On the Publishing and Dissemination of Music, 1500-1850

On the Publishing and Dissemination of Music, 1500-1850

On the Publishing and Dissemination of Music, 1500-1850

On the Publishing and Dissemination of Music, 1500-1850

Synopsis

"Here published for the first time, is the final book written by the late Hans Lenneberg, respected scholar and longtime head of the music library at the University of Chicago. In it, the author pursues the impact of printing technologies, methods of distribution, government regulations, and evolving business practices as they affect music and musical life. Written with insight and humor, this book surveys a changing industry, century by century, pulling together information from many specialized studies and pointing out previously unnoticed trends and remaining puzzles." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This book is one of a kind. To begin with, the subject that Hans Lenneberg addresses here is itself relatively unusual even within the two fields to which it most clearly belongs: musicology and European social/cultural history. But the way in which he treats this subject—with his sometimes frankly personal tone and his unusual connections between concepts and chronological narratives—is perhaps even more unique.

Hans (as he was known to nearly everybody, even his graduate students, of which I was one in the early 1970s) finished the manuscript of this book in the summer of 1994, around the time that he retired from his long-held double position at the University of Chicago as Music Bibliographer (i.e., head of the Music Library) and Professor of Music and several months before his body finally succumbed to cancer. He did not, however, have the strength to put the final seal on the text. During his last months and thereafter, several of us, following his wishes, undertook the necessary light editing and cooked up chapter titles and section headings to make the shape of the book clearer to the reader. the table of contents is now quite detailed and, I think, a helpful guide. Some possibly confusing kinks in the wording have also now been straightened out. I am particularly grateful to Rob Haskins, Lenore Coral, and Susan Youens for help in these and other regards. But the book is still—could never be anything but—Hans’s, as anybody who knew him will recognize by reading just one paragraph, or in some spots, just one sentence.

This book—the last of five that Hans either wrote or edited—is rich in insights and full of wit. the writing is also, as hinted above, full of quirks, but these are the quirks of a person of wide knowledge and great intellectual honesty. Already in the second paragraph the author offers an adverb with one hand and, with the other, questions its suitability: “the earliest lute instruction was unwittingly(?) more similar to the Classical Indian or Chinese models of imitating a teacher than to our tradition of learning to read music first.” the question mark is not, as it may appear, the reflex of a timid or ambivalent soul; rather, it is a . . .

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