History of the Modern Music of Western Europe: from the First Century of the Christian Era to the Present Day

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A high-ranking official in the Imperial War Office in Vienna, Raphael Georg Kiesewetter (1773-1850) is better known for his musicological activities. An accomplished amateur musician, he studied with Albrechtsberger, hosted private concerts of early music, and was closely involved in the affairs of Vienna's Society of the Friends of Music. His important collection of scores is now in the Austrian National Library. He also wrote a number of books and articles, including a pioneering study of Arabic music which was the first to use original sources, owing to the assistance of orientalist Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall. Originally published in German in 1834 and reissued here in its 1848 English translation, the present work is considered Kiesewetter's most significant and remains accessible to the general reader. Based on an evolutionary approach influenced by the Enlightenment, the book presents seventeen epochs which are named after their most characteristic composers.