Thesis submission ID 929 | created | last updated

Lauren Farquharson, The British College of Accordionists promotion of the accordion in 20th-century Britain
PhD, Dundalk Institute of Technology, in progress

Supervisor(s): Dr Ann Marie Hanlon & Georgina Hughes

General specialism: Musicology
Historical timeframe: 1900-2000.
Key terms, concepts: historiography; cultural studies; qualitative studies; thematic analysis.
Key terms, persons: Dr O.H. Meyer; Albert Davison; Ivor Beynon; Francis Wright; Rosemary Wright.
Key terms, places: Britain; London; Malta; America; Australia; New Zealand.
Key terms, institutions: British College of Accordionists.
Key terms, genres, instruments: accordion, accordion repertoire, classical music.

This thesis will provide an appraisal of the classical accordion’s emergence in Britain during the 20th century as exemplified by the British College of Accordionists (BCA). It will situate the accordion within the contemporary narrative of academic discourse on the professionalisation and institutionalisation of music, in which the accordion has received limited academic research. It will primarily investigate the main individuals that contributed to the development of the accordion in Britain during the 20th century. Specifically, it will explore the impact of the BCA in standardising, professionalising, and legitimising the accordion in Britain. This study seeks to situate the development of the classical accordion into British music history.
A clear context will be provided into the institutionalisation of music in Britain from the 19th century onwards. This will be achieved by studying musical institutions such as the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, Trinity College of London and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools. Furthermore, a historical account of the BCA’s formation from 1935 to the close of the 20th century will be appraised. This historical study will employ methods such as historiography, cultural studies, qualitative approaches, archiving, cataloguing and thematic analysis. The combination of these methods will convey the evolution of the BCA from the angle of several meta themes including promotion, development, examination, education and professionalisation. Within these meta themes, secondary themes will be presented comprising syllabi development, promotion within repertoire, educational courses, hierarchy within the BCA’s institutional set up, standardisation and the creation of an accordion community. Overall, by presenting the most resonating themes within the institution’s formation a clear picture of BCA’s importance in promoting the accordion in Britain during the 20th century will be formed.

Related publications:
Accordion Anthology 2 by Rob Howard
Thesis submission ID 929