New Book | The Power of Pastiche

Posted in books by Editor on December 16, 2021

From Clemson UP, with distribution by Liverpool UP and OUP:

Alison DeSimone, The Power of Pastiche: Musical Miscellany and Cultural Identity in Early Eighteenth-Century England (Clemson: Clemson University Press, 2021), 336 pages, ISBN: 978-1942954774, $120 / £90.

In eighteenth-century England, ‘variety’ became a prized aesthetic in musical culture. Not only was variety—of counterpoint, harmony, melody, and orchestration—expected for good composition, but it also manifested in cultural mediums such as songbook anthologies, which compiled miscellaneous songs and styles in single volumes; pasticcio operas, which were cobbled together from excerpts from other operas; and public concerts, which offered a hodgepodge assortment of different types and styles of performance. I call this trend of producing music through the collection, assemblage, and juxtaposition of various smaller pieces as musical miscellany; like a jigsaw puzzle (also invented in the eighteenth century), the urge to construct a whole out of smaller, different parts reflected a growing desire to appeal to a quickly diversifying England. This book explores the phenomenon of musical miscellany in early eighteenth-century England both in performance culture and as an aesthetic. Musical miscellany, in its many forms, juxtaposed foreign and homegrown musical practices and styles in order to stimulate discourse surrounding English musical culture during a time of cosmopolitan transformation.

Alison DeSimone is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She co-edited, with Matthew Gardner, Music and the Benefit Performance in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2019). She has published articles in the A-R Online Anthology, Händel-Jahrbuch, and Early Modern Women. Her article “‘Equally Charming, Equally Too Great’: Female Rivalry, Politics, and Opera in Early Eighteenth-Century London” won the 2018 Ruth Solie Prize for an Outstanding Article on British Music from the North American British Music Studies Association. She is currently an associate editor of The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation.


List of Figures
List of Musical Examples
List of Tables

1  The Performance of Miscellany in Variety Concerts, 1700–1711
2  ‘An Assemblage of Every Kind’: The Pasticcio Opera Tradition as Miscellany
3  Shaping English Identity in the Songbook iscellany
4  Composition, Cosmopolitanism, and Musical Miscellany
5  Variety in Criticism and Aesthetics in Eighteenth-Century England


New Book | Echo’s Chambers: Architecture and the Idea of Acoustic Space

Posted in books by Editor on December 16, 2021

From the University of Pittsburgh Press:

Joseph Clarke, Echo’s Chambers: Architecture and the Idea of Acoustic Space (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-0822946571, $60.

A room’s acoustic character seems at once the most technical and the most mystical of concerns. Since the early Enlightenment, European architects have systematically endeavored to represent and control the propagation of sound in large interior spaces. Their work has been informed by the science of sound but has also been entangled with debates on style, visualization techniques, performance practices, and the expansion of the listening public. Echo’s Chambers explores how architectural experimentation from the seventeenth through the mid-twentieth centuries laid the groundwork for concepts of acoustic space that are widely embraced in contemporary culture. It focuses on the role of echo and reverberation in the architecture of Pierre Patte, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, Carl Ferdinand Langhans, and Le Corbusier, as well as the influential acoustic ideas of Athanasius Kircher, Richard Wagner, and Marshall McLuhan. Drawing on interdisciplinary theories of media and auditory culture, Joseph L. Clarke reveals how architecture has impacted the ways we continue to listen to, talk about, and creatively manipulate sound in the physical environment.

Joseph L. Clarke is assistant professor of art history at the University of Toronto and a licensed architect. His scholarship explores how modern architecture has defined itself as a discipline through particular techniques, theories, and representational conventions.


Note on Translations

Introduction: ‘The Night Shall Be Filled with Music’
1  Domesticating Echo: Clamors in Print
2  Spaces Heard and Seen: Constructing Acoustic Naturalism
3  The Catacoustic Imagination: Enchantment by Immersion
4  Redeeming the Senses: The Acoustics of Total Art
5  Listening Out of Place: Modern Architecture and acoustique électronique
Conclusion: On Further Reflection


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