Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Thomas Bewick and Music: “an emanation from heaven”

Mr. Kinloch's Ball
Originally uploaded by Bewick Society
Last night at the Brunswick Methodist Church Dr Peter Quinn gave a lecture entitled "Thomas Bewick and music: “an emanation from heaven”" The lecture formed part of the Tercentenary celebrations of the Newcastle composer Charles Avison.

In 1770, the year of Charles Avison’s death Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) was an apprentice engraver at the workshop of Ralph Beilby. Situated at Amen Corner to the south of St. Nicholas Church, the workshop placed the young Bewick at the centre of the commercial and cultural heart of Newcastle. He heard a wide-range of music at this time and developed a number of life-long musical enthusiasms. The lecture highlighted those early musical connections and described the importance of music in Bewick’s view of nature and art.

The illustration is a Copperplate etching by Robert Bewick of a drawing by Thomas Bewick for Alexander Kinloch, a local dancing master, c.1812. The musician on the right could be Robert Bewick.

Click on the image to go to the Flikr page where you will find two further illustrations used in the lecture: pages from John Peacock's "A Favourite Collection of Tunes with Variations Adapted for the Northumberland Small Pipes, Violin, or Flute".

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