The Musical Home Journal was published by Cassell’s between 1904 and 1908. It was aimed not at the professional performer, but rather the home amateur. Most of these would be enthusiastic self taught musicians playing at home simply for the love of music. With little opportunity to take lessons, these amateurs needed music suitable for their limited abilities.

The aims of MHJ and its intended market were in line with those of John Cassell’s earliest publications. “Working Man’s Friend”, first published in 1850, was a weekly magazine aiming to educate its readers in a manner sympathetic to the life of working-class people. From 1852 “Popular Educator” inspired readers to continue their education in local classes, with Cassell offering practical and financial help where needed.

Like any other business Cassell’s no doubt hoped for a profitable venture.  A variety of factors may have influenced their belief that there was a market for the magazine.  These include:



Music Hall

Piano Ownership



British Music Hall – An Illustrated History, Richard Anthony Baker, Sutton Publishing, 2005

Turned Out Nice Again – A History of British Light Entertainment, Louis Balfe, Atlantic Books, 2008

Real Wages And Labour Productivity In Britain And Germany 1871-1938, Stephen Broadberry and Carsten Burhop, Max-Planck Institute, June 2009.  Accessed 26/07/2015 at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/sbroadberry/wp/solgeruk7a.pdf

The UK Piano Teacher in the Twenty First Century, Sally Cathcart, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Institute of Education, University of London, August 2013.   Accessed  07/08/2015 at http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/18208/

Music Hall In Britain, DF Cheshire, David and Charles, 1974

Music Publishing, Copyright and Piracy in Victorian England, James Coover, Mansell Publishing Limited, 1985

Biography of John Curwen, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.  Accessed 26/03/2016 at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/6967?docPos=1

Biography of John Hullah, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.  Accessed 26/03/2016 at http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/14112

Harry Lauder’s Honour – The King’s Appreciation, Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 12 September 1908.  Accessed 14/09/2015 at http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000206%2f19080912%2f080

Piano Roles, James Parakilas et al, Yale University Press, 2001

Edwardian Popular Music, Ronald Pearsall, David & Charles, 1975

Victorian Popular Music, Ronald Pearsall, David and Charles, 1973

The Rise of Popular Music Education in Nineteenth-Century England, Bernarr Rainbow, in Victorian Studies, Vol. 30, No. 1, Music in Victorian Society and Culture (Autumn, 1986), pp. 25-49  Accessed 13/03/2016 at http://www.jstor.org/stable/3828198?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Popular Music in England 1840- 1914, Dave Russell, 2nd Ed, Manchester University Press, 1997

Light Music in Britain since 1870, Geoffrey Self, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2001

How The Slipper-Maker’s Daughter Got A Diploma, Percy A Scholes, The Musical Times, Vol 71 No 1044 February 1 1930

The Mirror of Music 1844-1944, Percy A Scholes, Novello & Company Limited, 1947