Dissemination and Database

Competition – Integration – Melting Pot: European Musicians at the Catholic Court of Munich

Martin Albrecht-Hohmaier (PI), Marco Jürgens (PM) since February 2015, Thomas Knobl (PM) - until January 2015, Torsten Roeder (PM) - until 2014

Dissemination and Database

 This MusMig project (P3) is located at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Its main purpose is to structure and disseminate the research contents as well as the process in a digital form.

Primarily, the project will focus on building up a database with a common semantic vocabulary on migrating musicians. All MusMig research projects will be able to enter their data into this common database. The project is backed up by the Person Data Repository, a digital infrastructure project on prosopographical data.

It is intended to publish the MusMig database to the public and to develop a data visualization which reflects the research questions of the various MusMig projects in geographical, chronological, networked, statistical or other creative forms of displays. The documentation of the data scheme and of the developed methods will be a part of the process.

Secondly, the project will also maintain two websites for dissemination purposes: (1) An official website with more formal information, supported by professional designers, and (2) a less formal project blog on the widespread hypotheses.org platform, which will inform about ongoing progress in the MusMig sub projects and provide news that are of interest for researchers in the topic.

Britta Kägler (PM)

Competition – Integration – Melting Pot: European Musicians at the Catholic Court of Munich

The project examines the biographies of German, Dutch and Italian musicians at the Wittelsbach court in Munich between the second half of the seventeenth and the eighteenth century. Focusing on competition between musicians of different nationalities, the project takes a micro-historical perspective on social and artistic integration of foreign musicians in a central European courts by way of a number of detailed case studies. The Wittelsbach court in Munich offers an especially appropriate framework in so far as it was one of the most important catholic courts within the Holy Roman Empire. From the seventeenth century onwards Italian music triumphantly conquered Europe, prompting Duke Albrecht V to attempt creating a musical establishment in Munich en par with that at the most important courts in Italy. Among the many foreign composers working in Munich was Orlando di Lasso who joined Albrecht’s court chapel in 1556.


Foreign musicians (mostly Italians, but also a decreasing number of Dutch and some from other countries) regularly found employment at the Wittelsbach court, allowing the  project’s timeframe to extend from the reign of the elector Maximilian I through to Ferdinand Maria, Max Emanuel and Karl Albrecht (later Emperor Charles VII). The 1680s saw the breakthrough of Italian "drammi per musica" with their ephemeral interaction of music, scenery, costumes and the monarch himself, which in turn let to fierce competition between native musicians and the increasing number of musicians, conductors and choir masters from the Italian peninsula for access to the Munich court. By producing a detailed prosopographical survey and study of foreign musicians employed at the Wittelsbach court in Munich the project will also supply important factual data on migration patterns of musicians in southern Germany. Moreover, it is expected that the project will produce valuable new information on the various factors that could determine the success or failure of integration processes at the Munich court, and especially on the importance and effectiveness of different forms of communication, in particular with regard to the degree of access of musicians to the monarch and/or the princely family.

The project’s close examination of the situation at the Wittelsbach court is complemented by a broad reference framework of musicians working at the courts of Eichstätt, Ansbach, Bamberg and, presumably, Stuttgart.

The following archives have to be consulted:

  • Stuttgart, Hauptstaatsarchiv, Altwürttembergisches Archiv
    e.g. provincial authority, cabinet and court administration
  • Karlsruhe, Generallandesarchiv und Landesbibliothek Karlsruhe
    e.g. estate of Johann Melchior Molter (1696–1765), manuscripts and correspondence (both private and referring to his court position)
  • Eichstätt, Diözesanarchiv / Nürnberg, Staatsarchiv
    e.g. court chapel of the Eichstätt bishopric, Liber Mortuorum (1630–1813 available -> 1696–1750), St. Walburg's church registers (1597–1811 available -> 1650–1750)
  • Bamberg, Staatsarchiv
    e.g. Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, court administration, in particular 774, 776, 781, 782, 788, 795, 1137/1, 1225, 1233 (connections to the Saxon court, Dresden), 4590
  • Berlin, Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz
    e.g. court administration Bayreuth