Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


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Arts, Performing arts studies, Musicology

Publication Details

Thesis submitted for the degree of the Dublin Institute of Technology, February 2012.


This thesis examines and analyses the contents of the Mercer’s Hospital Music
Collection. The collection includes fifty manuscript and seven printed volumes of
music containing works by Handel, Greene, Boyce, Purcell, Corelli, Humfrey, Avison,
Barsanti, Stanley and Festing. Selected works were performed at the Mercer’s Hospital
benefit concerts, established in April 1736 to provide important financial support to the
hospital, which opened on Stephen Street, Dublin in 1734. Mercer’s was the first
voluntary Dublin hospital to initiate a series of benefit concerts. The Mercer’s benefit
concerts attracted the participation of a wide range of Dublin-based performers, both
singers and instrumentalists. The surviving contents of the hospital’s eighteenthcentury
music collection raise several questions in terms of source studies. The
Mercer’s Hospital Music Collection is one of the most significant eighteenth-century
music collections surviving in Ireland and its examination reveals important information
about musical life and performance practice in eighteenth-century Dublin, setting the
contents of the collection within the wider context of extant sources for works by
George Frideric Handel, Maurice Greene and William Boyce.

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