Our first meeting of 2012 is this weekend (Feb. 11) and we will be discussing “Music and influence on Jane Austen.” In this month’s newsletter Meredith included an article on Regency era music:
To be considered accomplished in Regency England, a young gentle- woman must be proficient in playing an instrument and singing. Evening entertainments often featured a display of the musical talents of the young ladies in attendance.
During the Regency Era, England was the center of pianoforte manufacture. In 1812, “The Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufac- tures, Fashions and Politics” described pianofortes as “instruments of refined entertainment … an indispensable article for apartments…” They featured a hand-colored print of a pianoforte from the extensive variety in the stock of Messrs. Wilkinson and Wornum of Ox- ford Street. The elegant instrument was six to seven feet in height, three feet nine inches wide, and twenty-one inches deep. This piano- forte was finished in mahogany and highly ornamented but was also available in rosewood and brass. “For touch, it is unrivalled, and in its adaptation to the voice, it is extremely happy, particularly that with two unisons or strings to one note.”
To read more of this article please see our February Newsletter.