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Did you know that Beethoven contemplated, however fleetingly, writing more than forty symphonies and that for the Missa Solemnis he sought stimulus from a Latin-German dictionary? And what about the underappreciated sociable side of Beethoven's music to set alongside the familiar one of the heroic? Beethoven Studies 4 is a collection of ten chapters that approach the composer and his music from an appealing range of critical standpoints, aesthetic, analytical, biographical, historical and performance. Alongside essays that offer new information on Beethoven's compositional practice and broaden understanding of the music's contemporary and posthumous appeal, there are essays on his interaction with specific environments, Bonn and post-Napoleonic Austria, and vocal and piano performance practice. The volume will appeal to cultural historians and practitioners as well as Beethoven enthusiasts.
Since their first performances in 1960, The Beatles' cultural influence grew in unparalleled ways. From Liverpool to Beatlemania, and from dance halls to Abbey Road Studios and the digital age, the band's impact exploded during their heyday, and has endured in the decades following their disbandment. Beatles fashion and celebrity culture, politics, psychedelia and the Summer of Love, all highlight different aspects of the band's complex relationship with the world around them. With a wide range of short, snapshot chapters, The Beatles in Context brings together key themes in which to better explore The Beatles' lives and work and understand their cultural legacy, focusing on the people and places central to The Beatles' careers, the visual media that contributed to their enduring success, and the culture and politics of their time.
Those whose thoughts of musical theatre are dominated by the Broadway musical will find this book a revelation. From the 1850s to the early 1930s, when urban theatres sought to mount glamorous musical entertainment, it was to operetta that they turned. It was a form of musical theatre that crossed national borders with ease and was adored by audiences around the world. This collection of essays by an array of international scholars examines the key figures in operetta in many different countries. It offers a critical and historical study of the widespread production of operetta and of the enthusiasm with which it was welcomed. Furthermore, it challenges nationalistic views of music and approaches operetta as a compositional genre. This Cambridge Companion contributes to a widening appreciation of the music of operetta and a deepening knowledge of the cultural importance of operetta around the world.
The impact of digital technologies on music has been overwhelming: since the commercialisation of these technologies in the early 1980s, both the practice of music and thinking about it have changed almost beyond all recognition. From the rise of digital music making to digital dissemination, these changes have attracted considerable academic attention across disciplines,within, but also beyond, established areas of academic musical research. Through chapters by scholars at the forefront of research and shorter 'personal takes' from knowledgeable practitioners in the field, this Companion brings the relationship between digital technology and musical culture alive by considering both theory and practice. It provides a comprehensive and balanced introduction to the place of music within digital culture as a whole, with recurring themes and topics that include music and the Internet, social networking and participatory culture, music recommendation systems, virtuality, posthumanism, surveillance, copyright, and new business models for music production.
The Rolling Stones are one of the most influential, prolific, and enduring Rock and Roll bands in the history of music. This groundbreaking, specifically commissioned collection of essays provides the first dedicated academic overview of the music, career, influences, history, and cultural impact of the Rolling Stones. Shining a light on the many communities and sources of knowledge about the group, this Companion brings together essays by musicologists, ethnomusicologists, players, film scholars, and filmmakers into a single volume intended to stimulate fresh thinking about the group as they vault well over the mid-century of their career. Threaded throughout these essays are album- and song-oriented discussions of the landmark recordings of the group and their influence. Exploring new issues about sound, culture, media representation, the influence of world music, fan communities, group personnel, and the importance of their revival post-1989, this collection greatly expands our understanding of their music.
Music criticism has played a fundamental and influential role throughout music history, with numerous composers such as Berlioz, Schumann, and Wagner, as well as many contemporary musicians, also maintaining careers as writers and critics. The Cambridge History of Music Criticism goes beyond these better-known accounts, reaching back to medieval times, expanding the geographical reach both within and beyond Europe, and including key issues such as women and criticism of recordings, as well as the story of criticism in jazz, popular music and world music. Drawing on a blend of established and talented young scholars, this is the first substantial historical survey of music criticism and critics, bringing unprecedented scope to a rapidly expanding area of musicological research. An indispensable point of reference, The Cambridge History of Music Criticism provides a broad historical overview of the field while also addressing specific issues and events.
George Gershwin is often described as a quintessentially American composer. This Cambridge Companion explains why, engaging with the ways in which his music was shaped by American political, intellectual, cultural and business interests. As a composer and performer, Gershwin embraced technological advances and broke new ground in music business practices. In the decades preceding World War II, he captured the mechanistic pulse of modern life with his concert works and lay the groundwork for the Great American Songbook with his Broadway shows and film music. With his brother Ira, and his cousins Henry and B. A. Botkin, Gershwin explored various ethnic and cultural identities and contemplated their roles in US culture. His music confronted race during the Jim Crow era and continues to engage with issues of race today. This interdisciplinary exploration of Gershwin's life and music describes his avowed pursuit of an 'American' musical identity and its ongoing legacy.
Brahms in Context offers a fresh perspective on the much-admired nineteenth-century German composer. Including thirty-nine chapters on historical, social and cultural contexts, the book brings together internationally renowned experts in music, law, science, art history and other areas, including many figures whose work is appearing in English for the first time. The essays are accessibly written, with short reading lists aimed at music students and educators. The book opens with personal topics including Brahms's Hamburg childhood, his move to Vienna, and his rich social life. It considers professional matters from finance to publishing and copyright; the musicians who shaped and transmitted his works; and the larger musical styles which influenced him. Casting the net wider, other essays embrace politics, religion, literature, philosophy, art, and science. The book closes with chapters on reception, including recordings, historical performance, his compositional legacy, and a reflection on the power of composer myths.
In 1683 English court musicians and the Musical Society of London joined forces to celebrate St Cecilia's Day (22 November) with a feast and the performance of specially composed music. The most prominent composers and poets of the age wrote for these occasions, including Henry Purcell, John Blow, John Dryden and William Congreve.
The relationship between language and music has much in common - rhythm, structure, sound, metaphor. Exploring the phenomena of song and performance, this book presents a sociolinguistic model for analysing them. Based on ethnomusicologist John Blacking's contention that any song performed communally is a 'folk song' regardless of its generic origins, it argues that folk song to a far greater extent than other song genres displays 'communal' or 'inclusive' types of performance. The defining feature of folk song as a multi-modal instantiation of music and language is its participatory nature, making it ideal for sociolinguistic analysis. In this sense, a folk song is the product of specific types of developing social interaction whose major purpose is the construction of a temporally and locally based community. Through repeated instantiations, this can lead to disparate communities of practice, which, over time, develop sociocultural registers and a communal stance towards aspects of meaningful events in everyday lives that become typical of a discourse community.
Part of the seminal Cambridge History of Music series, this volume departs from standard histories of early modern Western music in two important ways. First, it considers music as something primarily experienced by people in their daily lives, whether as musicians or listeners, and as something that happened in particular locations, and different intellectual and ideological contexts, rather than as a story of genres, individual counties, and composers and their works. Second, by constraining discussion within the limits of a 100-year timespan, the music culture of the sixteenth century is freed from its conventional (and tenuous) absorption within the abstraction of 'the Renaissance', and is understood in terms of recent developments in the broader narrative of this turbulent period of European history. Both an original take on a well-known period in early music and a key work of reference for scholars, this volume makes an important contribution to the history of music.
Written by fourteen leading experts in the field, this Companion covers almost every aspect of the harpsichord - the history of the instrument, tuning systems, the role of the harpsichord in ensemble, its use in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and includes separate chapters devoted to Domenico Scarlatti, J. S. Bach and Handel. Chapters featuring almost every national style are written by authors with close connections to the countries about which they are writing, including England, The Netherlands, Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, as well as the less extensive harpsichord traditions of Russia, the Nordic and Baltic countries, and colonial Spanish and Portuguese America. With musical examples, illustrations, a timeline of the harpsichord, and an appendix of composers, reliable editions and original sources, this book is for all who love the harpsichord, or want to learn more about it.
The vibrant intellectual, social and political climate of mid eighteenth-century Europe presented opportunities and challenges for artists and musicians alike. This book focuses on Mozart the man and musician as he responds to different aspects of that world. It reveals his views on music, aesthetics and other matters; on places in Austria and across Europe that shaped his life; on career contexts and environments, including patronage, activities as an impresario, publishing, theatrical culture and financial matters; on engagement with performers and performance, focusing on Mozart's experiences as a practicing musician; and on reception and legacy from his own time through to the present day. Probing diverse Mozartian contexts in a variety of ways, the contributors reflect the vitality of existing scholarship and point towards areas primed for further study. This volume is essential reading for students and scholars of late eighteenth-century music and for Mozart aficionados and music lovers in general.