Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy to Technological University Dublin, Conservatory of Music and Drama, 2017.


This dissertation provides an investigation of British provincial cello playing in the lateeighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries through a comprehensive examination of the biographical histories and the pedagogical outputs of the cellists and cello treatise authors, Johann Georg Christoph Schetky (1737–1824), Joseph Reinagle (1752–1825) and John Gunn (c.1765–1823). Through re-evaluation and analysis of the biographical profiles of Schetky, Reinagle and Gunn, in combination with a contextual review of their cello treatises, a provincial trend in British cello treatise authorship has been revealed. Schetky was principal cellist with the Edinburgh Musical Society [EMS], whilst Reinagle was principal cellist of the Oxford Musical Society, after starting his career as a violinist with the EMS. Less is known of the performance profile of John Gunn, however analysis of his cello treatises reveals considerable evidence regarding his career path. The diverse musical careers of Schetky, Reinagle and Gunn provide the opportunity to examine a wealth of topics relating to the education, role, career trajectories and social status of the provincial cellist.

Schetky, Reinagle and Gunn were amongst a small group of provincial cellists who were the first to publish cello treatises in Britain. The works of Gunn also demonstrate a market for advanced cello technical works, together with additional historical references that appealed to the educated gentleman amateur audience. The study concludes with a contextual and comparative review of the treatises of Schetky, Reinagle and Gunn, establishing the central role provincial cellists undertook in the development of cello pedagogy and in the early promotion of the instrument in Britain.