, a church full of carol singers, or even just broken into song in the shower, you’ve probably noticed that singing can have a powerful effect. The physical, psychological, and social benefits of singing are now widely recognised, although the underlying reasons behind these are less well understood. But what if you could harness the power of singing, and use it for ill? In seventeenth-century England, it was generally agreed that singing could have a significant impact on the emotions. What was less clear was whether this was always a good thing. Read more

Played to death: bringing music back to life

Written By Anastazja Grudnicka | @AGrudnicka

Every once in a while I come across a certain kind of evidence that stays on my mind long after I move on with my research. Sometimes it’s the source itself, other times it’s the circumstances in which a particular text, object, picture appears that makes it echo at the back of my mind. Last year, and only a few weeks into my research on the culture of the Habsburg court in sixteenth-century Vienna, I stumbled across a source like this.

Read more

“Teaching the lessons of the past through the music of the future”

By Richard Simpson

From our earliest days on the long winding path to becoming historians we are taught adulterating source materials is an almost sacrilegious offence. But what would happen if we had never been taught this central tenet of our academic discipline?

Read more