Message from discussion About a passage in Bukofzer
From: "Alain Naigeon" <anaig...@free.fr>
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Subject: Re: About a passage in Bukofzer
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2009 15:57:30 +0100
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"Margo Schulter" <mschul...@web1.calweb.com> a écrit dans le message de
> Alain Naigeon <anaig...@free.fr> wrote:
>> "Sig Rosen" <sigro...@earthlink.net> a ?crit dans le message de news:
>>> Why not consider earlier[non-b.c] unprepared dissonances both purposeful
>>> dramatic? I'm not understanding.
> First of all, I would stress that the development of expressive
> and unconventional dissonance in the later 16th century -- a different
> world, of course, than the 13th-14th century reality I shall address
> below -- occurred along with, but not necessarily in, styles involving
> what might be viewed as similar to the later continuo. Tomas de Santa
> Maria, in a tract published in 1565, addresses these styles where
> the bass and superius are the main voices, with the middle voices
> simply adding concords and "filling in the space." Yet my study so
> far of his book reveals no extraordinary dissonances.
> During the 1590's, composers such as Monteverdi and less
> dramatically Marenzio, for example, developed new dissonances
> in the context of the madrigal rather than continuo or
> quasi-continuo, as did Gesualdo also.
Thus, or the books I've read were too schematic, or I haven't
read them thoroughly enough!
>> Certainly they might have been, but IMHO not within the same
>> framework as the one argued by camerata pioneers, that is
>> music beeing the servant of the text.
> Of course, as has been observed, the "musical being the servant
> of the text" is a tenet of Vicentino in 1555, and implicitly of
> forces such as the Italian frottola around 1500 and the kind of
> "recitation to the viola" (viola actually meaning a vihuela or
> the like) esteemed by Castiglione as the highest art, since it
> throws into relief the perfections (or imperfections) of the
> solo singer. Thus the Camerata, while indeed a significant
> movement, was a new manifestation of some rather common musical
I'm not at all clear with an accurate definition of frottola. I had the
impression it was a rather "popular" music, more vertical than
franco-flemish counterpoint, a sort of counterpoint of the first
I have a book of facsimiles, an "Italian manuscript of frottole",
1502, publised by Minkoff (Res Vm7 676 of the national libray
in Paris). The introduction says it was studied by Nannie Bridgman
who published about it.
The strange thing is that it contains, according to me, at least three types
of pieces. There is "classical" secular counterpoint (Tous biens, La Mora,
there are religious pieces (for instance two "Et exultavit"), and there are
indeed more vertical pieces, those, I suppose, called "frottole" (pieces by
Marcus Cara, and also Trombocino, whose name is mentionned on top
of folio - rather small!). I haven't made statistics about the number of
pieces in each of these three kinds.
While having a look at this book after reading your message, I discovered
a strange thing about Isaac's La Mora (his named isn't mentionned, but
this piece is not an unica!). I have a modern edition, in which they explain
that the meaning of this title is rather mysterious. I suppose that they
accessing a different source, since in this one I can read "La Mora, or
La Muora - Dona gentile or zentile", which might mean "Kind woman"
(I'm not at all fluent in Italian :-( ). Here I should have a look at
"Dame zentil" , a well known Ars subtilior piece, the theme of which
I'm just not remembering while writing.
>> I'm not telling truth, I'm just searching it. And I could acknowledge
>> your remark and nevertheless stay with my question : if medieval
>> music and baroque music both liked unprepared dissonances, why
>> are they so different, and why is it often argued that the baroque
>> was needing basso continuo to be able to do so, when we see that
>> medieval music didn't need it? Obviously a deeper analysis would
>> be welcome.
> Please let me reply here with a view somewhat different than those
> expressed so far in this thread, but hopefully with the praiseworthy
> humility you have shown in raising these questions. I speak mainly
> on the basis of my response to medieval music over the last 40 years
> and a bit more, although I can marshall some good period sources
> and quotes to agree with my interpretation <grin>.
> First, I don't see how anyone could reasonably argue that the period
> around 1600, which I might join Maria Rika Maniates and others in
> styling "Manneristic" (say 1540-1640 or so, or Rore to Monteverdi),
> needed continuo to use unprepared or unconventional dissonances for
> that period, since it is done in madrigals, and also in keyboard
> pieces where continuo is not an issue. Where is the obligatory
> continuo, for example, Monteverdi's Book IV of 1603, or some of
> Marenzio's madrigals (let alone Gesualdo's) which use unprepared
> sevenths and the like?
Fine, I like this answer :-)
> However, that minor point aside, I would say that applying 16th-century
> concepts to 13th-14th century music is a mistake. They are different
> arts, based on different stable consonances as well different continua
> of consonance/dissonance.
[ here an interesting and detailed comparison between 13-14th century
and Renaissance "harmonies" and voice leading - I'm afraid I'm not
allowed to add an 's' after leading :-) ]
> In my view, the unique quality of 16th-century counterpoint,
> in contrast to either of these examples, is the interest
> in a "homogenous tertian" texture, with mostly a smooth
> flow of tertian concords and sonorities, subtly punctuated
> by the nuance of the suspension dissonance. Either 13th-14th
> or "modern" early 17th-century technique involves progressions
> with a higher degree of contrast.
Books often gave me the impression they consider the beginning
of baroque as a sort of revolution. But sometimes I was feeling the
opposite, that is : franco-flemish period might have been an
exception, a sort of (wonderful) parenthesis.
Français *==> "Musique renaissance" <==* English
midi - facsimiles - ligatures - mensuration
http://anaigeon.free.fr | http://www.medieval.org/emfaq/anaigeon/
Alain Naigeon - anaig...@free.fr - Oberhoffen/Moder, France