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Irmgard Scheitler
Incidental Music (Band 1 und Band 2)
Its Function and Aesthetics in German Language Drama of the Early Modern Age

Vol. I: By the order of the Institut für Musikforschung Würzburg, ed. by Ulrich Konrad (= Würzburger Beiträge zur Musikforschung vol. 2.1), vol. II = ortus studien, vol. 19

om210 1
ISBN 978-3-937788-45-6
XXXI + 1099 pages, hardcover (cloth binding), incl. CD (= vol. 1) / XII + 752 pages, hardcover (cloth binding) (= vol. 2)
incl. VAT plus shipping costs 139,50 EUR

This monograph presents the results of a long-term project supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Volume 1 (published in 2013) collected and commented on the music of over 1300 German language plays from the 16th and 17th centuries. The essential role of music and musical references could be clearly proven. On the basis of this repertory, called a "standard reference for the Early Modern Age" (Cord-Friederich Berghahn's review in Arbitrium 2014), the second volume develops a coherent presentation and analysis of the subject. Different from Volume 1, which concentrates exclusively on German drama, Volume 2 also takes into account plays in other languages, mainly Latin, fully sung performances (operas, etc.) and para-dramatic genres (actus, processions, etc.). Thus, light can be shed on the relationship between music and dramaturgy. Moreover, an abundance of hitherto unknown material is revealed. The drama of Catholic regions with its special idiom (Oberdeutsch) is deliberately included -- an uncharted but most interesting field.  The systematic main section begins with the theory of incidental music in poetics and in the doctrine of affections, then pays attention to the series of structural functions of music in the course of a play. The discussion of performance practices ranges from the characteristics of instruments to questions regarding ensemble formation. The context of the plot of a play provides significant information concerning these subjects. Of music historical interest is the frequency with which certain composers, songs or dance forms are used, as well as the characteristic use of instruments. A comprehensive chapter is devoted to the review and classification of new compositions. Other issues are also broached, such as the role of female musicians and music-making actresses on stage, or the relation of music to silent scenes in tableaux and melodramas. In the last chapter, the example of the Gymnasium in Zittau demonstrates the many insights into social and musical life which can be gained by the study of incidental music. Following good scholarly tradition, addenda and corrigenda, as well as indices of persons, places and songs (both volumes), are found in the attachments.

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