chapter
5 Pages

Introduction

Music publishing, by its very nature, involves a relationship with the social, economic, and artistic fabric of musical life. The period of Alfred Novello's management was marked by the most prolific economic, demographic, and industrial growth England had ever experienced: the close of the Georgian period and the advent of Victoria's reign brought with it a move from an agrarian-based to an industrially focused society. During Alfred's tenure, from 1829 to 1866, Novello's evolved from a small family enterprise to become one of the leading music publishers in England by the middle of the century, and it is this period of growth and integration into the fabric of Victorian musical life that will be of main interest to this study. Many publishing histories have tended to focus on the relationship of a publisher to a specific composer, examined in large part from the viewpoint of the composer, and to bypass the extramusical issue of the marketplace and economic environment.