'This welcome survey covers a great deal of ground... Clarity of organisation is only the most immediately obvious of the book's strengths. The author scrutinizes all her materials with a critical eye, and charts an astonishing number of disagreements, confusions and self-contradictions.' -Early Music'A full and invaluable account of English theoretical writing over the period... A particularly valuable contribution of the book to English music history is the four full appendices.' -Musical TimesThe fundamental changes that resulted in the development of the Baroque style around the turn of the seventeenth century also had a profound effect on music theory. Music Theory in Seventeenth-Century England explores these changes, concentrating specifically on English writings because of their emphasis on practical application and consequent ready rejection of the obsolete. This allows for a detailed and comprehensive commentary on how treatises reflect musical developments during the period.
Musical Creativity in Restoration England is the first comprehensive investigation of approaches to creating music in late seventeenth-century England. Understanding creativity during this period is particularly challenging because many of our basic assumptions about composition – such as concepts of originality, inspiration and genius – were not yet fully developed. In adopting a new methodology that takes into account the historical contexts in which sources were produced, Rebecca Herissone challenges current assumptions about compositional processes and offers new interpretations of the relationships between notation, performance, improvisation and musical memory. She uncovers a creative culture that was predominantly communal, and reveals several distinct approaches to composition, determined not by individuals, but by the practical function of the music. Herissone's new and original interpretations pose a fundamental challenge to our preconceptions about what it meant to be a composer in the seventeenth century and raise broader questions about the interpretation of early modern notation.
This is the first study to provide a systematic and thorough investigation of continuo realization styles appropriate to Restoration sacred music, an area of performance practice that has never previously been properly assessed. Rebecca Herissone undertakes detailed analysis of a group of organ books closely associated with the major Restoration composers Purcell, Blow and Humfrey, and the London institutions where they spent their professional lives. By investigating the relationship between the organ books' two-stave arrangements and full scores of the same pieces, Herissone demonstrates that the books are subtle sources of information to the accompanist, not just short or skeleton scores. Using this evidence, she formulates a model for continuo realization of this repertory based on the doubling of vocal parts, an approach that differs significantly from that adopted by most modern editors, and which throws into question much of the accepted continuo practice in modern performance of this repertory.
The Ashgate Research Companion to Henry Purcell provides a comprehensive and authoritative review of current research into Purcell and the environment of Restoration music, with contributions from leading experts in the field. Seen from the perspective of modern, interdisciplinary approaches to scholarship, the companion allows the reader to develop a rounded view of the environment in which Purcell lived, the people with whom he worked, the social conditions that influenced his activities, and the ways in which the modern perception of him has been affected by reception of his music after his death. In this sense the contributions do not privilege the individual over the environment: rather...
Synopsis of Vocal Musick, by the unidentified A.B., was published in London in 1680 and appears to have only ever had one edition. Its relatively short shelf-life belies its importance to the history of early British music theory. Unlike other English theoretical writings of the period, the Synopsis derives many of its aspects from the continental theoretical tradition, including the first references in English theory to the modern fractional time signatures that had been invented in Italy in the mid-seventeenth century, the first references in English to compound time and the first explanations of tempo terms such as Adagio and Presto. In these respects the treatise forms an important link ...
Thomas Ravenscroft is best-known as a composer of rounds owing to his three published collections: Pammelia and Deuteromelia (both 1609), and Melismata (1611), in addition to his harmonizations of the Whole Book of Psalmes (1621) and his original sacred works. A theorist, composer and editor, Ravenscroft wrote two treatises on music theory: A Briefe Discourse (1614), and 'A Treatise of Practicall Musicke' (c.1607), which remains in manuscript. This is the first book to bring together both theoretical works by this important Jacobean musician and to provide critical studies and transcriptions of these treatises.
Bettina Varwig places the music of the celebrated Dresden composer Heinrich Schütz in a richly detailed tapestry of cultural, political, religious and intellectual contexts. Four key events in Schütz's career – the 1617 Reformation centenary, the performance of his Dafne in 1627, the 1636 funeral composition Musikalische Exequien and the publication of his motet collection Geistliche Chormusik (1648) – are used to explore his music's resonances with broader historical themes, including the effects of the Thirty Years' War, contemporary meanings of classical mythology, Lutheran attitudes to death and the afterlife as well as shifting conceptions of time and history in light of early modern scientific advances. These original seventeenth-century circumstances are treated in counterpoint with Schütz's fascinating later reinvention in nineteenth- and twentieth-century German musical culture, providing a new kind of musicological writing that interweaves layers of historical inquiry from the seventeenth century to the present day.
Verdi's operas - composed between 1839 and 1893 - portray a striking diversity of female protagonists: warrior women and peacemakers, virgins and courtesans, princesses and slaves, witches and gypsies, mothers and daughters, erring and idealised wives, and, last of all, a feisty quartet of Tudor townswomen in Verdi's final opera, Falstaff. Yet what meanings did the impassioned crises and dilemmas of these characters hold for the nineteenth-century female spectator, especially during such a turbulent span in the history of the Italian peninsula? How was opera shaped by society - and was society similarly influenced by opera? Contextualising Verdi's female roles within aspects of women's social, cultural and political history, Susan Rutherford explores the interface between the reality of the spectators' lives and the imaginary of the fictional world before them on the operatic stage.
Challenging received views of music in nineteenth-century German thought, culture and society, this 2010 book provides a radical reappraisal of its socio-political meanings and functions. Garratt argues that far from governing the nineteenth-century musical discourse and practice, the concept of artistic autonomy and the aesthetic categories bequeathed by Weimar classicism were persistently challenged by alternative models of music's social role. The book investigates these competing models and the social projects that gave rise to them. It interrogates nineteenth-century musical discourse, discussing a wide range of manifestos championing musical democratization or seeking to make music an engine for the transformation of society. In addition, it explores institutions and movements that attempted to realize these goals, and compositions - by Mendelssohn, Lortzing and Liszt as well as Wagner - in which the relation between aesthetic and social claims is programmatic.