Music and the City

Music and the City

Musical Cultures and Urban Societies in the Southern Netherlands and Beyond, c.1650–1800

Little is known about the ways in which early modern musical cultures were integrated within their broader urban environments. Building on recent trends within urban musicology, the authors of this volume aim to transcend descriptive overviews of institutions and actors involved with music within a given city. Instead, they consider the urban environment as the constitutive context for the making of music as a significant aspect of urban society and identity.

Through selected case studies and by focusing on three “musical circuits”—opera and theater music, sacred music, and secular songs—this book contributes to a more effective understanding of music in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century urban societies in the southern Netherlands and beyond. Musicological and historical research perspectives are fruitfully integrated, as well as insights from theater scholarship and literary criticism. With attention to the musical life behind the traditional institutions, the circulation of repertoires, and musical cultures in peripheral urban environments or in cities “in decay,” Music and the City reveals the societal dimension of music in urban life.