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Myth-Making and the Politics of Nationality in Narratives of J.S. Bach’s 1717 Contest with Louis Marchand

Wiley, Christopher (2019) Myth-Making and the Politics of Nationality in Narratives of J.S. Bach’s 1717 Contest with Louis Marchand Journal of Musicological Research.

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Abstract

The increasing scholarly attention paid to musical biography across the past few decades has brought to attention many aspects of both the processes of myth-making that have historically operated within the genre as well as the intervention of the politics of nationality in narratives of composers’ lives. The nature of biographical mythologization has been explored within the context of single-composer book projects including, amongst others, William Stafford’s The Mozart Myths (1991), Alessandra Comini’s The Changing Image of Beethoven (1987), and David Hunter’s The Lives of George Frideric Handel (2015), while my own full-length study of musical biography (2008) has rigorously investigated the nature of mythology itself through the comparative examination of life-writing across a range of composers, countries, and centuries. Hans Lenneberg (1988) has identified nationality as a factor influencing major music-biographical sources at least as far back as eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century lexicography, and my research on the origins of the still-current “Master Musicians” series (2003) provides systematic demonstration of the ways in which authors endeavoured to emphasize the relevance of their subjects to late Victorian Britain, as well as the documentary value consequently embodied by such texts as reflections of the priorities and sensibilities of specific reading communities. Scholars such as Toby Thacker (2006) and Jolanta T. Pekacz (2006) have investigated analogous political appropriations of canonical composers including Bach, Handel, and Chopin in ideological contexts ranging from the German Democratic Republic to nineteenth-century Poland; and Jeremy Dibble’s examination (2001) of the first edition of Grove’s Dictionary (1879–90) has revealed its English biases in terms both of content and scholarship.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Music and Media
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Wiley, Christopherc.wiley@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 2019
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019 Taylor & Francis
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 27 Jun 2019 13:37
Last Modified : 27 Jun 2019 13:37
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/852170

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