Eighteenth-Century Diplomats as Musical Agents

  • Mark Ferraguto
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)


Europe’s embassies were major centers of musical activity throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Resident diplomats, in addition to being patrons and performers, often acted as musical agents, facilitating musical interactions within and between courts, among individuals and firms, and in their private salons. Through these varied activities, they played a vital role in shaping a transnational European musical culture. Focusing on a selection of diplomats who served in Vienna during the long eighteenth century, this chapter proposes a typology of their musical activities. Exploring correspondence and other contemporary sources, it highlights the ways in which diplomatic musical exchanges, interventions, and collaborations both lubricated professional relationships and shaped the wider European “ music scene.” An examination of Charles Burney’s visit to Vienna in 1772 from the perspective of “insider” and “small-world” networks further elucidates the central role diplomats played in the city’s salon life.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Ferraguto
    • 1
  1. 1.Penn State College of Arts and ArchitecturePennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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