This book breaks new ground in the social and cultural history of eighteenth-century music in Britain through the study of a hitherto neglected resource, the lists of subscribers that were attached to a wide variety of publications, including musical works. These lists shed considerable light on the nature of those who subscribed to music, including their social status, place of employment, residence, and musical interests. Through broad analysis of subscription data, the contributors reveal insights into social and economic changes during the period, and the types of music favoured by groups like music clubs, the aristocracy, the clergy, and by men and women. With chapters on female composers and listeners, music and the slave economy, musical patronage, the print trade, and nationality, this book provides innovative perspectives that enhance our understanding of music’s social spheres, the emergence of music publishing, and the potential of digital musicology research.

chapter 1|18 pages


part Section 1|92 pages

The production of musical works by subscription

chapter 5|20 pages

Publishing music by subscription in eighteenth-century Edinburgh

John Watlen and his collections of Circus Tunes 1

chapter 6|18 pages

William Felton and John Pixell

The musical circles of the vicar composer

part Section 2|131 pages

The consumption of music published by subscription

chapter 1127|18 pages

Gentry, servants, and musicians

A network of subscribers in north-east England

chapter 9|25 pages

A big data study

Musical societies in subscription lists

chapter 10|21 pages

Strathspeys, reels, and instrumental airs

A national product

chapter 11|23 pages

Profiting from the slave economy and subscribing to music

The British experience in the eighteenth century