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The impact of the introduction of girl choristers at Salisbury and its influence on other British Anglican cathedral choirs

Stewart, Claire Elizabeth; (2021) The impact of the introduction of girl choristers at Salisbury and its influence on other British Anglican cathedral choirs. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis has been to examine the effects that the introduction of girl choristers has had on the all-male tradition that hitherto characterised the Anglican cathedral choir. Arguably, the future of any tradition relies on the success of the present generation for its survival and continuity. That should not imply that the tradition remains identical as in past generations, but rather that a tradition should be able to respond and, if necessary, embrace new ideas. The thesis provides an historical context for the widely reported and seemingly ground-breaking initiative at Salisbury Cathedral in the early 1990s. Through the analysis of contemporary texts, related literature, interviews, a small-scale survey and three illustrative in-depth case studies (Salisbury, Lincoln and Lichfield), the thesis reviews the background to this choral development and explores the immediate and subsequent impact across the sector. The initiative at Salisbury was not (and in some instances is still not) without controversy and so opportunity is taken in the text to rehearse examples of these conflicting views by drawing on contemporary commentary, in part by using the lens of Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). Notwithstanding these cultural dissonances, by 2020, nearly all the Anglican cathedrals have introduced girls' choirs to share the responsibility of sung services with boys across the liturgical year, occasionally combining for special festivals and musical events, such as concerts and broadcasts. In each instance, the boys' choir has continued and the evidence suggests that there is now commonly mutual recognition of the value of having separate choirs of girls as well as boys – a value that is both musical as well as social and cultural.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The impact of the introduction of girl choristers at Salisbury and its influence on other British Anglican cathedral choirs
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122161
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