The history of New Zealand from 1840 to 1920 contains a significant number of important personalities who are largely invisible in histories of music in New Zealand.  This website aims to remedy that omission by documenting the contribution of these musical notables to New Zealand’s musical and cultural life.   Although the primary focus is the individuals’ musical activities while in New Zealand, as many came and/or left New Zealand during the span of their careers, links will be provided to information available on their activities elsewhere.  

The site is intended to be continually developing, with further information always being added. There is no particular significance to the order in which ‘Notables’ are added, nor have we attempted to capture every reference to the “Notables” included. Rather, we are intending to bring to the attention of those interested in New Zealand’s music history some of the characters which have added to the richness of that history, point them to some further resources and hope that others too might also be drawn to explore the activities and contributions these people made to New Zealand’s musical life.

“New Zealand’s Musical Notables” covers those composing, publishing and selling printed text-based music and those making and/or selling musical instruments.  It does not cover the oral tradition of music in New Zealand.  The curators retain copyright in the written material contained in the website but are happy to have it used if the source is cited.  However, some copyright images have been used with permission of the owner so are not available to reproduce.  Please contact us if you would like more information on this.  We welcome comments and suggestions using our Contact page.    

This site is curated by…

Dr Clare Gleeson

Dr Elizabeth Nichol

Home page illustrations (from left to right):
1. George West
2. Comedy Gavotte by Leon-Bois
3. Charles Begg’s Dunedin shop
4. Alice Rowley