The Music Profession in Britain 1780-1920: New Perspectives on Status and Identity

The Open University in London, Camden, 14 September 2015
The idea of the music profession plays an important part in research into music’s cultural and social history, nowhere more so than the flourishing area of research into music in nineteenth-century Britain. Yet the profession, its meaning and its history remain as difficult to define in the twenty-first century as in the nineteenth. Cyril Ehrlich’s seminal 1985 book The Music Profession in Britain Since the Eighteenth-century: A Social History continues to occupy a central role in tracing the history of the profession, contributing a wealth of case studies and data. As Ehrlich’s work reaches its thirtieth anniversary in 2015, this day conference is intended to draw together strands of research which cast new light on the history of the music profession. The scope and historical time-frame are set broadly, in order to capture a wide variety of perspectives and draw together scholars with different backgrounds and expertise.
We warmly encourage proposals for 20-minute papers on topics of music history related to the theme of the conference.
Potential themes may include (but are not limited to):
– Professional institutions and organisations
– Professionals and amateurs
– Career paths and portfolios
– Gender, class and professional status
Abstracts of no more than 200 words, together with a short biography of no more than 100 words and details of AV requirements, should be submitted as an email attachment to by 5.00pm on Wednesday 15 July.