The Great Vogue for the Guitar in Western Europe: 1800-1840

The Great Vogue for the Guitar in Western Europe: 1800-1840

The Great Vogue for the Guitar in Western Europe: 1800-1840 by Christopher Page, Paul Sparks, and James Westbrook. One of my followers bought me something new to read (thanks Mark). You can buy the book on Amazon and elsewhere. Below is the promotional text from the publisher:

The first book devoted to the composers, instrument makers and amateur players who advanced the great guitar vogue throughout Western Europe during the early decades of the nineteenth century.

Contemporary critics viewed the fashion for the guitar with sheer hostility, seeing in it a rejection of true musical value. After all, such trends advanced against the grain of mainstream musical developments of ground-breaking (often Austro-German) repertoire for standard instruments. Yet amateur musicians throughout Europe persisted; many instruments were built to meet the demand, a substantial volume of music was published for amateurs to play, and soloist-composers moved freely between European cities. This book follows these lines of travel venturing as far as Moscow, and visiting all the great musical cities of the period, from London to Vienna, Madrid to Naples.

The first section of the book looks at eighteenth-century precedents, the instrument – its makers and owners, amateur and professional musicians, printing and publishing, pedagogy, as well as aspects of repertoire. The second section explores the extensive repertoire for accompanied song and chamber music. A final substantive section assembles chapters on a wide array of the most significant soloist-composers of the time. The chapters evoke the guitar milieu in the various cities where each composer-player worked and offer a discussion of some representative works. This book, bringing together an international tally of contributors and never before examined sources, will be of interest to devotees of the guitar, as well as music historians of the Romantic period.

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