An evaluation of the teaching career of Sir Herbert Brewer (Organist of Gloucester Cathedral, 1896 – 1928) with particular reference to his articled pupils

Carpenter, Simon (2018) An evaluation of the teaching career of Sir Herbert Brewer (Organist of Gloucester Cathedral, 1896 – 1928) with particular reference to his articled pupils. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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The main focus of this study is to evaluate the educational philosophy and influence on the careers of his teenage articled pupils of Herbert Brewer, the Organist of Gloucester Cathedral between 1896 and 1928. This involves analysing his approach to teaching with the evidence drawn principally from his memoirs, a prosopographic analysis of his traced pupils and the recorded experiences of his other traced pupils. Its primary aims are to challenge the reported negative experiences of his three more widely recognised articled pupils, Ivor Gurney, Herbert Howells and Ivor Novello and put them in context. Two main methods are used, the textual analysis of primary sources and a prosopographic analysis of seventeen traced articled pupils. The research reveals that many of the accepted (negative) ‘truths’ about Brewer’s relationship with Gurney, Howells and Novello most probably were not like they are now accepted at all. Another significant finding is that Brewer was by vocation a teacher and that many of his pupils and employers found him to be inspirational and caring. He was not just an organist who happened to also teach, for several years he taught in the rather less than encouraging surroundings of a boys public school. It was also revealed through the research that none of the three famous pupils came from secure family backgrounds but came from difficult circumstances which made them potentially very challenging students for Brewer to mentor. All four key players in my research were major contributors to 20th century culture. The research is helping us to have a fuller, more rounded, picture of them as people and gifted individuals and Brewer’s vital role in the lives and careers of Gurney, Howells and Novello.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sir Herbert Brewer, Organist Gloucester Cathedral 1896-1928; British music history; Ivor Gurney; Ivor Novello; Herbert Howells
Related records:
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2019 14:04
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:54

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