At a casual glance, the period 1785–1850 might seem a surprising venue for a book-length study of musical dedication. In bird’s-eye historical surveys, the dedication generally appears as a form of print culture characteristic of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century economies of liturgical and aristocratic patronage, not the burgeoning commodity market associated with the decades following the American and French Revolutions. As Emily H. Green suggests in her ambitious study, Dedicating Music, 1785–1850, the form’s apparent anachronism in this period may have been precisely the point. Dedication, she argues, served its latter-day practitioners as a means by which to “perpetuate the rhetoric and relationships of courtly patronage against Romanticism and capitalism” (p....
Dedicating Music, 1785–1850, by Emily H. Green
FREDERICK REECE is Lecturer in Music History at the University of Washington. His research addresses issues of authorship and authenticity with a particular focus on the music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is a recent recipient of the American Musicological Society’s Paul A. Pisk Prize and Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Fellowship, and is completing a book entitled Forgery in Musical Composition: Aesthetics, History, and the Classical Canon (under contract with Oxford University Press).
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Frederick Reece; Dedicating Music, 1785–1850, by Emily H. Green. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 April 2021; 74 (1): 166–170. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jams.2021.74.1.166
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