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Evening Music at a Hamburg Musical College (c. 1740)
Widespread in the German territories, the Netherlands, and England, collegia musica were associations of music lovers who were committed to the performance of vocal and instrumental music. Collegia musica started forming as early as the sixteenth century but reached their heyday in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The orchestras were comprised of amateur musicians recruited from the local citizenry or student body. The concert venues ranged from private homes to cafés, restaurants, and public spaces, as shown in this depiction of a concert in Hamburg. In the early eighteenth century, Hamburg’s collegium musicum, conducted by the famed Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767), was one of the foremost musical societies of its kind. Watercolor, unknown artist, c. 1740.