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Defining the Discographic SelfDesert Island Discs in Context$
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Julie Brown, Nicholas Cook, and Stephen Cottrell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266175

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266175.001.0001

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Musicianly lives musically told: Oral history, classical music, and Desert Island Discs

Musicianly lives musically told: Oral history, classical music, and Desert Island Discs

Chapter:
(p.257) 13 Musicianly lives musically told: Oral history, classical music, and Desert Island Discs
Source:
Defining the Discographic Self
Author(s):

Stephen Cottrell

, Julie Brown, Nicholas Cook, Stephen Cottrell
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266175.003.0020

Musicians form a notably large subset of Desert Island Discs castaways, perhaps because, in a programme devoted to the relationship between music and autobiography, the personal histories of those who actually produce music are thought to be of particular interest. This chapter examines the changing proportions of different types of musicians appearing on the programme, before focusing particularly on interviews with classical musicians, who form by far the largest group of musician castaways overall. I view these interviews as having the qualities of oral history testimonies. They provide not only information on the lives and livelihoods of particular individuals, but also insights into subjects that otherwise risk being passed over, such as the oral/aural tradition of classical music, and the myths and myth-making through which it is in part perpetuated.

Keywords:   oral history, classical music, musicians, oral tradition, aural tradition, myths

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