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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The British choral tradition is rooted in its ancient cathedrals and chapels, where the office of Evensong is sung, often daily. In addition, choral societies are to be found in most localities where singers come together and perform some of the major works in the western canon. Although singing itself occurs in a variety of forms this chapter looks at conductor-led choral singing. It does not give a fulsome picture of UK choral conducting and singing. Nonetheless, through a brief history starting from the John Curwen’s tonic sol-fa ideas for singing and culminating in a 20th century choral music renaissance; through an analysis of the English choral tradition; through a consideration of revivals of UK singing such as “Sing Up”; and through questionnaires and interviews with conductors and singers, the chapter explores some of the personal, cultural and sociological, educational, and musical issues and interests that can be found in the United Kingdom now.

Keywords: Evensong, John Curwen, 20th century choral music, English choral tradition, “Sing Up”

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