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Child Composers in the Old Conservatories – How Orphans Became Elite Musicians - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Child Composers in the Old Conservatories: How Orphans Became Elite Musicians

Robert O. Gjerdingen


The original music conservatories were orphanages. Through innovative teaching methods the masters of these old institutions were able to transform poor and often illiterate castoffs into elite musicians, many of whom became famous in the history of classical music. The book tells the story of how this was done. It shows what the lessons were like, what a typical day was like for an orphan, and how children progressed from simple lessons to ones more advanced than any seen today in colleges and universities. Recent rediscoveries of thousands of the old lessons have allowed us to understand how ... More

Keywords: Composition, Conservatory, Children, Prodigies, Education, Partimenti, Solfeggi, Solfège, Improvisation, Musicians

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190653590
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190653590.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert O. Gjerdingen, author
Professor of Music, Northwestern University

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