Coda: Early Music Printing as an Agent of Change

Stanley Boorman

in Ottaviano Petrucci

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780195142075
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850549 | DOI:
Coda: Early Music Printing as an Agent of Change

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In a recent study of Russian printing during the 18th century, Gary Marker argued that the traditional view of printing as an “instrument of progress” is insufficient, and that he needed to discuss a more basic series of questions. Of course, Russian society during and after the reign of Peter the Great was very different from that of Italy during the 16th century. There are ways, however, in which publishing in the first half of the 16th century does seem to show parallels. For music, the closeness of the parallels is enhanced by the presence of a specialized market, involving both particular reading skills and particular classes of purchasers. Taken together, these various elements make more relevant the question of whether music printing “merely” responded to developments in musical society, or whether it seriously influenced those developments. In this context, the questions posed by Marker need to be addressed.

Keywords: Gary Marker; printing; instrument; progress; Russia; publishing; Peter the Great; Italy; music; market

Chapter.  6787 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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