Records of the Scottish Musical Society
Scope and Contents
- Records of foundation and dissolution
- Minutes of meetings
- Membership records
- Financial records
- Papers relating to the Scottish Universities Commission
- Newspapers relating to the society
- Scottish Musical Society (1879-1900) (Organization)
Language of Materials
Biographical / Historical
The ambitions of the Society were to raise £3000, to found an Academy of Music in Edinburgh, to offer a musical education for Scottish students. They were keen to establish an orchestra of local musicians and that pupils from the new Academy would be drafted into it to encourage and train native musicians in the great masterpieces of orchestral music. Sufficient funds were never achieved.
In 1887 the suggestion was made that the Society should consider the “advisability of linking themselves and their academy … to the system of musical graduation … in the University of Edinburgh”. The opportunity for this link came in 1890 with the proposed reforms in the administration of the Reid Chair of Music at the University of Edinburgh being reviewed by the Scottish Universities Commission. At a meeting on 10 February 1890, it was resolved that the Society should formulate a scheme for musical education, to be submitted to the commissioners, which would more adequately reflect “the intentions of General Reid and the musical conditions of the time”. The Academy of Music for Scotland as envisaged by the founders of the Society never opened and despite attracting interest from across Europe for a conductor for a resident orchestra in Scotland this ambition was overtaken by events and the establishment in 1891 of the Scottish Orchestra in Glasgow.
In 1900, “having accomplished all that is possible with the means at its disposal” the Society was would up by voluntary liquidation. The committee advised that, “the balance in the hands of the liquidator” be expended in the purchase of books for presentation to the University of Edinburgh for the purposes of the Music Class Room library in connection with the Reid Chair of Music.
The three important legacies of the Society were the raising of awareness of the lack of facilities for music education in Scotland, their contributions to the reorganisation of the Reid Chair of Music and the establishment of the Faculty of Music in 1893-94 and the purchase of books and scores for the Reid Music Library, in the University of Edinburgh.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Records of the Scottish Musical Society