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....

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