Music and Power in Eighteenth Century Court Society. Handel’s Messiah and Protestant Ascendancy

Author: Fitzpatrick, Marjorie
Year:2016
Pages:612
ISBN:1-4955-0449-2
978-1-4955-0449-5
Price:$339.95
Examines music and power in eighteenth-century court society. It focuses on Händel’s Messiah and the Protestant Ascendancy society. Its aims are to find out if music reflects cultural changes and whether music is an indicator of power positions within court society utilizing the theoretical framework of Norbert Elias' social theory.

Reviews

“Fitzpatrick makes a distinctive contribution to at least three fields: to our understanding of power in the absolutist monarchies of ancient régime Europe, to our knowledge of life in Protestant Ascendancy Ireland, and to the sociology of music.”
-Dr. Stephen Mennell,
Professor Emeritus of Sociology,
University College Dublin


“This book is a valuable contribution to the study of court societies, the dynamics of colonized and colonizing societies, and the interplay of culture, communication and consumption in modernizing societies where control is in dispute between aristocratic and bourgeois establishments. The analysis is conducted with impressive thoroughness throughout and manages to bring to life the historical experience of composing, playing and listening to powerful and inspiriting music such as Handel’s Messiah. This is an impressive achievement.”
-Dr. Dennis Smith,
Dept. of Social Sciences,
Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK


“This is the first time that Elias’s theories on power have been used to analyse the relationship between power and music. It provides new insights on the life and importance of Mary Delany, an important figure in 18th-century Dublin life…Though written for specialists scholars in the first interest, this work will also be of interest and use to academic generalists and to students.”
-Dr. James H. Murphy,
Professor of English,
DePaul University


Table of Contents

Abstract
Foreword by Stephen Mennell
Acknowledgements
Introduction
CHAPTER 1:SOCOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON MUSIC
Introduction
The Influence of Music on people’s moods, identities and actions
Music and Markets, patrons and Power
Music as a Prism in Court Society
Conclusion
CHAPTER 2: THE CONCEPT OF ‘POWER RATIOS’
Introduction
Figurational Sociology
Norbert Elias’ The Court Society
Critique of Elias’ Court Society
Norbert Elias’ concept of “Power Ratios”
The Concept of “Power”
Conclusion
CHAPTER 3: POWER RATIOS IN COURT SOCIETY IN THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY
Introduction
The Monarchy
Centralization of Power in the Court Society in the Eighteenth-Century in France
Centralization of power in the Court Society in Eighteenth-Century England
Centralization of Power in the Court Society in the Eighteenth-Century in Ireland
Conclusion
CHAPTER 4: MUSIC AND POWER HABITUS IN MRS. MARY DELANY’S EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY WORLD
Introduction
Politics and the Protestant Ascendancy
Religion and the Protestant Ascendancy
Mary Delany as Protestant and member of the Ascendancy class in Irish “court society
Mary’s Dublin
Mary Delany’s “court society in Ireland” and power ratios
Music as an indicator of Social Power ratios in eighteenth-century court society in Mary’s society in Ireland
Conclusion
CHAPTER 5: MUSIC POWER AND HABITUS IN GEORGE FREDERICK HÄNDEL”S WORLD
Introduction
Händel, the Individual
Händel’s music and cultural change in Ireland
Conclusion
CHAPTER 6: HÄNDEL’S MESSIAH, POWER AND EMOTIONAL HABITUS
Introduction,br> Elias’ Sociology of Emotions
Symbol-Creating “Mimesis” and Music
Messiah and Mimesis
Symbol-Learning Music used as “Muscular Bonding”
Symbol-Using Music of Messiah reflecting cultural changes
Conclusion
CHAPTER 7: JENNENS’ MESSIAH AND ALLEGORICAL POWER
Introduction
The Social History of Charles Jennens
Deism
The powerful use of allegory in the librettos and of Messiah in particular
Jennens and Messiah
Analysis of a sample of Scripture text used in the libretto Messiah
Messiah as allegory
Conclusion
CHAPTER 8: MESSIAH and MONARCHICAL POWER
Introduction
Non jurors
The Divine Right of Kings
Relating the libretto of Messiah to the concept of the Divine Right of Kings
Analysis of the Scriptural texts in relation to the four Elements of the Divine Right of Kings
The Protestant Ascendancy and the Divine Right of Kings
Conclusion
CHAPTER 9: CONCLUSIONS
Introduction
Major Contribution to Knowledge
The role and power position of the monarch and the Institution of the monarchy as centralization of power
The Court Society in Eighteenth-Century
Mrs. Delany as metonym
Händel’s music
Händel’s oratorio Messiah
Jennens’ Libretto
Music and the Monarchy
Concluding Remarks
APPENDICES
1. Musician’s Chart
2. Libretto of Messiah
3. Ch.6 Further Analyszed
4. Ch.7 Further Analyszed
5. Ch.8 Further Analyszed
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX