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Music and Culture in Eighteenth-Century Europe

A Source Book

Translated from the original sources by Wolfgang Freis, Lisa Gasbarrone, and Michael Louis Leone
Translation edited by Bonnie J. Blackburn
This book collects key writings about eighteenth century music . It brings together for the first time in one place, a wide selection of essential documents not only about music theory and practice, but about the historical, philosophical, aesthetic, ideological, and literary debates which held sway during a century when musical thought and criticism gained a privileged position in the culture of Europe.

Enrico Fubini offers a sampling of English, French, German, and Italian writings on topics ranging from Enlightenment rationalism and the theories of harmony to German musical culture and the polemics on J. S. Bach. Organized by topic and historical period these selections go beyond writings dealing exclusively with specific musical works to larger issues of theory and the reception of musical ideas in the culture at large. The selections are from books, journals, newspapers, pamphlets, and letters; the contributors include Diderot, Rousseau, Voltaire, Grimm, Alfieri, Rameau, Quantz, Gluck, Tartini, Leopold and W. A. Mozart, and C. P .E. Bach. Many are translated here for the first time.

With general and chapter introductions, restored footnotes, and other valuable annotations, and a biographical appendix, this anthology will interest music scholars, students, and teachers.

432 pages | 9 musical examples, 6 x 9 | 6 x 9 | © 1994

Culture Studies

History: European History

Music: General Music

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface
Ch. 1: The First Polemics on Opera in Italy
from On Tragedy (1715)
Gian Vincenzo Gravina
from On Perfect Italian Poetry (1706)
Ludovico Antonio Muratori
from On Ancient and Modern Tragedy (1714)
Pier Jacopo Mattello
from Theater a la Mode (1720)
Benedetto Marcello
Ch. 2: The Italians and the French: The Great "Querelle"
from A Comparison between the French and Italian Music and Operas (1702)
Francois Raguenet
from Comparison of French and Italian Music (1704)
Jean-Laurent Lecerf de la Vieville
from The Spectacle of Nature (1746)
Noel-Antoine Pluche
from The Temple of Taste (1733)
from On the Freedom of Music (1759)
Jean Le Rond d’Alembert
from Essay on the Origins of Language (1781)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
from Additions to the Letter on the Deaf and Dumb (1751)
Denis Diderot
from Rameau’s Nephew (1760)
Denis Diderot
from The Little Prophet of Boehmischbroda (1753)
Friedrich Melchior Grimm
from the article "Poeme lyrique" in the Encyclopedie (1765)
Friedrich Melchior Grimm
Ch. 3: European Rationalism and Theories of Harmony
from Steps to Parnassus (1725)
Johann Joseph Fux
from Treatise on Harmony (1722)
Jean-Philippe Rameau
from Observations on Our Musical Instinct and on Its Principle (1754)
Jean-Philippe Rameau
from On the Principles of Musical Harmony Contained in the Diatonic Genus (1767)
Giuseppe Tartini
from General Principles of the Science of Sound (1748)
Denis Diderot
Ch. 4: The Birth of Historiography and the Reports of Foreign Travelers in Italy
from History of Music and of Its Effects (1715)
Jacques Bonnet
from A Dissertation on the Rise, Union, and Power, the Progressions, Separations, and Corruptions, of Poetry and Music (1763)
John Brown
from History of Music (1757)
Giovanni Battista Martini
from A General History of Music (1776)
Charles Burney
from A General History of the Science and Practice of Music (1776)
John Hawkins
from Letter to M. de Maleteste (1739-40)
Charles de Brosses
from Letters from Italy (1767)
Samuel Sharp
from An Account of the Manners and Customs of Italy (1768)
Giuseppe Baretti
from General History of Music (1788)
Johann Nikolaus Forkel
Ch. 5: The Reaction of Italian Humanists and Literati to Music
from Essay on Opera (1755)
Francesco Algarotti
from Opera (1772)
Antonio Planelli
from Complete Formal and Material Treatise on the Theater (1794)
Francesco Milizia
Preface to Abele: Tramelogedia (1796)
Vittorio Alfieri
Letter to Saverio Mattei, at Naples (1770)
Pietro Metastasio
Ch. 6: German Musical Culture and the Controversy Regarding Bach

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