1st Edition

Consort Suites and Dance Music by Town Musicians in German-Speaking Europe, 1648–1700 PBD

ISBN 9781138481909
Published March 26, 2018 by Routledge
264 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

This companion volume to The Courtly Consort Suite in German-Speaking Europe surveys an area of music neglected by modern scholars: the consort suites and dance music by musicians working in the seventeenth-century German towns. Conditions of work in the German towns are examined in detail, as are the problems posed by the many untrained travelling players who were often little more than beggars. The central part of the book explores the organisation, content and assembly of town suites into carefully ordered printed collections, which refutes the concept of the so-called 'classical' suite. The differences between court and town suites are dealt with alongside the often-ignored variation suite from the later decades of the seventeenth century and the separate suite-writing traditions of Leipzig and Hamburg. While the seventeenth-century keyboard suite has received a good deal of attention from modern scholars, its often symbiotic relationship with the consort suite has been ignored. This book aims to redress the balance and to deal with one very important but often ignored aspect of seventeenth-century notation: the use of blackened notes, which are rarely notated in a meaningful way in modern editions, with important implications for performance.

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
List of examples
Acknowledgements and preface

1 The towns: governance, patronage and status

2 Dances and collections

3 The aftermath of war

4 Concepts of careful organisation

5 A time of decline

6 Leipzig

7 Hamburg

8 Keyboard suites by town composers

9 Note blackening and mensural notation


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Michael Robertson completed his PhD in 2004. In addition to working as a teacher, harpsichordist and organist, he writes about seventeenth-century music and has a fruitful music-editing partnership with a leading German publisher of early music. He is a visiting research fellow at the University of Leeds.


"Michael Robertson marshals the information with admirable clarity, drawing attention to neglected treasures, and showing that there is always something to learn, even from incomplete sources." - Richard Carter, Viola Da Gamba Society Journal

"This study is based on meticulous research... and breaks new ground. [...] The volume is copiously illustrated with musical examples. For specialists and music library collections, this study will be a valuable reference tool." - Robert Manning, The Consort Early Music Journal, vol.73, Summer 2017