On June 6, 2021, Bach Society Houston will present a concert called “Music in the Americas at the Time of Bach," which can be streamed online. The concert’s theme—“eighteenth-century music” outside the European geographical context and repertoire typically implied by the term—might raise questions for BSH audiences. Our episode today will explore some of those questions with Dr. Glenda Goodman, Associate Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the book Cultivated By Hand: Amateur Musicians in the Early American Republic (Oxford University Press). Dr. Goodman joins us to discuss how her book—and concerts like the one I just mentioned—can help us consider, and then expand, some of our assumptions, definitions, and labels around European-derived music during Bach's lifetime and in the generation or two following him.
Resources mentioned in the show:
Image from an 18th-century American music notebook at Dr. Goodman’s website
“Notes on Bach” episodes with Dr. Andrew Talle about his book Beyond Bach and the Anna Magdalena notebooks
Vast Early America episode of the history podcast “Ben Franklin’s World,” featuring Dr. Karin Wulf and other scholars
Dr. Candace Bailey, Unbinding Gentility: Women Making Music in the Nineteenth-Century South (University of Illinois Press)
This episode is generously sponsored by the American Bach Society (ABS), which supports the study, performance, and appreciation of the music of J.S. Bach in the U.S. and Canada. The ABS produces publications and a video lecture-concert series, sponsors conferences, and offers research grants and prizes. Information on membership, open to all, is available here.
This month we hear from Dr. Christina Fuhrmann about the history, mission, activities, personnel, and holdings of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute (RBI) at Baldwin-Wallace University, which recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. The RBI houses rare sources related to J. S. Bach, his family, and contemporaries; historical reference materials; scores; recordings; and sources related to other noted figures in Western classical music. The Institute also sponsors conferences and performances, supports and collaborates with scholars at many career stages, and publishes musical editions and research. Dr. Fuhrmann is editor of the journal BACH, the RBI's important English-language journal, and gives us an inside look at the workings of a key site for Bach studies in the United States.
In our conversation, Dr. Fuhrmann references some virtual exhibits that indicate the breadth of the RBI's holdings:
1) RBI librarian Paul Cary’s virtual exhibit on the manuscript copy of the Well-Tempered Clavier, in the hand of Bach’s student H. N. Gerber, and
2) Dr. Fuhrmann's class’s virtual exhibit on Classical and Romantic era items at the RBI.