Style in Keyboard Accompaniment in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Author: Giulia Nuti
Basso continuo accompaniment calls upon a complex tapestry of harmonic, rhythmic, compositional, analytical and improvisational skills. The evolving knowledge that underpinned the performance of basso continuo was built up and transmitted from the late 1500s to the second half of the eighteenth century, when changes in instruments together with the assertion of control by composers over their works brought about its demise. By tracing the development of basso continuo over time and across the regions of Italy where differing practices emerged, Giulia Nuti accesses this body of musical usage. Sources include the music itself, introductions and specific instructions and requirements in song books and operas, contemporary accounts of performances and, in the later period of basso continuo, description and instruction offered in theoretical treatises. Changes in instruments and instrumental usage and the resulting sounds available to composers and performers are considered, as well as the altering relationship between the improvising continuo player and the composer. Extensive documentation from both manuscript and printed sources, some very rare and others better known, in the original language, followed by a precise English translation, is offered in support of the arguments. There are also many musical examples, transcribed and in facsimile. Giulia Nuti provides both a scholarly account of the history of basso continuo and a performance-driven interpretation of how this music might be played.
Covers the Italian Baroque period (1600-1730), dealing with basso continuo realizations, the use of bass line instruments and their terminology, and the functions of the various kinds of lutes. Borgir challenges the notion that the independent basso continuo is one of the hallmarks of the Baroque style. " . . . a major reconsideration of the sound of 17th-century Italian music . . . "
As shown by the ever-increasing volume of recordings, editions and performances of the vast repertory of secular cantatas for solo voice produced, primarily in Italy, in the second half of the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century, this long neglected genre has at last 'come of age'. However, scholarly interest is currently lagging behind musical practice: incredibly, there has been no general study of the Baroque cantata since Eugen Schmitz's handbook of 1914, and although many academic theses have examined microscopically the cantatas of individual composers, there has been little opportunity to view these against the broader canvas of the genre as a whole. The contributors in this volume choose aspects of the cantata relevant to their special interests in order to say new things about the works, whether historical, analytical, bibliographical, discographical or performance-based. The prime focus is on Italian-born composers working between 1650 and 1750 (thus not Handel), but the opportunity is also taken in one chapter (by Graham Sadler) to compare the French cantata tradition with its Italian parent in association with a startling new claim regarding the intended instrumentation. Many key figures are considered, among them Tomaso Albinoni, Giovanni Bononcini, Giovanni Legrenzi, Benedetto Marcello, Alessandro Scarlatti, Alessandro Stradella, Leonardo Vinci and Antonio Vivaldi. The poetic texts of the cantatas, all too often treated as being of little intrinsic interest, are given their due weight. Space is also found for discussions of the history of Baroque solo cantatas on disc and of the realization of the continuo in cantata arias - a topic more complex and contentious than may at first be apparent. The book aims to stimulate interest in, and to win converts to, this genre, which in its day equalled the instrumental sonata in importance, and in which more than a few composers invested a major part of their creativity.
Taking a fresh look at the interconnections between medieval images, texts, theater, and practices of viewing, reading and listening, this explicitly interdisciplinary volume explores various manifestations of performance and meanings of performativity in the Middle Ages. The contributors - from their various perspectives as scholars of art history, religion, history, literary studies, theater studies, music and dance - combine their resources to reassess the complexity of expressions and definitions of medieval performance in a variety of different media. Among the topics considered are interconnections between ritual and theater; dynamics of performative readings of illuminated manuscripts, buildings and sculptures; linguistic performances of identity; performative models of medieval spirituality; social and political spectacles encoded in ceremonies; junctures between spatial configurations of the medieval stage and mnemonic practices used for meditation; performances of late medieval music that raise questions about the issues of historicity, authenticity, and historical correctness in performance; and tensions inherent in the very notion of a medieval dance performance.
In the fall of 2015, a collection of faculty at liberal arts colleges began a conversation about the challenges we faced as instructors: Why were there so few course materials accessible to undergraduates and lay readers that reflected current scholarly debate? How can we convey the relevance of studying music history to current and future generations of students? And how might we represent and reflect the myriad, often conflicting perspectives, positions, and identities that make up both music’s history and the writers of history? Here we offer one response to those questions. Open Access Musicology is a collection of essays, written in an accessible style and with a focus on modes of inquiry rather than content coverage. Our authors draw from their experience as scholars but also as teachers. They have been asked to describe why they became musicologists in the first place and how their individual paths led to the topics they explore and the questions they pose. Like most scholarly literature, the essays have all been reviewed by experts in the field. Unlike all scholarly literature, the essays have also been reviewed by students at a variety of institutions for clarity and relevance. These essays are intended for undergraduates, graduate students, and interested readers without any particular expertise. They can be incorporated into courses on a range of topics as standalone readings or used to supplement textbooks. The topics introduce and explore a variety of subjects, practices, and methods but, above all, seek to stimulate classroom discussion on music history’s relevance to performers, listeners, and citizens.
Compositional Theory & Practice in Nineteenth-Century Opera
Author: Nicholas Baragwanath
Publisher: Indiana University Press
“A major contribution . . . not only to Puccini studies but also to the study of nineteenth-century Italian opera in general.” —Nineteenth-Century Music Review In this groundbreaking survey of the fundamentals, methods, and formulas that were taught at Italian music conservatories during the 19th Century, Nicholas Baragwanath explores the compositional significance of tradition in Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Boito, and, most importantly, Puccini. Taking account of some 400 primary sources, Baragwanath explains the varying theories and practices of the period in light of current theoretical and analytical conceptions of this music. The Italian Traditions and Puccini offers a guide to an informed interpretation and appreciation of Italian opera by underscoring the proximity of archaic traditions to the music of Puccini. “Dense and challenging in its detail and analysis, this work is an important addition to the growing corpus of Puccini studies. . . . Highly recommended.” —Choice
Mary Cyr addresses the needs of researchers, performers, and informed listeners who wish to apply knowledge about historically informed performance to specific pieces. Special emphasis is placed upon the period 1680 to 1760, when the viol, violin, and violoncello grew to prominence as solo instruments in France. Part I deals with the historical background to the debate between the French and Italian styles and the features that defined French style. Part II summarizes the present state of research on bowed string instruments (violin, viola, cello, contrebasse, pardessus de viole, and viol) in France, including such topics as the size and distribution of parts in ensembles and the role of the contrebasse. Part III addresses issues and conventions of interpretation such as articulation, tempo and character, inequality, ornamentation, the basse continue, pitch, temperament, and "special effects" such as tremolo and harmonics. Part IV introduces four composer profiles that examine performance issues in the music of Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, Marin Marais, Jean-Baptiste Barrière, and the Forquerays (father and son). The diversity of compositional styles among this group of composers, and the virtuosity they incorporated in their music, generate a broad field for discussing issues of performance practice and offer opportunities to explore controversial themes within the context of specific pieces.
The intricacies and challenges of musical performance have recently attracted the attention of writers and scholars to a greater extent than ever before. Research into the performer's experience has begun to explore such areas as practice techniques, performance anxiety and memorisation, as well as many other professional issues. Historical performance practice has been the subject of lively debate way beyond academic circles, mirroring its high profile in the recording studio and the concert hall. Reflecting the strong ongoing interest in the role of performers and performance, this History brings together research from leading scholars and historians and, importantly, features contributions from accomplished performers, whose practical experiences give the volume a unique vitality. Moving the focus away from the composers and onto the musicians responsible for bringing the music to life, this History presents a fresh, integrated and innovative perspective on performance history and practice, from the earliest times to today.
Performance studies in the Western art music tradition have often been dominated by the relationship of theoretical score-analysis to performance. This book presents a structured approach to analyzing the interpretation of a musical work from the perspective of a musically informed listener.
Since it was first published in 1993, the Sourcebook for Research in Music has become an invaluable resource in musical scholarship. The balance between depth of content and brevity of format makes it ideal for use as a textbook for students, a reference work for faculty and professional musicians, and as an aid for librarians. The introductory chapter includes a comprehensive list of bibliographical terms with definitions; bibliographic terms in German, French, and Italian; and the plan of the Library of Congress and the Dewey Decimal music classification systems. Integrating helpful commentary to instruct the reader on the scope and usefulness of specific items, this updated and expanded edition accounts for the rapid growth in new editions of standard works, in fields such as ethnomusicology, performance practice, women in music, popular music, education, business, and music technology. These enhancements to its already extensive bibliographies ensures that the Sourcebook will continue to be an indispensable reference for years to come.
At the height of the Enlightenment, four conservatories in Naples stood at the center of European composition. Maestros taught their students to compose with unprecedented swiftness and elegance using the partimento. In The Art of Partimento, performer and historian Giorgio Sanguinetti provides students and scholars of composition and music theory an historical chronicle as well as a practical guide, offering them the opportunity not only to understand the life of this fascinating tradition, but to participate in it as well.
Isolde Ahlgrimm (1914-1995), was an important pioneer in the revival of Baroque and Classical keyboard instruments in her native city, Vienna, and later, throughout Europe and the United States. Ahlgrimm's performances of Baroque music represented a radical departure from the distinctly twentieth-century interpretations by the much more famous Wanda Landowska and her followers. Peter Watchorn provides an engaging study of Ahlgrimm, and argues that her contribution to the harpsichord and fortepiano revival was pivotal, and that her use of period instruments and the inspiration she instilled in younger musicians, including Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt, has been almost entirely overlooked by the wider musical world.
A Forgotten Art of Melody in the Long Eighteenth Century
Author: Nicholas Baragwanath
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
In this first-ever book on the solfeggio tradition, one of the pillars of eighteenth-century music education, author Nicholas Baragwanath illuminates how performers and composers developed their exceptional skills in improvising and inventing melodies.
Spiritual Comfort, Courtly Delight, and Commercial Triumph
Author: Gregory Barnett
This book, the first of its kind, is a study of Bolognese instrumental music during the height of the city's musical activity in the late seventeenth century. The periodmarked by a rapid expansion of the cappella musicale of the principal city church, San Petronio, by the founding of the Accademia Filarmonica, and by increasingly lavish patronage of musical eventswitnessed the proliferation of repertory for instrumental ensembles. This music not only reveals crucial stages in the development of the sonata and concerto but also recalls the elaborate church rituals and the opulent public and private celebrations in which they figured prominently. Moreover, the late seventeenth century saw the heyday of Bolognese music publishing, whose output of sonatas and related instrumental genres easily surpassed that of the once-dominating Venetian presses. The approach taken here departs from composer- and genre-centered monographs on Italian instrumental music in order to illuminate an array of topics that center on the Bolognese repertory: the social condition of instrumentalist-composers; the acumen of music publishers in the creation of the repertory; the diverse contexts of the instrumental dances; the influence of liturgical traditions on sonata topoi; the impact of psalmodic practice on tonal style; and the innovative climate that led to experiments with scoring and form in the earliest instrumental concertos. In sum, this book not only illustrates the historically significant and defining features of the music, but also links the surviving repertory to the flourishing musical culture in which it was created.
The musica secreta or concerto delle dame of Duke Alfonso II d'Este, an ensemble of virtuoso female musicians that performed behind closed doors at the castello in Ferrara, is well-known to music history. Their story is often told by focussing on the Duke's obsessive patronage and the exclusivity of their music. This book examines the music-making of four generations of princesses, noblewomen and nuns in Ferrara, as performers, creators, and patrons from a new perspective. It rethinks the relationships between polyphony and song, sacred and secular, performer and composer, patron and musician, court and convent. With new archival evidence and analysis of music, people, and events over the course of the century, from the role of the princess nun musician, Leonora d'Este, to the fate of the musica secreta's jealously guarded repertoire, this radical approach will appeal to musicians and scholars alike.
One of the most remarkable tales of recent resurrections in the field of early keyboard music concerns the music of Heinrich Scheidemann (c. 1595-1663). Pieter Dirksen considers the transmission of Scheidemann's music as a whole and the repertoire itself
Listeners, performers, students and teachers will find here the analytical tools they need to understand and interpret musical evidence from the baroque era. Scores for eleven works, many reproduced in facsimile to illustrate the conventions of 17th and 18th century notation, are included for close study. Readers will find new material on continuo playing, as well as extensive treatment of singing and French music. The book is also a concise guide to reference materials in the field of baroque performance practice with extensive annotated bibliographies of modern and baroque sources that guide the reader toward further study. First published by Ashgate (at that time known as Scolar Press) in 1992 and having been out of print for some years, this title is now available as a print on demand title.