How the Middle Class Remade Music


Leon Plantinga


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The fabled growth of the middle class in Europe in the later 18th century produced profound changes. Among them was a striking transformation in musical style. Radically dif ferent was the early 18th century career of J.S. Bach from his son’s in the latter part of the decade. The father was entirely dependent upon employment with the patronage system at court or church, while Johann Christian Bach addressed his effort, through opera, concerts and music publication, to an urban public, largely comprised of the new middle class. Leon Plantinga, Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Music at Yale University, will demonstrate this complete metamorphosis in musical style through recorded examples and live performance that should not be missed.

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