piano, poetry, music, harp, song, stage, publishing, print, Goldsmith, Moore, Tighe.
This chapter proposes that divorcing poetry from music between 1780-1830 is to mutilate its meaning. Indeed, the proximity of poetry and music increased as both the space and the market for domestic performances grew, fed and facilitated by an explosion in printed publications and new instrumental technologies. The demand for chamber music, and for song above all, became seemingly insatiable, from both players and audiences. On stage and in the home, poetry was pressed into service to cope with the astonishing boom in music publishing, and in particular, an exponential growth in piano manufacture and music. This could not help but exert pressure on poetry’s making, in terms of form, imagery, and tone, as well as on its reception by readers and audiences: a listening audience became integral to poetry’s self-image. That this movement emerged alongside revivals in ideas about old Irish music and minstrelsy, and stage shows in which music and Irish culture were indelibly linked, left its mark on poems from Charlotte Brooke and Sydney Owenson to Mary Tighe and Thomas Moore.