Catch and Glee Culture in Eighteenth-century England
The rise of the catch and glee in Georgian England represents a rare example of indigenous forms establishing themselves within a wide musical and social context. This study examines a phenomenon that has to date been largely overlooked by historians. Taking the 17th-century background as a starting point, it moves on to a detailed account of the clubs formed to propagate the two genres, placing them within the ambiance of the thriving club life of London and the provinces. The success of the London Catch Club and its emulators in encouraging the creation of a large and popular repertoire that would come to assume nationalistic significance is reflected by the incursion of the catch and glee into mainstream concert life and the theatre. The volume concludes with a discussion of the glee in relation to the aesthetics of the period and a brief survey of its subsequent reputation among musicians and historians.