Joseph Mainzer (1801-1851) and the popularisation of choral singing in Britain

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Singing master Joseph Mainzer came to England in 1841 as a political refugee
from Germany. Through his music schools, his textbook Singing for the
Million, and his journal Mainzer’s Musical Times (today The Musical
Times) he contributed significantly to the popularisation of choral singing in
Britain. This essay takes Mainzer’s political background as a starting point to
investigate the complex relationship between refuge and artistic production. It
is argued that the latter was deeply informed by the former. Mainzer not only
transferred choral traditions but also a politicised concept of popular culture
which started to take hold in pre-revolutionary Vorma¨rz-Germany. The case
study is integrated into the larger framework of Anglo-German cultural
relations and political refuge in mid-nineteenth century Britain.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)152-170
Number of pages18
JournalImmigrants and Minorities
Issue number2-3
Early online date19 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Joseph Mainzer
  • Anglo-German cultural relations
  • intercultural transfer
  • music
  • choral singing


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