Improvising Early Music

Improvising Early Music

Rob C. Wegman
Johannes Menke
Peter Schubert
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt14jxssh
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  • Book Info
    Improvising Early Music
    Book Description:

    The history of musical improvisation from the late Middle Ages to the early Baroque. Studying improvised music is always a challenge, due to its volatility and unpredictability. But what about studying musical improvisation from before the age of sound recordings? In this book three experts give their view on aspects of musical improvisation in the late medieval, renaissance, and early baroque periods. Historical sources show us how improvisation was an integral part of music education and how closely improvisation and composition were linked. This gives new insights into the way music was played in its original historical context and a new way to look at written scores from the past. Improvising Early Music will appeal to anyone interested in the historical background of our written musical heritage, and to musicians who want to gain a deeper insight in the way this music was created.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-159-3
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. 7-8)
    Dirk Moelants
  4. WHAT IS COUNTERPOINT?
    (pp. 9-68)
    Rob C. Wegman

    I would like to begin this contribution by taking the reader back to a year in the life of Ludwig van Beethoven. The year is 1792, and in that year, Beethoven was a young man in his early twenties. Although he was not well known outside his native city of Bonn, where he lived and worked, he had already been making a name for himself as an exceptionally talented musician and composer. Yet for a man of his promise a provincial town like Bonn was clearly too confining a place. It lacked the sorts of opportunities he would need to...

  5. “EX CENTRO” IMPROVISATION – SKETCHES FOR A THEORY OF SOUND PROGRESSIONS IN THE EARLY BAROQUE
    (pp. 69-92)
    Johannes Menke

    It is a commonplace idea that after 1600, everything in music changed completely. The Baroque era started with monody, figured bass, opera, the “affects” and so on, whilst old-fashioned polyphony remained the same; so goes the accepted cliché. One can create wonderful antipodes likeprima praticaagainstseconda pratica, the good Monteverdi as opposed to the bad Artusi, and good advancement against bad conservatism. Of course, history is not so simple. Musical style has many aspects – form, sound, harmony, counterpoint, articulation, melody etc. – and not all of them changed at the same time. The basic principles for organizing sound progressions,...

  6. FROM IMPROVISATION TO COMPOSITION: THREE 16TH CENTURY CASE STUDIES
    (pp. 93-130)
    Peter Schubert

    Although it is well known that improvisation played an important role in Renaissance musical life, the details of this polymorphous practice in the sixteenth century have not been sufficiently investigated. There are many angles from which to look at improvisation: Anna Maria Busse Berger has written about the importance of memory and visualization in music up through the 15thcentury; Ross Duffin has done hands-on experiments in 15thcentury improvisation; Richard Sherr, Timothy McGee, Tim Carter, Rob Wegman and Jane Flynn have looked at its social and liturgical functions in the 16thcentury; Klaus-Jürgens Sachs has made a sweeping survey...

  7. PERSONALIA
    (pp. 131-134)
  8. COLOPHON
    (pp. 135-136)