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Wait, waite (musician)

(1,213 words)

Author(s): Kremer, Joachim
1. Concept and work profileThe English “wait” in the sense of a “town musician” derives from the Old French  gait/wait, meaning “lookout,” “sentry” (compare German  Wacht, “watchman”). A watchman in the Middle Ages was required to sound the alarm by blasting a horn, and in due course this gave rise to the musical sense.  Stadtpfeifer (town [shawm] pipers) are attested in the German-speaking world from the late 13th century onwards as musicians furnished with official privileges. Synonymous terms, such as  Ratsmusicus (council musician),  Stadtmusicus (city musician, also  Stad…
Date: 2023-11-14

Occasional composition

(2,265 words)

Author(s): Kremer, Joachim
1. DefinitionLike occasional verse, occasional compositions are written for special occasions, such as births (Childbirth), weddings, deaths, and church or political memorial days. They thus form part of festival culture in the broadest sense, and are dependent on the constant evolution of festival customs. It follows from this that such compositions were placed in a situative context greater than the work itself, one that the music itself recalls or permits to be recalled a posteriori. This is apparent, for instance, from the high regard for occasional works in th…
Date: 2020-04-06

Music society

(817 words)

Author(s): Kremer, Joachim
1. Concept The modern term “music society” encompasses many very different kinds of institutions that bring together music-related interests (of a scholarly, artistic, or practical nature) into a society with an equally wide range of influences in the public sphere. During the early modern period, these might take the form of a circle of scholars, a club-like institution, or a concert society [1]. Although many societies, such as the academy of 16th-century northern Italy [4], operated under the aegis of the ruling dynasty or the urban or clerical nobility, music …
Date: 2020-04-06


(824 words)

Author(s): Kremer, Joachim
1. Concept and meaning Tafelmusik (German “table music”) is a field of occasional, functional music that until the late 16th century or so remained a customary practice not associated with the aspirations of composition deliberately created and recorded in writing (Occasional composition). It was a form of improvised instrumental music (with or without a vocal element) that was performed to accompany feasts or festivals.Many pictorial and literary sources document the performance of Tafelmusik dating back to the high Middle Ages [4. 143]; [2]. However, the term itself (…
Date: 2022-11-07

Funeral music

(1,511 words)

Author(s): Kremer, Joachim
1. Definition Funeral music is the most voluminous genre of occasional composition. Throughout its history, music has been used on occasions of mourning. There are two categories within this use in the early modern era: polyphonic pieces composed for specific occasions, and the singing of standard hymns (as in the accompaniment of the funeral procession, for example). These “funeral dirges” were often set pieces assigned teachers and students and, like the polyphonic funeral music, reflected the a…
Date: 2019-10-14

Subscription model

(1,552 words)

Author(s): Trabert, Susann | Kremer, Joachim
1. MediaThe subscription model, from Latin subscriptio (signature), was a financing and marketing strategy, used especially by the early modern book trade, in which purchasers (subscribers) committed themselves in advance to purchase a specific work (Book; Book trade). The system developed in England in the early 17th century, whence it spread to Holland, France, and Germany [1]; [4. 178]. It reached its peak in the late 17th and 18th centuries. In the last quarter of the 18th century the system began to retreat; by the mid-19th century, it was pl…
Date: 2022-08-17

Music, ecclesiastical

(7,037 words)

Author(s): Kremer, Joachim | Sparn, Walter | Fischer, Michael | Petzoldt, Martin | Totzke, Irenaeus
1. IntroductionThe term ecclesiastical or church music encompasses all music that is heard within Christian churches. This purely functional sense implies no musical genres or stylistic properties. The abundance of manifestations of music in the Catholic (see below, 5.2.), Protestant (see below, 5.3.), and Orthodox churches (see below, 5.4.) precludes an absolute definition valid across the whole of history. Using the term “spiritual music” makes matters no easier, for spiritual music need not be…
Date: 2020-04-06