Broadcaster and writer Suzy Klein explores the remarkable music that became the soundtrack to the roaring 18th century.
As money poured in from a flourishing trade empire, the British rediscovered a taste for pleasure and fun, and music was at the very centre of it. Aspiring young girls played the keyboard to attract a good husband and nothing beat dancing a minuet if you wanted a place in the best society.
Europe's best composers and performers descended upon Britain, certain that the 'rage for music' would make them rich. Music had become a tool for social mobility, but it was also starting to shape the physical fabric of Britain - concert halls, assembly rooms and pleasure gardens sprang up across the country as the thirst for entertainment grew.