Redmond O'Toole, Hudleston’s Harmonic Sounds: An Evaluation of Josiah Hudleston’s 1841 Treatise on Guitar Harmonics (DMusPerf, Royal Irish Academy of Music, 2020)

These details defined Tue Dec 15 16:42:14 2020  edit
 Author:  O'Toole, Redmond 
 Title:  Hudleston’s Harmonic Sounds: An Evaluation of Josiah Hudleston’s 1841 Treatise on Guitar Harmonics 
 Degree, institution:  DMusPerf, Royal Irish Academy of Music 
 Status, year:  accepted, 2020 
 Volumes, pp.:  1 vol (viii, 227pp.) + 15 videos  
 Supervisor(s):  Denise Neary  
 Repository:  Royal Irish Academy of Music Library . 
 General specialism:  Musicology: Performance Studies  
 Content, key terms:  Persons:
Genres, instruments: 
Josiah Andrew Hudleston,1799-1865
Guitar harmonics

Josiah Andrew Hudleston (1799-1865) was a forgotten figure in the history of guitar until the early 1990s when his collection of guitar music was re-discovered in the basement of the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. His collection is now one of the largest in the world and holds over one thousand prints and over eight hundred manuscripts. Hudleston was part of a family of civil servants working for the East India Company. He spent the majority of his adult life living in Madras where he followed a steady career path, becoming the Chief Tax Collector in Madras in 1841. He returned to his native England in 1855 before retiring to Killiney, Dublin, a year later. Shortly after his death in 1865, his widow left his collection of guitar music, methods and theory books to the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. The collection is like no other due to the fact that Hudleston collected the work of his contemporaries and it contains works by all of the main guitarist-composers of the period. In addition there are also numerous compositions from Hudleston himself as well as his ‘Treatise of Harmonic Sounds’.

No other method or publication has gone into such detail on the subject of harmonics either before or since. This document gives us a new insight into nineteenth-century guitar technique that will be a worthy asset to the study of authentic guitar performance. The treatise is unpublished and has to date only been viewed by a handful of people. In this dissertation Hudleston’s treatise will be examined and compared to the advice of his contemporaries with comment on the originality of his ideas. In response to this thesis twenty-first-century performers may have to reevaluate their execution of harmonics in the romantic guitar repertoire.