From servant to savant : musical privilege, property, and the French Revolution /

Publication Type:



Oxford University Press,, New York, NY, United States, p.1 online resource : (2022)

Call Number:




(OCoLC)fst01030444, (OCoLC)fst01030850, (OCoLC)fst01030867, 18e siècle., 18th century., Aspect social, Economic conditions, Economic conditions., fast, France, Music, Musicians, Musique, Social aspects, Social aspects., Social conditions, Social conditions.


Includes bibliographical references and index.Introduction -- Part I. Musical Privilege. Legal Privilège and Musical Production ; Social Privilège and Musician-Masons -- Part II. Property. Private Property : Music and Authorship ; Public Servants ; Cultural Heritage : Music as Work of Art ; National Industry : Music as a "Useful" Art and Science -- Postlude : A "Detractor" Breaks his "Silence" -- Conclusion : Privilege by Any Other Name."From Servant to Savant exposes the fundamental role that the French Revolution played in the emergence of modern professional musicianship and music historiography. Like other arts and trades in Old Regime Paris, music professionalized under a system that regulated activities through legal permissions called privilèges. Musicians learned to work within the privilege system to elevate their legal and social status by the eve of Revolution. But the Revolution's Abolition of Privilege on August 4th, 1789, overthrew this feudal order and set in its place a modern property regime requiring strict delineation between public and private property. Geoffroy-Schwinden reveals the profound musical consequences of this reckoning. Before the Revolution, music was an activity that required permission, after, it was an object that could be possessed. Everyone seemingly hoped to gain something from owning music-musicians claimed it as their unalienable personal expression while the French nation sought to enhance imperial ambitions by appropriating it as the collective product of cultural heritage and national industry. Musicians capitalized on these changes to protect their professionalization within new laws and institutions while excluding those without credentials from their elite echelon. As musicians and the government negotiated the place of music in a reimagined French society, new epistemic and professional practices constituted three lasting values of musical production: the composer's sovereignty, the musical work's inviolability, and the nation's supremacy. From Servant to Savant thus demonstrates how the French Revolution set the stage for the emergence of so-called musical "Romanticism" and its legacies that continue to haunt musical institutions and industries"--Description based on online resource; title from home page (viewed on December 9, 2022).