Abstract

abstract:

The artifacts of slavery are not only the manacles, branding irons, and whips, or the slaves' own possessions, but also the musical scores and instruments funded by slavery's profits. Like other wealthy families, those that engaged directly in the slave economy sought to enjoy the best cultural offerings of the day, which included hiring musicians to entertain and to teach, and purchasing manuscripts and printed scores of favorite works. This article offers two examples of Handel-related manuscripts that were purchased in part thanks to profits derived from the slave economy: the "Granville" Collection at the British Library, and the first performing score of Messiah now held by the Bodleian Library, Oxford. No cordon sanitaire protected music collecting from slavery's stain.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-150X
Print ISSN
0027-4380
Pages
pp. 27-37
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-18
Open Access
No
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