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Title: Divine Art: Three Musicians Reveal the Nature of the Profession in Early Twentieth-Century Australia
Contributor(s): Game-Lopata, Jennifer (author)
Publication Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1080/08145857.2012.681754
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Abstract: Review of Brennan Keats 'A Poet's Composer: The Biography of Horace Keats, 1895-1945' Wollongong, NSW: Wirripang, 2011, xiv, 246 pp. and 2 audio CDs ISBN 978 1 87682922 3, Lynne Douglas 'The Golden Age: Clive Douglas, Composer, Conductor' Wollongong, NSW: Wirripang, 2011, ii, 51 pp. and audio CD ISBN 978 1 87682921 6, and Patrick Thomas 'Upbeats and Downbeats: A Conductor's Life' Wollongong, NSW: Wirripang, 2010, x, 267 pp. ISBN 978 1 87682920 9. "Music is a divine art, but a dirty business" (George Bizet), muses Patrick Thomas in his autobiography 'Upbeats and Downbeats' (p. 180). There is a touch of bitterness in his recollections, born from the frustration of setbacks, rejection and bureaucratic insult he endures. This underlying theme is reflected in 'A Poet's Composer' and 'The Golden Age' biographies of composers Horace Keats and Clive Douglas, which were written by their children Brennan Keats and Lynne Douglas, respectively. The latter two books include representative CDs of compositions, and all three contain worthwhile general information about musical life for players, composers and conductors in Australia from 1917 to recent times. They present, almost as a subtext, history of the Australian Broadcasting Commission, later the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as the careers of all three men were inextricably linked with 'Aunty' (the ABC). While strong in their portrayal of the musician's dilemma, the books are, however, also united in their depiction of largely self-taught, highly motivated and dedicated Australians who leave valuable legacies to the nation.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Musicology Australia, 34(1), p. 111-115
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 0814-5857
Field of Research (FOR): 190406 Music Composition
190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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