Bath: a Musical History

The social history of Bath is also its musical history, and it’s a tale worth telling.

From the days of Beau Nash, when the spa was instituted, a band has been part of the set-up, because music has healing powers, as everyone knows! In fact, eighteenth-century Bath was one of the best places for musicians to earn a living; this led to a ruthless contest for control, waged by the likes of Thomas Linley ‘the English Mozart’ and William Herschel the musical astronomer. Visits by Handel, Haydn and Paganini enlivened the scene, as Bath repeatedly reinvented itself to keep pace with the times.

The city has always nurtured the very best in music, as witness the present-day Festival; while in the ballroom and pump room Beau Nash’s band has played on, as minuets and gavottes evolve into ‘palm court’.


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