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Jewry in Music
Entry to the Profession from the Enlightenment to Richard Wagner


  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316639603

£ 21.99

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About the Authors
  • David Conway analyses why and how Jews, virtually absent from Western art music until the end of the eighteenth century, came to be represented in all branches of the profession within fifty years as leading figures – not only as composers and performers, but as publishers, impresarios and critics. His study places this process in the context of dynamic economic, political, sociological and technological changes and also of developments in Jewish communities and the Jewish religion itself, in the major cultural centres of Western Europe. Beginning with a review of attitudes to Jews in the arts and an assessment of Jewish music and musical skills, in the age of the Enlightenment, Conway traces the story of growing Jewish involvement with music through the biographies of the famous, the neglected and the forgotten, leading to a radical contextualisation of Wagner's infamous 'Judaism in Music'.

    • Provides the first explanation of Wagner's controversial 'Judaism in Music' in the context of what Jews and musicians were actually doing at the time
    • Based on substantial original research, this book presents a wide-ranging scope, analysing biographies of little-known as well as well-known musicians and covering music as a whole - composers, performers, critics and impresarios
    • Examines political, economic, social and technological issues infrequently addressed in musical histories, giving an unusual and wide-ranging context of this topic
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An excellent book …' Music Matters, BBC Radio 3

    '[It] brings together three strands of research all too often kept separate; music history, Jewish history and the wider religious, social, political and economic context.' The Jewish Chronicle

    '… [a] thoroughly engrossing book, recommended to both musician and historian.' Classical Music

    'Conway's book is an impressive feat, and a fine contribution to an ongoing debate.' The Wagner Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316639603
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 170 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus. 1 table 10 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Whatever the reasons'
    2. 'Eppes Rores - can a Jew be an artist?
    3. In the midst of many people: musical Europe: The Netherlands, England, Austria, Germany, France
    4. Jewry in music

  • Author

    David Conway, University College London
    David Conway is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London. He has published articles in Slavonic and East European Studies, European Judaism and Jewish Historical Studies and is a contributor to The Wagner Journal. He is the founder and director of the international music festival 'Levočské babie leto' (Indian Summer in Levoča), Slovakia.

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