Sir Arthur Somervell on Music Education: His Writings, Speeches and Letters

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The composer Arthur Somervell was also an Inspector of Schools with special responsibility for the teaching of music. His collected writings set forth his philosophy of music education and cast light on musical life between the 1890s and his death in 1937.

Sir Arthur Somervell (1863-1937), composer and educationist, influenced the musical and educational life of England over four decades. Remembered today principally as an accomplished composer of songs and choral works, he also worked for twenty-eight years as one of His Majesty's Inspectors of Schools (HMI), with special responsibility for the teaching of music. Towards the end of his life Somervell gathered together a number of his articles, in whichhe expounds a passionate philosophy of music education, makes candid remarks about musical life and musical education in England, and provides insights into the sometimes bitter debate with Cecil Sharp about folk song. These collected writings have now been prepared for publication by Gordon Cox, together with some unpublished speeches and letters, enabling musicologists and music educators to re-evaluate the significance of Somervell's contribution to the musical and educational life of his time. GORDON COX is senior lecturer in education at the University of Reading.

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Boydell & Brewer Ltd
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