The last forty years of scholarly research on the Eighteenth century and on the Enlightenment have deeply modified, enriched and maybe also confused our understanding of that century, softening the disciplinary boundaries and bringing social, gender, economic issues to the fore. The studies on the ‘radical Enlightenment’ (from M. C. Jacob to J. Israel), on the literary underground of the Eighteenth century and on the circulation of books and knowledge (from R. Darnton to R. B. Sher), studies on the ‘national Enlightenments’, on exploration, pre-colonialism, natural collections, the public, sensibility, the self, the ‘science of man’, have all broadened our perspective on that crucial century not only about European, but about Global History as well.
What impact, if any, have these studies had (or could these studies have) on the history and study of XVIIIth Century Musical Aesthetics? Is it still possible to pursue the study of XVIIIth Century Musical Aesthetics as if it were a separate, independent, autonomous realm?
This International conference wishes to tackle these issues, in order to build a more complex and varied picture of XVIIIth Century Musical Aesthetics and to further a fruitful dialogue between musicologists and eighteenth century scholars coming from other disciplinary perspectives.