The Dutch Republic

  • Rudolf Rasch
Part of the Man & Music book series (MAMU)


The contribution of the Netherlands to the history of music is less conspicuous than those of its larger neighbours — Germany, France and England. Its chief period of fame was during the later fifteenth century and the sixteenth, when five generations of Netherlands composers were responsible for developing the Renaissance polyphonic style that reached its climax in the works of Roland de Lassus (d 1594). Most of them came from the Southern Netherlands and the nearby Walloon and northern French territories, but they were active not only in the cities of northern Europe but also in Spain, Italy and the Austrian empire.


Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century Musical Activity Dutch Republic Vocal Music 
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Bibliographical Note

  1. Much of the literature on the musical history of the Netherlands is in Dutch. General collections of source material have been published during the nineteenth century under the title Bouwsteenen (3 vols., Amsterdam, 1868–81) and during the twentieth as Bouwstenen voor een geschiedenis der toonkunst in de Nederlanden (4 vols., 1965–86; with a certain concentration on organs and organists). Articles on all areas of Dutch musical history can be found in the journal of the Society for Dutch Musical History, Tijdschrift van de Vereniging voor nederlandse muziekgeschiedenis ( TVNM; from 1881); the Dutch music periodical Mens en melodie (from 1945) is also valuable. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have still not been explored systematically. A classic, though superficial, work is D. J. Balfoort’s Het muziekleven in Nederland in de 17de en 18de eeuw (Amsterdam, 1938; repr. 1981); it is, however, in need of revision. Two general histories of music in the Netherlands include chapters on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: W. H. Thijsse, Zeven eeuwen nederlandse muziek (Rijswijk, 1949);Google Scholar
  2. G. van den Borren, Geschiedenis van de muziek in de Nederlanden (Amsterdam, 1949–51). Two works by the banker, music collector and amateur musicologist D. F. Scheurleer, though not directly concerned with the period, nevertheless contain much information: Het muziekleven van Amsterdam in de 17de eeuw (Amsterdam, 1904); and Het muziekleven in Nederland in de tweede helft der 18de eeuw in verband met Mozart’s verblijf aldaar (The Hague, 1909). The best text on the history of Calvinist church music in the Dutch Republic is J. R. Luth, {Daer wert om ‘t seerste uytgekreten …’ (Kampen, 1986).Google Scholar
  3. There are a number of studies of individual musicians: on Blankenburg, D. J. Balfoort’s ‘Quirinus Gideon van Blankenburg’, Jaarboek ‘Die Haghe’ 1938 (1939), 153–224;Google Scholar
  4. on De Fesch, F. van den Bremt’s Willem de Fesch (1687–1757?) (Louvain, 1949)Google Scholar
  5. R. Tusler, ed., Willem de Fesch (1687-C.1760) (Alkmaar, 1987);Google Scholar
  6. on Havingha, J. W. Enschedé’s ‘Gerhardus Havingha en het orgel in de Sint Laurenskerk te Alkmaar’, TVNM, viii/3 (1907), 181–261;Google Scholar
  7. on Hacquart, P. Andriessen’s Carel Hacquart (+1640–1701?) (Brussels, 1974);Google Scholar
  8. on Hellendaal, L. Haasnoot’s Leven en werken van Pieter Hellendaal (1721–1799) (diss., U. of Amsterdam, 1983);Google Scholar
  9. on Locatelli, A. Koole’s Leven en werken van Pietro Antonio Locatelli da Bergamo 1695–1764 (Amsterdam, 1949)Google Scholar
  10. A. Dunning’s Pietro Antonio Locatelli (Buren, 1981; in German);Google Scholar
  11. on Lustig, J. du Saar’s Het leven en de werken van Jacob Wilhelm Lustig (Amsterdam, 1948);Google Scholar
  12. on Rosier, U. Niemöller’s Carl Rosier (1640?-1725) (Cologne, 1957);Google Scholar
  13. on Schenck, K. H. Pauls’s ‘Der kurpfalzische Kammermusikus Johannes Schenk’, Mf, xv (1962), 157–71, and xix (1966), 288–9;Google Scholar
  14. on Schickhardt, D. Lasocki’s ‘Johann Christian Schickhardt (ca. 1682–1762)’, TVNM, xxvii/1 (1977), 28–55;Google Scholar
  15. on Van Wassenaer, A. Dunning’s Count Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer (1692–1766) (Buren, 1980),Google Scholar
  16. R. Rasch and K. Vlaardingerbroek, eds., Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer (1692–1766): componist en staatsman (Zutphen, 1993);Google Scholar
  17. Witvogel, A. Dunning’s De muziekuitgever Gerhard Fredrik Witvogel en zijn fonds (Utrecht, 1966). Articles on individual composers and cities in the Dutch Republic can also be found in Grove 6 and Grove 0.Google Scholar
  18. There are two classic studies of the collegia musica that flourished in the eighteenth century: on that of Utrecht, J. C. M. van Riemsdijk’s Het stads-muziekcollegie te Utrecht (Collegium musicum ultrajectinum) 1631–1881 (Utrecht, 1881);Google Scholar
  19. Arnhem, J. W. Staats Evers’s Het St. Caecilia-concert te Arnhem (Arnhem, 1874).Google Scholar
  20. Early opera in the Netherlands is surveyed in S. A. M. Bottenheim’s De opera in Nederland (Amsterdam, 1946). Roger’s activities as a music printer and dealer are discussed in F. Lesure, Bibliographie des éditions musicales publiées par Estienne Roger et Michel-Charles le Céne (Amsterdam, 1696–1743) (Paris, 1969)Google Scholar
  21. K. Hortschansky, ‘Die Datierung der frühen Musikdrucke Etienne Rogers’, TVNM, xxii (1972), 252–86. Information on organ and other musical instrument making in the Netherlands in the late Baroque period can be found in two publications by A. J. Gierveld: Het nederlandse huisorgel in de 17de en 18de eeuw (Utrecht, 1977); and ‘The Harpsichord and Clavichord in the Dutch Republic’, TVNM, xxxi/2 (1981), 117–66. D. J. Balfoort’s De hollandsche vioolmakers (Amsterdam, 1931) deals with violin making,Google Scholar
  22. A. Lehr’s Van paardebel tot speelklok: de geschiedenis van de klokgietkunst in de Lage Landen (Zaltbommel, 1971) has information on bells.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Granada Group and Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

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  • Rudolf Rasch

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