A Briefe Introduction to the Skill of Song
Although unjustly neglected by modern writers, William Bathe's contributions to music pedagogy in late sixteenth-century England were profound. Bathe's A briefe introduction to the skill of song (1596) not only includes the first explication of a four-syllable, non-hexachordal solmization method published by an English writer (a system similar to that which would become the standard in England during the seventeenth century) but also outlines a combinatorial method for composing canons that is remarkably forward-looking in both conception and design. In addition to providing the first modern edition of Bathe's treatise, the volume examines the complicated compilation and publication histories of the book, the historical and theoretical foundations of Bathe's contributions, and the relationship between the 1596 book and Bathe's 1584 treatise A briefe introduction to the true arte of musicke (the extant text of which is included as an appendix).
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