The Neglected

Composer

A Classical Music Blog about music both ~ NEW & OLD ~

Music: A History of Exceptionalism?

Music history, and history generally, is often presented as a narrative of innovation and exceptionalism. One could, I think, summarize any music history curriculum at the undergraduate level (at least in the United States) as Charlemagne, Perotin, Machaut, Ockeghem, Josquin, Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Wagner, Schoenberg, Stravinsky. There will certainly be some other “stuff” in that two to three-semester curriculum, but - let us be honest - no one except for the pedantic musicologists [1] ever remembers the interesting details. It is “the details” – the “little people” [2] – who in many ways make these “exceptions” possible. Who wrote the

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