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Beyond BachMusic and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century$
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Andrew Talle

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040849

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252040849.001.0001

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Two Teenage Countesses

Two Teenage Countesses

(p.84) Chapter 5 Two Teenage Countesses
Beyond Bach

Andrew Talle

University of Illinois Press

Chapter five analyzes the repertoire associated with female musicians on the basis of the remarkably well-preserved music library of two teenage countesses in Darmstadt: Luise Charlotte and Friederike Sophie zu Epstein. Pedagogical treatises and parodies of Bach’s Germany suggest that female keyboardists were expected to perform “easy,” “comfortable,” music which was often marketed explicitly “for women.” Most of the repertoire prepared for the Countesses zu Epstein by their teacher, Johannes Merle, follows these stylistic parameters; it consists primarily of quick, dance-based movements with melody-and-accompaniment textures and no strict counterpoint. Close examination of their collection, however, also reveals that they copied music for themselves and one of them, Friederike Sophie, also taught herself to compose.

Keywords:   Countesses zu Epstein, Johannes Merle, Darmstadt, Music for Women, Easy Music, Teenage Girls, Compositions by Women

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