The Rise of Musical Classics in Eighteenth-Century England: A Study in Canon, Ritual, and Ideology

Synopsis

The English invented the idea of musical "classics". Eighteenth-century England was the first country where old musical works were performed regularly and reverentially, and where a collective notion of such works--"ancient music"--first appeared. This is the first book to explore the formation of musical classics in regard to repertory and social context. It examines the performance of old music in eighteenth-century England, from the interest in music of the Elizabethan period through the performance of works by Henry Purcell, Arcangelo Corelli, and other English and Italian composers, to the development of festivals that featured choral-orchestral works of Purcell and Handel. The book examines closely the political and social reasons for these developments. In addition, it shows how they laid the groundwork for the classical music tradition of the nineteenth century.

Additional information