Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Alan Walker




This study focuses on the contemporary newspaper music critic. Much of the information it contains was gathered through a series of live interviews and written correspondence with critics. This material was then cross-referenced with material derived from other critical readings listed in the bibliography. The preliminary chapters provide a brief history of North American criticism. The second chapter is two-fold; the first part examining critics' responses to the questionnaire and the second part examining their critical writings. Subsequent chapters look at the critics' approaches to reviewing new music, and possible future directions for music criticism. The final chapter also touches on the sociological position of the media in the classical music world. During the course of the study my perceptions on the validity and nature of music newspaper criticism changed drastically. I did not embark on the study with the same scepticism of opinion with which I finished it. The formation of the questionnaire and the live interviews were therefore carried out as objectively as is possible and without the sceptical frame of mind with which I concluded this study.


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