Thursday, 9 July 2015, 6:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

The History of Street Performance: ‘Music by handle’ and the Silencing of Street Musicians in the Metropolis

Dr Paul Simpson

A discussion of the history of busking and street music in the City of London. Drawing on a range of historic sources – including selections from Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the London Poor and Charles Babbage's Passages in the Life of a Philosopher – particular focus will be given to the way in which various residents of the City responded to the ‘street music problem’ of Victorian London. This is by far the most heavily documented period in the history of busking and street music in the City. The street music ‘problem’ emerged in light of the growing middle and literary classes and the disruption the presence such street musicians caused to the quiet tenor of their home-working lives.

The debates that occurred here – which involved notable figures such as Charles Dickens, Charles Leech, and Charles Babbage – resulted in the development of the Street Music Act of 1864 and paved the way for much of the subsequent legislative control of street musicians in the City. The debates about street performances in London in this period shed light on the present-day situation of busking and street music in the City.

This lecture will be delivered as a part of the 2015 City of London Festival.

 

speaker_paulsimpson.jpg.crop_display.jpg

Dr Paul Simpson is a Lecturer in Human Geography at Plymouth University. Over the past ten years he has carried out research on busking and street performance in various UK towns and cities, including actually performing in several of these locations. This research has been published in a range of academic journals and books. Dr Simpson is also currently a patron of the ‘Keep Streets Live Campaign’ and has worked with that organization in protecting and promoting the rights of street performers to make use of public spaces in carrying out the artistic activities.

Read More
Read Less

Transcript

9 July 2015

The History of Street Performance: ‘Music by handle’ and the Silencing of Street Musicians in the Metropolis
Dr Paul Simpson

View PDF
Print
Related Future Lectures
Related Past Lectures
WATCHED

London's Great Fire and its Aftermath

Dr Stephen Porter
Wednesday, 1 June 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Hans Holbein the Younger: 'a man very excellent in making of physionamies'

Dr Susan Foister
Monday, 6 June 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

The Criminal Mind: The relationships between criminology and psychology

Professor Gwen Adshead
Tuesday, 7 June 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

Universities: Some Policy Dilemmas

The Rt Hon the Baroness Blackstone
Thursday, 9 June 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Rubens and London

Dr Simon Thurley
Monday, 13 June 2016 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

Conspiracy Theories: A Threat to Democracy?

Professor Sir Richard Evans FBA
Thursday, 16 June 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Learning from History? The 1975 Referendum on Europe

Professor Vernon Bogdanor FBA CBE
Monday, 23 May 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Cultural Heritage and War

Sir Derek Plumbly KCMG
Thursday, 19 May 2016 - 2:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Five Catastrophes That Made London

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Theatre and Love: Tom Stoppard, 'The Real Thing'

Professor Belinda Jack
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sir Christopher Wren: Buildings, Place and Genius

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Theatre and Language: Samuel Beckett, 'Waiting for Godot'

Professor Belinda Jack
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Singapore at 50: Oil and Water - Inextricably Mixed

Lord Oxburgh
Monday, 13 July 2015 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Benefits of Singing in a Choir

Professor Graham Welch
Wednesday, 8 July 2015 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Replanning London after the Second World War

Professor Peter Larkham
Tuesday, 7 July 2015 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sir Christopher Wren and the Rebuilding of the City Churches after the Great Fire of London

Dr Anthony Geraghty
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Queen's Commonwealth: Monarchy and the End of Empire, 1945-2011

Professor Philip Murphy
Tuesday, 8 July 2014 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The History of the Bowler Hat

Timothy Long
Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Housing Crisis a Catastrophe that will rebuild London

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 6:30PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Blitz a Catastrophe that made London

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 6:25PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Railways a Catastrophe that made London

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 6:20PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Great Fire a Catastrophe that made London

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 6:15PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Reformation a Catastrophe that made London

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 6:10PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

16th Century London: Moving from a City to the City

Dr Simon Thurley
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 6:05PM