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Synopsis

This companion volume to The Courtly Consort Suite in German-Speaking Europe surveys an area of music neglected by modern scholars: the consort suites and dance music by musicians working in the seventeenth-century German towns. Conditions of work in the German towns are examined in detail, as are the problems posed by the many untrained travelling players who were often little more than beggars. The central part of the book explores the organisation, content and assembly of town suites into carefully ordered printed collections, which refutes the concept of the so-called 'classical' suite. The differences between court and town suites are dealt with alongside the often-ignored variation suite from the later decades of the seventeenth century and the separate suite-writing traditions of Leipzig and Hamburg. While the seventeenth-century keyboard suite has received a good deal of attention from modern scholars, its often symbiotic relationship with the consort suite has been ignored. This book aims to redress the balance and to deal with one very important but often ignored aspect of seventeenth-century notation: the use of blackened notes, which are rarely notated in a meaningful way in modern editions, with important implications for performance.

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