Considers music as something primarily experienced by people in their daily lives, and is freed from its conventional absorption within the abstraction of 'the Renaissance'. Include articles on: Confessions, identities, and rhetorics of power; Music in the early colonial world; Music and war; Interior spaces for music; Domestic music; and more.
Organized by genre; "chapters are grouped according to the traditional distinctions of music for the church, music for the theatre and music for the concert room that conditioned so much thinking, activity and output in the eighteenth century."
Covers the history of the instrument, tuning systems, the role of the harpsichord in ensemble, its use in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and includes separate chapters devoted to Domenico Scarlatti, J. S. Bach and Handel
Explores patronage, education, religious and civic ritual, theater, and visual culture. "Treating music as an expression of political and national identity, Heller examines it in the context of the era's art and literature, political and religious conflicts, and contentious issues of class and gender."