The Marketing of Concerts in London 1672–1749

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Purpose – This paper explores the nature of the marketing of concerts 1672–1749 examining innovations in the promotion and commodification of music which are witness to the early development of music as a business.
Methodology/approach – It takes as its basis 4356 advertisements for concerts in newspapers published in London between 1672 and 1749.
Findings – Concert promoters instigated a range of marketing strategies in an effort to attract an audience which foreground those found in more recent and current arts marketing practice. Musicians promoted regular concerts with a clear sense of programme planning to appeal to their audience, held a variety of different types of concerts, and made use of a variety of pricing strategies. Concerts were held at an increasing number and range of venues and complementary ticket-selling locations.
Originality/value – Whilst there is some literature investigating seventeenth- and eighteenth-century concert-giving from a musicological perspective (James, 1987; Johnstone, 1997; McVeigh, 1989a; 1989b; 1993; 2001; Weber, 1975; 2001; 2004b; 2004a; 2004c; Wollenberg, 1981-82; 2001; Wollenberg and McVeigh, 2004), research which uses marketing as a window onto the musical culture of concert-giving in this period lacks detail (McGuinness, 1988; 2004a; 2004b; McGuinness and Diack Johnstone, 1990; Ogden et al., 2011). This paper illustrates how the development of public commercial concerts made of music a commodity offered to and demanded by a new breed of cultural consumers. Music thus participated in the commercialisation of leisure in late seventeenth- and eighteenth century England and laid the foundations of its own development as a business.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th Biennial Conference on Historical Analysis & Research in Marketing (CHARM)
EditorsW Val Larsen
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
Event19th Biennial Conference on Historical Analysis & Research in Marketing (CHARM): Exploring Identity Building: Marketing History as an Instrument of Transformation - Ottawa, Canada
Duration: 16 May 201919 May 2019
Conference number: 19


Conference19th Biennial Conference on Historical Analysis & Research in Marketing (CHARM)
Abbreviated titleCHARM
Internet address


  • Marketing history
  • Marketing concerts
  • Music business
  • Commercialisation of leisure

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