Andrew W. Mellon Regional Fellow in the Humanities
2007—2008 Forum on Origins
Associate Professor, History, Millersville College
The Social History of Music in Germany during the Baroque Era
It is notoriously difficult to define not only the social origins of Baroque music, but also the concept of “Baroque” itself. The transition to the Baroque was in many ways seamless: important venues, patronage systems, ensembles, and audiences were established in a time labeled either as Renaissance or Reformation. Professor Kevorkian argues that continuities with systems established earlier were thus constitutive of the Baroque. She also examines the origins of Baroque music historiography. From the mid-18th century, musicians’ biographies stressed specific social contexts. From the mid-19th century, scholars published archivally based studies of Baroque music, although they did not use the term “Baroque” until the 1930s. Not least, the distinction between Baroque and Classical patronage, reception, and production that is still fundamental to musicology emerged relatively late.