Writing Music

Peter Stead explores the role of music in classic novels.


01Pride And Prejudice2000041120001211

He enters the world of Jane Austen's `Pride and Prejudice' with musician Derek McCulloch, actor Judith French and historical dance expert Madeleine Inglehearn to investigate Mr Darcy's observation that `a woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing and dancing'.

02The Old Curiosity Shop2000041820001218

In `The Old Curiosity Shop', Charles Dickens indulges his passion for popular entertainment and music through the character of Dick Swiveller. Stead looks at Dickens's musical world with Tim Healey, Andrew Sanders and Paul Schlicke as they follow the tragic journey of Little Nell.

03Under The Greenwood Tree2000042520010108

Thomas Hardy's rural idyll `Under the Greenwood Tree' reconstructs the musical world of early 19th-century rural Wessex, and in particular the threatened tradition of the Mellstock Band by the introduction of an organ to replace them at church services.

With musicians Bonny Sartin and Dave Townsend, and historian Jo Draper.

04A Room With A View2000050220010115

When E M Forster gives Lucy Honeychurch Beethoven's Op 111 piano sonata to play in `A Room with a View', he is setting her apart - emotionally and socially - from her fellow English tourists in Florence.

With Nicola Beauman, Tony Brown and John Florance.

Reader: Louise Breckon-Richards.

05Women In Love2000050920010122

In `Women in Love', D H Lawrence showed his anguish at the direction British culture was taking during the First World War, and had his characters dance to the music of the Russian ballet. Reader: Jody Elen Machin.

06 LASTGrace Notes2000051620010129

In `Grace Notes', Bernard Maclaverty paints the portrait of a young Belfast composer struggling to come to terms with her background, motherhood and artistry. His use of music, from the 17th century to the modern day, illustrates the artistic process and struggle. With the author, Frances Hendron and composer Deirdre Gribbin