Communication in Eighteenth-Century Music by Danuta Mirka, Kofi Agawu

By Danuta Mirka, Kofi Agawu

Written by way of ten major students, this quantity assembles experiences of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century tune lower than the huge rubric of conversation. That such an impulse motivates musical composition and function during this interval of ecu musical heritage is usually said yet seldom tested intensive. The booklet explores a wide set of matters, starting from the exigencies of the marketplace for books and song within the eighteenth century via to the deployment of dance topoi in musical composition. a couple of shut readings of person works by way of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven draw on a cosmopolitan physique of historically-appropriate technical assets to light up theories of shape, metre, bass strains and dance topoi. scholars and students of song heritage, idea and research will locate during this quantity a collection of tough, cutting-edge essays that might stimulate debate approximately musical which means and engender additional examine.

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From the beginning of the century, British newspapers advertised such guides for domestic musicians as The Compleat Tutor to the Violin,27 providing a link between the realms of public and private music making. 30 One major institution was the Academy of Ancient Music which had been set up in 1726;31 by 1776, with the founding of the Concert of Antient Music, both institutions had gone some considerable way to establishing a canon in British musical life. William Weber argues that this canon, supplanting 21 22 pau l c o b l e y a general neophilia in British musical consumption, was to have a heavy impact on the musical public sphere since ‘the repertories and ideas established around music by Purcell, Corelli, and Handel laid the basis for the pantheon of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and J.

Communication, genre and verisimilitude Clearly, genres can be considered as collections of specific kinds of text. These might include musical ‘texts’, too, such as string quartets or symphonies. Genre has customarily been discussed in this way, especially since the second part of the twentieth century. Yet, it would be a mistake to imagine, as has traditionally been the case, that genres can be identified simply by examining some formal qualities of texts. Rather, genre should be understood as a set of expectations on the part of audiences;45 these expectations are sufficiently prominent in audiences’ minds, and prompted by numerous cues, that they impute a great deal of flexibility in the process by which a text might be said to be part of a genre (although there may be some insuperable limiting factors, too, such as the mode of enunciation – a quartet of players would find it difficult to perform a symphony, for instance).

We must not forget, too, that the average Georgian gentleman regularly participated in a form of music-making, however humble, when he sang with his friends in the tavern. 35 Nor was the literate British music aficionado bereft of supporting discourse. Love notes that the famous gentleman scholars, Dr Charles Burney and Sir John Hawkins, with their histories, contributed to the canon of music in Britain – Burney in particular leaning towards Europe – but also to general discussion. For Love, the evolution from private to public is always accompanied by the creation of reading matter and, in addition to histories of music, he points to the growth of periodicals and their predilection for music reviews aimed at the connoisseur and amateur performer.

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