Andrew Talle delivers on the promise of this book's title. He provides a richly textured discussion of the roles music played in the everyday lives especially of young, affluent townspeople (and some nobles) in German-speaking Europe in Johann Sebastian Bach's day. His focus on keyboard instruments allows him to illuminate female as well as male performance, amateur as well as professional. Talle uses a variety of sources to reconstruct the way people used music to woo spouses, show off to guests, and pass the time. He discusses the acquisition of keyboard instruments, taking lessons, and domestic performance as tools used by the elites to demonstrate their distance from manual labor and the natural world: raw materials were crafted into sophisticated instruments that generated sound with the touch of a key, without having to be blown into, bowed, or held. The focus is on music made in well-appointed domestic interiors, especially...
Review: Beyond Bach: Music and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century, by Andrew Talle
TANYA KEVORKIAN is Associate Professor of History at Millersville University. Her research interests include Baroque music history and colonial Pennsylvania. Her first book, Baroque Piety: Religion, Society, and Music in Leipzig, 1650-1750 (Ashgate, 2007), was awarded the American Bach Society's 2008 William Scheide prize. Her second book, Music and Urban Life in Baroque Germany, compares musical life in Augsburg, Erfurt, Gotha, Leipzig, and Munich, and is forthcoming with the University of Virginia Press in 2020.
Tanya Kevorkian; Review: Beyond Bach: Music and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century, by Andrew Talle. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 August 2019; 72 (2): 585–590. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jams.2019.72.2.585
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