The Orchestral Revolution

The Orchestral Revolution : Haydn and the Technologies of Timbre

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The Orchestral Revolution explores the changing listening culture of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Delving into Enlightenment philosophy, the nature of instruments, compositional practices and reception history, this book describes the birth of a new form of attention to sonority and uncovers the intimate relationship between the development of modern musical aesthetics and the emergence of orchestration. By focusing upon Joseph Haydn's innovative strategies of orchestration and tracing their reception and influence, Emily Dolan shows that the consolidation of the modern orchestra radically altered how people listened to and thought about the expressive capacity of instruments. The orchestra transformed from a mere gathering of instruments into an ideal community full of diverse, nuanced and expressive characters. In addressing this key moment in the history of music, Dolan demonstrates the importance of the materiality of sound in the formation of the modern musical artwork.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 19 b/w illus. 29 music examples
  • 1139604007
  • 9781139604000

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. Lessons at the ocular harpsichord; 2. The idea of timbre; 3. Haydn, orchestration, and re-orchestration; 4. The republic of sound; 5. The real museum of musical works; 6. The abuse of the orchestra; Epilogue: orchestral alchemy.
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Review quote

'Well written throughout and richly illustrated, Dolan's volume is a pleasure to read.' Notes
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About Emily I. Dolan

Emily Dolan is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania, where she has taught since 2006. She is a specialist in the musical culture of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and her research focuses on the history of orchestration, instrumentality and aesthetics, exploring the intersections between music, science and technology. She has published articles in Current Musicology, Eighteenth-Century Music, Studia Musicologica, Popular Music, Opera Quarterly and 19th-Century Music. Dolan has been a member of the Penn Humanities forum and was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2009-10.
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