Trumpeters and diplomacy on the eve of the Thirty Years’ War: the album amicorum of Jonas Kröschel

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In central Europe around 1600, trumpet music was used in diplomatic encounters to symbolise the magnificence of rival princes and to acknowledge the status of their ambassadors. Trumpeters also served as envoys, particularly in wartime when their trumpet-calls could enable communication with the enemy if all other forms of negotiation had broken down. New light is shed on the role of trumpeters in diplomatic meetings by the album amicorum of Jonas Kröschel, trumpeter to the Elector of Mainz, Johann Schweikard von Cronberg. Kröschel’s album (preserved as British Library, Ms.Egerton 1242) includes inscriptions from over 30 trumpeters whom he met while accompanying the Elector of Mainz at princely meetings in Aschaffenburg, Prague and Nuremberg between 1608 and 1611. This article gives the first detailed description of the album and identifies most of the trumpeters and noblemen who signed it. Kröschel’s album shows that trumpeters used their attendance at diplomatic meetings to build and reinforce their own brotherhood, a brotherhood that was later formalised as the 1623 Imperial Kameradschaft of trumpeters and kettledrummers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-392
JournalEarly Music
Issue number3
Early online date4 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • trumpeter
  • Kröschel, Jonas
  • diplomacy
  • trumpet
  • Mainz
  • Nuremberg
  • Aschaffenburg
  • Dresden
  • Kameradschaft
  • music
  • Elector of Mainz
  • Prague
  • album amicorum
  • jonas
  • kroschel
  • kroeschel
  • jonas kroschel
  • jonas kroschl
  • kroschl
  • kröschel

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