The year 1685 saw the birth of no fewer than three baroque geniuses: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Georg Fredric Handel (1685-1759), and the lesser known, but equally brilliant harpsichordist, Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). It's quite common now to hear the music of these three composers performed on "authentic instruments", which usually implies not only the use of original instruments or copies of them, but also an ensemble of appropriate size, fidelity to the composer's tempi and dynamic markings, and the tuning pitch used at the time. For an easy-to-read discussion of the ingredients and merits of "historically informed performances", see the articles by Lampson and McComb. The PIPE List is a compilation of period instrument performance ensembles. It also has links to the home pages of many of these ensembles; see, for example, the home pages of Tafelmusik, Les Violons du Roy, and Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music.
Long before Arrighi and Palatino became well known (and ubiquitous too, in the case of the latter!) as fonts and typefaces, they were first and foremost writing masters, engravers and calligraphers. Although there's not much about them on the Web, there are a lot of resources on illuminated manuscripts and incunabula. Visit, for example, the WebMuseum where you'll see Les tres riches heures du Duc de Berry. A few pages from the Book of Kells can be found at Trinity College Library in Dublin; a small part of the British Library's incomparable collection can be seen in the Treasures of the British Library exhibition; and there's also a wide-ranging exhibit at the National Library of the Netherlands. The World Wide Scribe provides a good starting point into the lettering arts, as does the Manuscripts, Paleography, Codicology page at Georgetown University. For a contemporary slant on calligraphy (and a nicely designed home page), see the Chicago Calligraphy Collective. And finally, the fonts used to write B-A-C-H above are freely available from any CTAN (Comprehensive TeX Archive Network) site.
The Gutenberg Project is an ambitious endeavour that aims to put as many texts as possible on line. Most are text whose copyright has long expired: Darwin's The Origin of Species, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and many, many others. The Children's Literature Web Guide is an extremely comprehensive guide to Internet resources dealing with literature for children and young adults. Many individual authors also have home pages; see, for example, the page about Salman Rushdie.
This page is still under construction.
Last modified on 29/03/00 by Aloke Phatak