The Soundscapes of Eighteenth-Century Elections

Long eighteenth-century elections were noisy and frequently musical affairs. This exhibition recreates some of the music of elections, from the reign of Queen Anne to shortly before the Reform Act; from Liverpool to London; and from the worlds of street campaigning to the ‘polite’ ballroom. In these varied settings, songs and music fuelled the electoral engagement of voters and non-voters who heard, sung, read, and danced to these forms. This exhibition uses text, audio, material culture, and video to recapture the sounds, as well as the sights, of pre-Reform elections, and their multi-media, participatory aspects.