Musical Instruments

Alice has published several articles relating to collections of music and musical instruments. See her full Research page for details of other topics. The following journal article and three web articles all focus on musical instruments held in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

Summary of ''Captain Kennedy's Mandolin', and other English musical instruments at the University of Oxford's Pitt Rivers Museum', published in Journal of Museum Ethnography (23:117-128, 2010):

Objects can tell us as much about their collectors as about history and culture. This article looks at collecting at home, asking why collectors thought particular items worth preserving in their own time: was it simply because these objects had already survived for so long, or because the collector feared they might not last much longer?

Click here to read full article.

The Whit-Horn
In the first half of the nineteenth century it was traditional for Oxfordshire villages to celebrate Whit Monday with a hunt at Wychwood Forest. Whit-horns were played at dawn to wake the village for the hunt.

The full article is available to read online here.

This mandolin was once owned by Arthur A Kennedy, a music teacher who joined the army in 1916 and played this mandolin in the trenches of the First World War.

Upon his return to England Kennedy had the names of the battles in which he had fought painted down its side.

This article explores the story of the instrument between its creation and its accession in 1940, tracking its adventures and speculating on how the physical object also tells the story of its owner.

You can read the full article online here. This mandolin is the title object in the above journal article, 'Captain Kennedy's Mandolin'.

Whittle and Dub
The whittle-and-dub, whistle-and-drum, or pipe-and-tabor were instruments played simultaneously by one musician to accompany morris dancing until the mid-nineteenth century.

Find out more by reading the full article here.

< Back