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Roper, Eleanor Jane

A Study of Public and Private Spheres in the Musical Culture of Sixteenth-Century Leipzig

Ph.D. University of London, King's College, 2004
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This study investigates the ways in which the changing balance between public and private spheres is reflected in the musical culture of sixteenth-century Leipzig. The control of the middle classes over musical life during this period has been underestimated by previous historians. Whilst a critical bourgeois public sphere cannot yet be identified, an examination of the musical institutions reveals that the beginnings of many of its characteristics can be observed by 1570.

Chapter 1 considers how theories of public and private spheres can be used to explain social structure and discusses in a general way how this can be related to music in Leipzig. A chronology of historical events together with a discussion of the relevant musical institutions and sources have been included in preparation for later chapters.

The focus of Chapter 2 is an analysis of the heraldic motet in the Apel Codex. This work served a public representational function, contributing to a feudal system, which remained intact throughout the sixteenth century. The absence of later musical sources with a similar purpose, however, reflects a wider social trend towards the increasing independence of the middle classes.

The Lutheran Reformation was a product of this trend, and its course in Leipzig is explored through a discussion of the publication of Gesangbücher in Chapter 3. Worship became a much more public affair in which all participated actively. At the same time the individual became personally and privately responsible for conducting his life in an honourable manner.

Chapter 4 investigates how the developing private life of the middle classes 15 reflected in the rise of amateur keyboard music. Until around 1550 keyboard music in Leipzig existed almost exclusively within the public sphere. A reversal of this situation can be observed in the years leading up to the publication of Ammerbach's tablature collection in 1571.