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The Birth of the Orchestra: History of an Institution, 1650-1815. 9780195189551

The Birth of the Orchestra: History of an Institution, 1650-1815

; Oxford University Press. 2004

Ficha técnica

  • EAN: 9780195189551
  • ISBN: 978-0-19-518955-1
  • Editorial: Oxford University Press
  • Fecha de edición: 2004
  • Encuadernación: Rústica
  • Dimensiones: 19x25
  • Idioma: Inglés
  • Nº páginas: XX+656

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This book traces the emergence of the orchestra from 16th-century string bands to the "classical" orchestra of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and their contemporaries. Ensembles of bowed stringed instruments, several players per part plus continuo and wind instruments, were organized in France in the mid-17th century and then in Rome at the end of the century. The prestige of these ensembles and of the music and performing styles of their leaders, Jean-Baptiste Lully and Arcangelo Corelli, caused them to be imitated elsewhere, until by the late 18th century, the orchestra had become a pan-European phenomenon.

Spitzer and Zaslaw review previous accounts of these developments, then proceed to a thoroughgoing documentation and discussion of orchestral organization, instrumentation, and social roles in France, Italy, Germany, England, and the American colonies. They also examine the emergence of orchestra musicians, idiomatic music for orchestras, orchestral performance practices, and the awareness of the orchestra as a central institution in European life.


List of plates
List of figures
List of tables
List of documents
List of musical examples

1. Introduction
2. Pre-orchestral ensembles
3. Lully's orchestra
4. Corelli's orchestra
5. The orchestra in Italy
6. The orchestra in France
7. The orchestra in Germany
8. The orchestra in England
9. The classical orchestra
10. Placement, seating, and acoustics
11. Orchestral performance practices
12. The life and times of an Eighteenth-Century orchestra musician
13. The birth of orchestration
14. The meaning of the orchestra

A. Sample orchestras, 1754-1759
B. Sample orchestras, 1773-1778
C. Sample orchestras, 1791-1796
D. Sample orchestras, 1808-1818


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