Journal Article

Town Musicians in German Baroque Society and Culture

Tanya Kevorkian

in German History

Volume 30, issue 3, pages 350-371
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 0266-3554
Published online August 2012 | e-ISSN: 1477-089X | DOI:
Town Musicians in German Baroque Society and Culture

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One goal of this article is to open up new views on baroque musical life by applying the approaches of social historians to town musicians, a group that has been studied almost exclusively by musicologists. Another goal is to provide fresh insights to historians by integrating musicians into the study of urban society. This article first explores the various contemporary occupational categories into which town musicians fit. Ambiguities in status, which reflect the many meanings of music, were a defining feature here. Next, it examines town musicians’ interactions with higher-status musicians such as organists and cantors, and lower-status professional and semi-professional musicians. Third, it uses weddings as a case study for how interactions among musicians, the authorities, and other inhabitants produced urban baroque music. The article focuses on five central and south German cities: Leipzig, Munich, Gotha, Augsburg, and Erfurt.

Keywords: town musicians; baroque weddings; urban history; social history of music; wedding music; cultural production

Journal Article.  12655 words. 

Subjects: European History

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