Abstract

ABSTRACT:

For the nineteenth-century composer, the cultivation of a stable professional relationship with a major publishing house could mean the difference between an economically successful career and the need to pursue alternative forms of employment. While the oft-studied writings of composers such as Franz Schubert largely support this position, opportunities for its systematic investigation have rarely been pursued. Issued on a monthly basis between 1798 and 1838, the Intelligenz-blatt zur Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung offers a lengthy record of the printed musical editions that its publisher, Breitkopf & Härtel, released during the early nineteenth century. A quantitative study of the 779 composers and arrangers whose works are advertised in its pages reveals the frequency with which Breitkopf & Härtel entered into new professional relationships, and the strength with which those relationships endured, as measured not only by their typical length but also by the average rate at which the publisher brought a composer's work to press. Despite the firm's best efforts, most relationships lasted for less than one year. Together, these observations illustrate in demographic terms both the challenges and the opportunities by which a composer could pursue economic success in the nineteenth-century musical marketplace.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-150X
Print ISSN
0027-4380
Pages
pp. 574-602
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-28
Open Access
No
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