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Classes and CulturesEngland 1918-1951$
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Ross McKibbin

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206729

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206729.001.0001

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Music for the People

Music for the People

(p.386) X Music for the People
Classes and Cultures

Ross McKibbin

Oxford University Press

The great majority of the English were attached to two forms of music — middlebrow and popular. This chapter traces the historical development of a middlebrow ‘canon’ of music, popular music, and dancing after the First World War. The middlebrow canon, aside from its native origins, was drawn largely from European influences, but outside influences on popular music were almost entirely American. The chapter assesses how far English popular music succumbed to or withstood America and looks more generally at the part dancing played in people's lives. Throughout this period there were three musical publics. There was a very small public for ‘serious’ music, a considerably larger one for ‘middlebrow’ music, and a much larger one for ‘popular’ music.

Keywords:   popular music, middlebrow music, America, music, European influences, dancing, serious music

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