The Rise of Musical Classics in Eighteenth-Century England: A Study in Canon, Ritual and Ideology

Overview


The English invented the idea of musical "classics". Eighteenth-century England was the first country where old musical works were performed regularly and reverentially, and where a collective notion of such works--"ancient music"--first appeared. This is the first book to explore the formation of musical classics in regard to repertory and social context. It examines the performance of old music in eighteenth-century England, from the interest in music of the Elizabethan period through the performance of works ...
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Overview


The English invented the idea of musical "classics". Eighteenth-century England was the first country where old musical works were performed regularly and reverentially, and where a collective notion of such works--"ancient music"--first appeared. This is the first book to explore the formation of musical classics in regard to repertory and social context. It examines the performance of old music in eighteenth-century England, from the interest in music of the Elizabethan period through the performance of works by Henry Purcell, Arcangelo Corelli, and other English and Italian composers, to the development of festivals that featured choral-orchestral works of Purcell and Handel. The book examines closely the political and social reasons for these developments. In addition, it shows how they laid the groundwork for the classical music tradition of the nineteenth century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Breaks much new ground, and at the same time provides a fascinating insight into the cultural life of the period....This pioneering work has clearly involved a prodigious amount of first-hand archival and other documentary research....The book...is cause for celebration. It deserves to be warmly welcomed."--Albion

"Weber's complex and fascinating exercise integrates musical with social, intellectual, and political history, boldly breaking important ground....It is wonderful in the intelligent breadth of its concerns and its truly impressive research....A delight for all serious students of 18th-century music and society....Recommended to both advanced undergraduate and graduate collections."--Choice

"A particularly welcome book....A welcome contribution to a new era in music scholarship that studies music as an intregal agent in political and social history."--Journal "of Modern History

"The book is...imaginative and provocative."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"[Weber's] study should prove a model to others studying canon-formation in music of later periods and different regions."--Eighteenth-Century Studies

"Weber's work is an ambitious, richly textured analysis that cuts a revealing wedge into the cliff-face of history, exposing strata of praxis, assumption and definition (among other facets) which have never before been clearly perceptible.... A book of rare distinction in music history."--Current Musicology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198166078
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 288
  • Lexile: 1560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
2 The Learned Tradition of Ancient Music 23
3 The Modern Classics: Corelli and Purcell 75
4 The Music Festival and the Oratorio Tradition 103
5 The Public of the Concert of Antient Music 143
6 The Repertory of the Concert of Antient Music 168
7 The Ideology of Ancient Music 198
8 The 1784 Handel Commemoration as Political Ritual 223
9 Conclusion 243
Appendix: Repertory of the Concert of Antient Music, 1776-1790 248
Bibliographical Suggestions 258
Index 262
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