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Birth of the orchestra

OUP announces the publication of The Birth of the Orchestra - History of an Institution, 1650-1815 by John Spitzer and Neal Zaslaw (Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0 19 816434 3).

Beginning with the lyre of Orpheus and the etymology of 'orchestra', the book examines the meaning of the orchestra and traces the birth and the history of orchestration. It covers the social history of the orchestra from pre-orchestral ensembles, Lully's orchestra, Corelli's orchestra, the orchestra in Italy, France, Germany and England, through to the classical orchestra.

It also features sections on placement, seating and acoustics, on performance practices and on the life and times of the orchestral musician. Appendices list sample orchestras during four periods: 1754-1759, 1773-1778, 1791-1796 and 1808-1818.


Posted: 12 February 2004 by Neil Zaslaw

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