Towards Tonality

Towards Tonality: Aspects of Baroque Music Theory

Thomas Christensen
Penelope Gouk
Gérard Geay
Susan McClary
Markus Jans
Joel Lester
Marc Vanscheeuwijck
Copyright Date: 2007
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 205
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qf0zw
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  • Book Info
    Towards Tonality
    Book Description:

    This is a collection of essays based on lectures presented at the International Orpheus Academy for Music and Theory on "Historical Theory, Performance, and Meaning in Baroque Music". The often complex connections and intersections between, e.g., modal and tonal idioms, contrapuntal and harmonic organisation, were considered from various perspectives as to the transition (towards tonality) from the Renaissance to the Baroque era.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-097-8
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. 7-8)
    Peter Dejans
  4. GENRES OF MUSIC THEORY, 1650–1750
    (pp. 9-40)
    Thomas Christensen

    To help make sense of any complex intellectual or historical discipline, scholars have usually found it necessary to divide the subject up into various classifications and parts that are related in some kind of rationalized network or hierarchy. Put more metaphorically, we create maps of disciplines by which to survey and understand the varied terrains we wish to navigate in our studies. Without some kind of order imposed upon either unwieldy empiricism or intellectual abstraction, our work as scholars and historians would be well-nigh impossible. Disciplinary categories and divisions are indispensable as cognitive heuristics.

    Of course, divisions (or maps) of...

  5. SCIENCE AND MUSIC, OR THE SCIENCE OF MUSIC: SOME LITTLE-KNOWN EXAMPLES OF “MUSIC THEORY” BETWEEN 1650 AND 1750
    (pp. 41-70)
    Penelope Gouk

    The temporal boundaries for this paper, as for our academy, can best be framed with reference to Athanasius Kircher’s Musurgiauniversalis(Rome, 1650) on the one hand, and Denis Diderot’sEncylopédiepublished between 1751 and 1772 on the other. Both these sources have long been recognized as fundamental texts for Western music theory. The sources to be examined here, however, are not generally known to historians of music theory, even though the subjects they address constituted part of the domain of “music theory” as understood around 1700. What makes these sources doubly remote is that their authors—the physician and...

  6. L’ÉDITION DE LA POLYPHONIE FRANÇAISE DU 17e SIÈCLE
    (pp. 71-90)
    Gérard Geay

    Éditer la musique ancienne nécessite une profonde connaissance du contexte théorique et pratique dans lequel les oeuvres ont vu le jour. Par exemple, il est indispensable de maîtriser le système modal, la solmisation et les règles du contrepoint pour pouvoir juger si le texte musical de la source est correct et, dans le cas contraire, être capable de le corriger en respectant le style de l’époque.

    L’Atelier d’étude et les Éditions du Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles publient depuis plusieurs années des polyphonies profanes ou religieuses françaises. Tous ces compositeurs forment le chaînon manquant entre ce qu’il est convenu...

  7. TOWARDS A HISTORY OF HARMONIC TONALITY
    (pp. 91-118)
    Susan McClary

    The theories of harmonic tonality that flourished in the eighteenth century ground themselves in purely musical premises: in mathematical relationships, in the overtone series derived from physical acoustics, in systematic demonstrations such as the Rule of the Octave. Within the intellectual framework thus established, music seems to make itself up out of rational principles that exist independent of human invention. It is as though the musicians of the eighteenth century—much like contemporaneous scientists—had discerned structures of order waiting there to be discovered, once they swept the mystifications of former epistemologies aside. Not only the theories but also the...

  8. TOWARDS A HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE RULE OF THE OCTAVE
    (pp. 119-144)
    Markus Jans

    The history of the Rule of the Octave is inseparably connected to the history of thoroughbass. The Rule of the Octave plays an essential role in both playing practice and composition, two clearly distinguishable aspects of thoroughbass.

    In the early eighteenth century, as documented in theoretical works and written-out scores, thoroughbass is first and foremost an instruction for playing, giving the accompanist guidelines for improvising and elaborating on the basis of a code reduced to a bass line and occasional figures. In addition to this primarily technical level, there are a number of aesthetic specifications to be considered: place of...

  9. THOROUGHBASS AS A PATH TO COMPOSITION IN THE EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
    (pp. 145-170)
    Joel Lester

    During the past generation, the history of music theory has drawn an unprecedented degree of scholarly attention, culminating in two separate multi-authored histories.¹ We have developed a tremendous amount of what might best be referred to as journalistic knowledge concerning the ways that musicians of earlier periods thought about musical structures—journalistic in the sense of reporting what they wrote and the context within which they wrote. (It is astonishing how recent our relatively comprehensive knowledge of that information is. As one indication, consider the availability of reprints of major treatises from the past. Rameau’sTraité de l’harmonie, the foundation...

  10. GIOVANNI PAOLO COLONNA AND PETRONIO FRANCESCHINI: BUILDING ACOUSTICS AND COMPOSITIONAL STYLE IN LATE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY BOLOGNA
    (pp. 171-201)
    Marc Vanscheeuwijck

    Traditionally, the “Bologna school” has been associated primarily with trumpet concertos by Giuseppe Torelli or Domenico Gabrielli, or more recently with its hallmark large-scale vocal-instrumental compositions for eight or nine soloists, double choir, trumpets, strings and basso continuo. Although the instrumental compositions represent only about 12% of the total musical output for San Petronio during the last thirty years of the seventeenth century, the large-scale compositions instile concertatoare a little more representative of the real San Petronio repertoire (almost 60% of the total output). We also should not forget the numerous smaller-scale compositions—usually for one to four...

  11. PERSONALIA
    (pp. 202-206)
  12. COLOPHON
    (pp. 207-207)