Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century by Richard Taruskin

By Richard Taruskin

The universally acclaimed and award-winning Oxford historical past of Western track is the eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin's provocative, erudite telling of the tale of Western tune from its earliest days to the current. every one booklet during this superlative five-volume set illuminates-through a consultant sampling of masterworks- the topics, kinds, and currents that supply form and course to an important interval within the background of Western track.

This first quantity in Richard Taruskin's majestic background, track from the Earliest Notations to the 16th Century , sweeps throughout centuries of musical innovation to make clear the early forces that formed the advance of the Western classical culture. starting with the discovery of musical notation greater than 1000 years in the past, Taruskin addresses themes reminiscent of the legend of Saint Gregory and Gregorian chant, Augustine's and Boethius's innovations on track, the liturgical dramas of Hildegard of Bingen, the expansion of the song printing company, the literary revolution and the English madrigal, the impression of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, and the operas of Monteverdi. Laced with superb observations, memorable musical research, and a breathtaking feel of the interactions among heritage, tradition, politics, paintings, literature, faith, and tune, this booklet can be crucial studying for somebody who needs to appreciate this wealthy and numerous period.

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27. 1:02 Why we will Never know How it all Began : Music from the Earlie... com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780... fig. 1-8 Illustration from a thirteenth-century manuscript of a famous music treatise by John of Cotton, now housed at the Bavarian State Library in Munich, which shows Pythagoras in the blacksmith shop, measuring the harmonic consonances. The inscriptions read , Per fabricam ferri mirum deus imprimit (“By means of a smithy God has imparted a wonder”) and Is Pythagoras ut diversorum/per pondera malleorum/perpendebat secum quae sit concordia vocum (“It was this Pythagoras who, by the weights of the various hammers, worked out the consonances for himself “).

All of the examples from the Mass are given in square notation, as they are found in the Liber usualis, an anthology of the basic chants for Mass and Office, issued by the Benedictine monks of Solesmes for the use of Catholic congregations following the official adoption of their restored version by Papal decree in 1903. The Justus ut palma verse, being an encomium (that is, an expression of praise), is particularly suitable for Mass formularies honoring saints. As an Introit antiphon (Ex. 1-4) it is sung in tandem with the next verse in its parent psalm at Masses commemorating saints who were priests but not bishops (or confessors but not martyrs).

Just as the liturgical day was a cycle of services, and the monastic week was a cycle of psalms, so the whole church calendar was organized in a yearly cycle of commemorations, known as feasts, that became ever more copious and diverse over time—wheels within wheels within wheels, within which Chris tian monastics lived out their lives, fulfilling the prophet’s mystical vision (see Ezekiel 1:15–21). The basic framework was provided by the Proper of the Time, or temporale, commemorating events in the life of Christ, organized in two great cycles surrounding the two biggest feasts, Christmas and Easter.

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