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Dross? Dunghills? Or Musical Treasures? Rethinking Collectors and Collections of Seventeenth-Century Pop Songs
Los Angeles, 90095 United States + Google Map
Annual William & Lois Matthews Samuel Pepys Lecture
Angela McShane (Head of Research, Wellcome Collection; Associate Fellow, History, University of Warwick)
Pop-music collections are remarkable things: expressing individual taste and evidencing engagement with the products of the music industry, they become nostalgic compilations almost from the first moment of their construction. Judging how far an individual’s collection represents the popular music scene is relatively simple, since charts and catalogues, categorized by genre, ordered by performer, date of release and overall sales, offer a comprehensive overview. For the seventeenth century, our knowledge of the newly-burgeoning popular music industry has largely been built upon song collections created by the tastes and agendas of a very few known individuals including, of course, Samuel Pepys. This lecture explores how the collecting preferences and practices of these few men has skewed our understanding of the seventeenth-century popular music industry.