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Contents

Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries

RUIN

Chapter:
CHAPTER 2 Fat Times and Lean
Source:
MUSIC IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

All this Italianate splendor was not fated to last. The second quarter of the seventeenth century was a horrendous period for the German-speaking lands, marked by an unremitting series of territorial, dynastic, and religious conflicts collectively known as the Thirty Years War. What had started in 1618 as an abortive revolt of the Protestant nobility in Bohemia against the dominion of the Holy Roman (Austrian) Empire spread all over Germany as the Scandinavian kings to the north of Germany opportunistically took up the offensive against the Austrians to the south. By the mid-thirties the German Protestant territories were one huge blood-soaked battlefield.

A peace was declared in 1635 that gave the Empire the advantage. This antagonized France, the other great centralized European power. France joined forces with Sweden and the final stage of what had in effect become a general European war began. The German princes were forgotten as the French and the Austrians, with their various allies, contended everywhere: in the Netherlands, in Spain, in Italy, and in the north, where the Scandinavian powers were now divided. Peace negotiations were begun even before 1640, but hostilities continued sporadically until 1648. The result was a vastly weakened Austrian Empire, a vastly strengthened France, and a completely ruined Germany.

Powerful repercussions of this virtual world war were felt immediately in the arts. The military successes that made France the richest and most prosperous land in Europe laid the foundations for what the French still call their grand siècle, their Great Century. The musical results of that flowering will be the subject of the next chapter. The impoverishing effects of the war on the arts of the German-speaking countries, on the other hand, can scarcely be imagined.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 2 Fat Times and Lean." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2019. <https://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-02006.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 2 Fat Times and Lean. In Oxford University Press, Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries. New York, USA. Retrieved 16 Oct. 2019, from https://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-02006.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 2 Fat Times and Lean." In Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 16 Oct. 2019, from https://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-02006.xml