Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

7/1/2012 - 6/30/2013

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

The Musical Experience in German Baroque Towns

FAIN: FB-56542-12

Tanya Elisabeth Kevorkian
Millersville University of Pennsylvania (Millersville, PA 17551-1806)

This book offers a new narrative of Baroque music, one which defines the era in terms of social dynamics rather than style and genre development. It reconstructs how men and women from different status groups experienced music, and their goals as patrons, performers, audiences, and authorities. Music was an essential part of any urban festivity, as well as of everyday life. Towns, along with courts, were the most important sites of music-making in the Baroque era (roughly 1580 to 1750). While courts are relatively well understood, the social history of music in towns is not. The lack of insight is especially striking since figures such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann were educated and spent most of their working lives in towns. Building on the approaches of historians, musicologists, and sociologists, this project demonstrates to historians how central music was to urban culture, and shows musicologists how embedded musical life was in society.

Associated Products

“Music at Baroque Weddings” (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: “Music at Baroque Weddings”
Author: Tanya Kevorkian
Abstract: This presentation and pre-circulated chapter draft discuss how interactions among musicians, members of a wedding party, and the authorities generated music at weddings in Baroque German towns. This is a mature draft of Ch. 3 of the book funded by my NEH fellowship. [Note: the paper I gave in April 2016 is an early version of Ch. 1.]
Date: 05/10/2015
Conference Name: Bach Colloquium

“Barocke Hochzeitsmusik in Erfurt” ("Baroque Wedding Music in Erfurt") (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: “Barocke Hochzeitsmusik in Erfurt” ("Baroque Wedding Music in Erfurt")
Abstract: I gave this lecture in German at the Förderverein der Bibliothek des Evangelischen Ministeriums im Augustinerkloster Erfurt e.V (Friends of the Library of the Protestant Ministerium in the Augustinian Monastery of Erfurt), Erfurt, Germany. The lecture summarizes my findings on music at Baroque weddings, with an emphasis on Erfurt, one of the five towns upon which my book focuses. It was a pleasure to speak to an audience in this mid-sized town in former East Germany.
Author: Tanya Kevorkian
Date: 06/11/2015
Location: Erfurt, Germany

“J.S. Bach’s Cantatas for Wedding Banquets" (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: “J.S. Bach’s Cantatas for Wedding Banquets"
Abstract: I gave this pre-concert lecture for the season-finale concert of Ars Lyrica Baroque, a Houston Baroque ensemble. The concert included the performance of a wedding cantata by J.S. Bach. The lecture focused on the performance and reception context of this and similar pieces, which were performed in the course of wedding banquets. I learned a lot from conversations with the musicians, and the pre-concert audience was appreciative.
Author: Tanya Kevorkian
Date: 05/09/2014
Location: Houston, TX