Music in the Eighteenth Century: Western Music in Context

SKU 978-0-393-92918-8
Eighteenth Century Music in its cultural, social, and intellectual contexts.

John Rice's Music in the Eighteenth Century takes the reader on an engrossing Grand Tour of Europe's musical centers, from Naples, to London, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, and St. Petersburg —with a side trip to the colonial New World. . Against the backdrop of Europe's largely peaceful division into Catholic and Protestant realms, Rice shows how "learned" and "galant" styles developed and commingled. While considering Mozart, Haydn, and early Beethoven in depth, he broadens his focus to assess the contributions of lesser-known but significant figures like Johann Adam Hiller, Francois-André Philidor, and Anna Bon.

Western Music in Context: A Norton History comprises six volumes of moderate length, each written in an engaging style by a recognized expert. Authoritative and current, the series examines music in the broadest sense—as sounds notated, performed, and heard—focusing not only on composers and works, but also on broader social and intellectual currents.

1. The Encyclopedic Century
2. Learned and Galant
3. Naples
4. Carnival Opera in Rome and Venice
5. Instrumental Music in Italy and Spain
6. Paris of the Ancien Régime
7. Georgian London
8. Vienna under Empress Maria Theresa
9. Leipzig and Berlin
10. Courts of Central Europe: Mannheim, Bayreuth, and Eisenstadt/Eszterháza
11. Galant Music in the New World
12. St. Petersburg under Catherine the Great
13. Foreigners in Paris: Gluck, Mozart, Salieri, Cherubini
14. Mozart’s Vienna
15. Prague
16. London in the 1790s
17. Vienna in the Napoleonic Era
Like the other volumes in the series, Music in the Eighteenth Century brings a fresh perspective to the study of music by emphasizing social, cultural, intellectual, and political contexts of the music. John Rice looks far beyond the notes on the page or the details of composers’ lives to embrace audiences, performers, institutions, and social settings. For example, the text transports us to London in the 1790s, where Joseph Haydn, having spent his life as a salaried court musician on the Continent, discovered his music's true value on the "open market."

Numerous themes unite the entire Western Music in Context series into a rich yet coherent narrative and help students tie together what they learn about music history, including:

  • The role of gender, race, and class in musical culture 
  • Music and national identity, including the Americas and eastern Europe 
  • The role of technology in composing and disseminating music from the advent of notation to the digital age 
  • Music for public and private consumption 
  • Relationships among composers, performers, and audiences 
  • Music education for composers, performers, and the general public

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