The Enraged Musician: Hogarth's Musical Imagery

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The Enraged Musician: Hogarth's Musical Imagery by Barlow,Jeremy, 9781840146158
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  • ISBN: 9781840146158 | 184014615X
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 11/28/2005

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More than 70 works of Hogarth include musical references, and Jeremy Barlow's book is the first full-length work devoted to this aspect of his imagery. The first two chapters examine the evidence for Hogarth's interest in music and the problems of assessing accuracy, realism and symbolic meaning in his musical representations. Subsequent chapters show how musical details in his works may often be interpreted as part of his satirical weaponry; the starting point seems to have been his illustrations of the clamorous 'rough music' protest in Samuel Butler's immensely popular poem Hudibras. Hogarth's use of music for satirical purposes also has connections with a particular type of burlesque music in 18th-century England. It may be seen too in the roles played by his humiliated fiddlers or abject ballad singers. Each of the final two chapters focuses on a particular Hogarth subject: his paintings of a scene from a theatrical satire of music and society, The Beggar's Opera, and the print The Enraged Musician itself. The latter work draws together uses of musical imagery discussed previously and the book concludes with an analysis of its internal relations from a musical perspective. The book is lavishly illustrated with Hogarth's drawings, prints and paintings. Many other images are reproduced to provide contextual background. Several indices and appendices enhance the book's value as a reference tool: these include an annotated index of Hogarth's instruments, with photographs or other representations of the instruments he depicts; a detailed index of Hogarth's works with musical imagery; the texts and music for broadside ballads and single-sheet songs related to Hogarth's titles; 18th-century texts and street cries related to Hogarth's The Enraged Musician, and other musical examples indicated in the text. Also included is a facsimile of Bonnell Thornton's burlesque Ode on St Cęcilia's Day.

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