European Music 1520-1640

European Music 1520-1640
Ed. James Haar
The Boydell Press 2014
Paperback. x+586pp. ISBN 978-1843838944

European Music 1520-1640 by Haar

This was first published in hardback in 2006 (at £75), as part of the Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music series, and has now been reissued in paperback at a more realistic price (£25). A comprehensive guide to the music of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century, it’s separate essays cover the different genres of late Renaissance polyphonic music (music for the Mass, the Motet, Chanson, Madrigal, early opera, instrumental music), extra-musical influences (music printing, the Reformation, Catholic renewal) together with chapters on the music of Italy, France, The Netherlands, German and Central Europe, Spain, and England. Continue reading

Music at German Courts, 1715-1760

Music at German Courts, 1715-1760: Changing Artistic Priorities
Ed. Samantha Owens, Barbara M. Reul, Janice B. Stockigt
The Boydell Press 2015
Paperback. 504pp. ISBN 9781783270583

First published in hardback in 2011, this important book is now available in paperback. With 15 contributors, from Germany, Poland, the United States, Canada, and Australia, it covers the detailed history of the complex world of 15 Germanic Courts, of varying sizes. Many people’s knowledge of such institutions often only comes from the brief background knowledge of Bach’s various tenures in local Courts, before his eventual move to Leipzig. The essays in this book puts Bach’s career into a wider perspective, and one that is relatively little known. The Germanic system of often very small scale princely courts might have made for a complex hierarchy of aristocracy and governance, and some tricky questions of inheritance, but it made for an extraordinary flowering of art and music, as each little domain tried to outdo its neighbour.

Rather like those pub-quiz questions about the hierarchy of angels (ranging from Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones Continue reading