Music and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century
Publication Year: 2017
Published by: University of Illinois Press
Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
I am extremely grateful for all of the help I have received in researching and writing this book. First and foremost, I would like to thank the current and former scholars of the Bach Archive in Leipzig, especially Christoph Wolff, Hans-Joachim Schulze, Peter Wollny, Michael Maul, Manuel Bärwald, Andreas Glöckner, Christine Blanken, and Ulrich Leisinger. ...
A Note on Currency
Dozens of different currencies were used in the Holy Roman Empire during J. S. Bach’s lifetime. The most common large coins in Saxony and neighboring territories were reichstaler. It is impossible to offer accurate modern equivalents but a rough estimate would value one reichstaler at approximately US$100. ...
Late in the summer of 1977, Voyager I and II were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to explore hitherto unknown reaches of the galaxy. Their cargo included not only equipment for collecting and transmitting scientific data, but also golden records intended to introduce any extraterrestrial life forms they might encounter to the cultures of planet Earth. ...
1. Civilizing Instruments
The denizens of J. S. Bach’s Germany wore galant boots, galant belt buckles, galant stockings, and galant velvet caps. They accessorized with galant embroidered handbags, galant silk scarves, galant pearl necklaces, and galant silver tobacco canisters.1 Restaurateurs proudly served galant ragouts, ...
2. The Mechanic and the Tax Collector
Sometime in 1750, a fifty-three-year-old tax collector named Johann Heinrich Heyne approached the door to Braunschweig’s Marstall 12. The house had been built in the fifteenth century and was of the Fachwerk variety, with wooden trusses visible in the plaster walls. Next door was a metal caster, and directly across the street was the Packhause, ...
3. A Silver Merchant’s Daughter
Buried deep in a thicket of eighteenth-century legal documents at the Leipzig City Archive lies a list of expenditures made by the daughter of a silver merchant.1 Twenty-year-old Christiane Sibÿlla Bose spent her money in 1732 on the following items: ...
4. A Dark-Haired Dame and Her Scottish Admirer
In 1764 an aristocrat from Edinburgh, Scotland, named James Boswell undertook a grand tour of the European continent. He would later achieve literary immortality as the author of The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791), but at age twenty-four he showed little promise. ...
5. Two Teenage Countesses
In 1968, during renovations of a castle near Frankfurt, workers happened upon a mysterious wooden chest filled with approximately seven hundred manuscripts of eighteenth-century music. The collection was quickly traced to Johann Karl Ludwig Christian, Baron von Pretlack, a military officer and diplomat to whom the castle had once belonged. ...
6. A Marriage Rooted in Reason
Luise Adelgunde Victorie Gottsched (née Kulmus) was one of the most prolific and widely read writers and translators in J. S. Bach’s Germany. Her life and that of her husband, Johann Christoph Gottsched, are unusually well documented, as they were both subjects of avid attention from their contemporaries. ...
7. Male Amateur Keyboardists
– Do not carve your name into your tin dinner plate.
– Do not talk to anyone while playing with a knife.
– If you find a piece of coal or hair in your food, just put it to the side; don’t tell everyone at the table about it. ...
8. A Blacksmith’s Son
The archive of the Stralsund town council contains a 1,554-page autobiography handwritten by J. C. Müller, a local pastor.1 This document, which covers nearly all of the author’s fifty-two years, was prepared on the basis of lost diaries. Müller described in lavish and often astonishing detail his childhood, his university years, his time as a private tutor, ...
9. May God Protect This Beautiful Organ
On Sunday, November 9, 1721, the citizens of Rötha awoke with a keen sense of anticipation. Men whose backs hurt from harvesting beans and drying barley lit tallow candles that faintly sweetened the thick scent of damp hay in the air. They donned their best rockaleur cloaks and pants, untangled their powdered wigs, and pulled triangular hats from velvet ...
10. How Professional Musicians Were Compensated
Boys who dreamed of becoming organists, cantors, and kapellmeisters in eighteenth-century Germany often endured discouragement and even contempt from the authority figures in their lives. Johann August Ernesti, rector of Leipzig’s St. Thomas School and sworn enemy of J. S. Bach, liked to provoke pupils he found making music with the mocking question: ...
11. The Daily Life of an Organist
In an autobiography written not long before his death in 1859, the world-famous violinist and composer Louis Spohr described his early musical training as follows: ...
Music is not an object but rather a means by which human beings relate to one another. Its meaning can never be fixed because it is as complex and malleable as the personal relationships it helps to develop and define. J. S. Bach’s contemporaries, like people of all times and places, interpreted music in social terms, ...
About the Author
Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 16 color photographs, 3 charts, 8 music examples, 16 tables
Publication Year: 2017
OCLC Number: 958932479
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