Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses

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    The first sixty years of music at St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, c. 1887-1947
    Harvie, Paul ( 1983)
    The choral foundation of St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne is unique in Australia and one of very few outside the British Isles. The tradition of the Daily Office sung by a professional choir of boys and men has long existed in English cathedrals and collegiate chapels, but the transference of the tradition, even to British colonies in the nineteenth century, was anything but automatic. The revival of English choral music which had followed in the wake of the Oxford Movement earlier in the century must have provided considerable impetus at the time, but musical foundations were less easily set up in new places than maintained in the old ones. St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne was opened for worship on January 22, 1891 with a new organ partly installed, an organist newly arrived from England, and a surpliced choir seated in the chancel. The choral foundation had been conceived as an integral part of the cathedral from the start, for it was the wish of the Chapter that the cathedral use "conform as far as possible to what is understood as cathedral use in England". It is a mark of the confidence of early Melbourne that, before the building was finished, an organist could be appointed and a choir formed, the revenue for which would have to come from general funds not yet available. There were no endowed canonries and no endowments for a choir school. There was also no resident cathedral community, no residential canons, in fact no one who lived on the site at all. The Bishop's palace and the deanery were both some distance away, the precentor lived away and, since the school was not a boarding school, there were no masters living in the close. All of these things were to make the daily choral worship more difficult than in a traditionally appointed cathedral with close and canons houses, deanery and palace and perhaps even accommodation for the lay clerks. Such difficulties were the price to be paid for a new cathedral on a central site in a city area already established. The object of this study is to examine the background to, and early development of, the musical foundation of St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne up to the end of Dr.A.E.Floyd's time there as organist in 1947. The study is based largely on accounts in The Church of England Messenger, a limited number of cathedral records, and two A.B.C. radio broadcasts on A.E.Floyd. These have been supplemented to a small extent with conversations with surviving musical associates of Floyd. A fuller account must await less restricted access to the cathedral records and the availability of Dr. Floyd's papers and library which have recently passed into the hands of his son, Dr. John Floyd, of Mornington. (From Introduction)