Ancient Music Adapted to Modern Practice
First published in Rome in 1555, Nicola Vicentino's treatise was one of the most influential music theory texts of the sixteenth century. This translation by Maria Rika Maniates is the first English-language edition of Vicentino's important work.
Unlike most early theorists, Vicentino did not simply summarize the practice of his time. His aim was to change how composers wrote and how musicians thought about music.
His best-known contribution is the adaptation of the ancient Greek chromatic and enharmonic genera to modern polyphonic practice. But he also expressed the avant-garde's position on the relation between music and the subject matter and feelings of a secular or sacred text. He challenged the view that part writing always had to conform to the rules of counterpoint, asserting that license was permissible in order to express the feelings of a verbal text. In this he anticipated the manifestos of Vincenzo Galilei and Claudio Monteverdi. Maniates' introduction discusses Vicentino's life and work, the sources of his ideas in earlier theoretical literature, and the contemporary humanists from whom he may have learned.
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accidental alto archicembalo bass Boethius breve cadences called chap Chapter chromatic and enharmonic chromatic fourth chromatic genus clefs comma composer Composite and Incomposite consonances Danckerts diatessaron diatonic genus Diatonic Series dissonances division enharmonic diesis enharmonic genus Explanation flat four voices fourth rank fugue G sol Gaffurio hard hexachord harmony imperfect imperfect consonances incomp intervals keys Lusitano M6 Example major 3rd proximate major and minor mD mD mD minim minor 6th proximate minor and major minor diesis minor semitone minor sixth minor third Misprint Mixed Music Mode of Tempered music practice Natural Diatonic Nicola Vicentino octave perfect pitches plainchant polyphony proximate most proximate pure diatonic ratio segment semibreve Seven Octave-Species signs singers singing slack soft hexachord soprano species steps and leaps sung syllables syncope Tempered and Mixed tenor tense tetrachord third rank three genera Tones and Semitones tuning unison Vicentino whole tone written