By Margaret Bent
Musica ficta is the perform of sprucing or pulling down sure notes to prevent awkard durations in medieval and Reniassance track. This assortment gathers Margaret Bent's influential writings in this debatable topic from the prior thirty years, in addition to an intensive author's advent discussing the present nation of scholarship and responding to critics.
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Extra resources for Counterpoint, Composition and Musica Ficta (Criticism and Analysis of Early Music)
19 I agree entirely with Cross that “polyphony was not ‘modal’ in the fourteenth century” (p. 184). As for imitation, it is Urquhart, not I, who sometimes privileges exactness of imitation over integrity of simultaneities. I wrote: “The case at no point depends on the maintenance of intervallically identical sequence laps, but rather on the independent determination, at each moment in the music, of how the priorities of vertical perfection and cadential subsemitones may be balanced” (Chapter 4, p.
64). I would now put this less strongly (and without the term “chromatic”), especially since chant was not similarly privileged in other aspects of a polyphonic setting, such as text setting (see Chapter 10, p. 282). This statement might at the same time slightly favour semitone cadential approaches in the lowest part (fa-mi cadences), by operation of a weakened recta preference, but this is easily overruled if raised leading notes in the upper part (mi-fa cadences) are judged preferable in a given context.
Berger identifies as a “second source of confusion . . Bent’s mixing up the singer’s performance of the melody with his understanding of it, in her deriving conclusions concerning the singer’s understanding of the music from his way of reading it” (p. 46). ” Certainly it is different as a frequency, but this is where Berger’s “step” becomes slippery. I used the word “step” to mean a movable point in the gamut or the staff, a movable rung of the ladder (scala), a letter that awaits hexachordal definition.