This classic introductory text focuses on the polyphonic vocal style perfected by Palestrina. Unlike many other texts, it maintains a careful balance between. Counterpoint: the polyphonic vocal style of the sixteenth century / by Knud Jeppeson [sic] ; translated [from the Danish] with an introduction by Glen Haydon . COUNTERPOINT. The Polyphonic Vocal Style of the Sixteenth Century. Knud Jeppesen. Jeppesen. This clau intrusion titles i ilir poliiburi Yul style titted by.

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Usually special contrapuntal factors, such as voice leading, must also be taken into con- sideration, just as we could not get very far in the opposite situation with- out considering harmony. I therefore consider it unnecessary to abandon the system. Its practical significance, which no other work on contrapuntal theory has attained, is due not only to the pedagogically excellent arrangement of the material so that the difficulties increase gradually, but also partly to the fact that Fux was one of the first to take a more modern attitude toward counter- point.

Typis Cdntury Blasianis, One difference is that the movements of the former are somewhat more lively where the words are gay and playful, as in the songs “La bella Margarita,” “La Girometta,” and “La Battaglia” of Jannequin and Verdelot. The present work is distinguished from the con- ventional treatise on counterpoint by its freedom from arbitrary rules and by its close adherence to a definite style period as a standard of reference.

Compositions which are made up solely of consonances may themselves sound good and have a beautiful effect; but there is something imperfect about them both melodically and harmonically in that the charm which may arise from the use of contrast is lacking.

The details that teh interest or suspense grow out of the whole.

Counterpoint: The Polyphonic Vocal Style of the Sixteenth Century

It is much more difficult to see events near at hand in perspective than to see them from a little distance. The Style of Palestrina and the Dissonance. One should, however, as is the practice with modern com- posers, avoid using the augmented fourth, the diminished fifth, and similar intervals.

Melodies much more definitely tonal in character and treated with disproportionately greater architectonic mastery, greater fullness of the chords, and stricter use of the dissonance are here especially remarkable.

Not until the music of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the so-called ars antiqua, do more stable rules for the treatment of the dissonance begin to develop and with them the rudiments of a real theory of counterpoint. Remarkably enough, however, Hucbald poljphonic does not even observe this rule logically.

In both periods are found approximately the same forms: If one begins with a rest upbeatthen the entrance may be made with an imperfect consonance as well. And many examples can be found in which modern comoosers use the seventh, too, unprepared and accented.


Also a gradual change took place in the text. As always in matters of art, there arises a “not only.

Counterpoint: The Polyphonic Vocal Style of the Sixteenth Century

Larger libraries have the complete editions of the works of Palestrina by Hreitkopf und Hartel. Today, however, we think of counterpoint as one particular style among other polyphonic types. For this reason the musicians of old were of the opinion that not only perfect and imperfect consonances should be used in their compositions, but disson- ances as well; they realized that the beauty of their compositions could be enhanced by the use of the latter.

The independence is not the aimless one of primitive art; each separate detail is conditioned by the whole without, however, ceasing to be an entity. But, according to their professional custom, they formulate these rules in an all too categorical and inelastic manner. Indeed, the theory of the treatment of the dis- sonance during this period shows that theorists gradually came to realize that there can be no talk of an art so long as melodic dines proceed with no regard for each other but ricochet along together without restraint in harsh, unclear tonal combinations.

Not for a moment is there a danger that the presence of too many details, stand- ing strangely and coldly in opposition to one another, may prevent the observer from experiencing a sense of unity. Of the following idioms, Artusi says it is best for the highest tone of the first, as well as the lowest 12 El Melopeop.

As a rule they restrict themselves to generalities, such as Zarlino’s assertion that the voices should progress quietly and stepwise, because the beauty of the composition largely depends upon this method.

But in the Gradus stood forth entirely unchallenged as the best counterpoint manual of its kind, and it justly maintained its repu- tation for a long vocwl thereafter. Product Description Product Details This classic introductory text focuses on the polyphonic vocal style perfected by Palestrina.

Counterpoint: the polyphonic vocal style of the sixteenth century; ( edition) | Open Library

During the earlier years, as we already know, dissonances themselves played no role, but voxal regarded as bad-sounding and unclear and were therefore kept off the accented parts of the measure as much as possible — without, however, being subjected to any particular rules.

Today this custom is no longer common because the half note as a dissonance is too prominent, and not only it but the quarter note as well is too sharp a dissonance if it is not used in a proper manner; we therefore are accus- tomed to use only quarters and eighths as dissonances. This discussion may seem somewhat pedantic and detailed to us, and yet we must consider how new the richer and more varied use of the consonances was at that time.


The cantus firmus — whether it is now an ecclesiastical melody or a folk song — occurs generally in the tenor but occasionally in one countedpoint the other voices. Sixteenty basic idea of the system is indeed just this: Certain theorists, among whom was Angelo Berardi, who wrote inintroduce various “note cambiate” as Berardi calls them literally, vocla notes”.

Instead Fux continues quite sys- tematically and in the second species sets cuonterpoint half notes to each whole note in the cantus firmus. A similar chain of reactions is to be found in the history of the Nordic languages. Glen Haydon Chapel Hill, North Carolina PREFACE My book on the style voval Palestrina, in which I investigated certain polyphonic problems of the sixteenth century in detail, 1 was exclu- sively a historical study of style, although the conclusions necessarily have pedagogical importance because of the close relation of the subject to contrapuntal theory.

This involves a factor in the process of evolution which influenced the history of music more, perhaps, than any other.

It begins with a discussion of the intervals and follows with a survey of consonances and dissonances. So far as we know, however, he did not leave any written documents which might enlighten us as to the nature of his instruction.

A quarter can, however, also follow a whole, but in such a case it had best be dotted. However I do not write to bring honor to myself, but for the benefit of others who wish to study music, and further in order not to bury the talent which God has bestowed upon me. In baroque painting, for example in Rembrandt and Rubens, the unity is no longer a result; the artist begins with unity and works toward multiplicity.

Most of the theorists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, without giving the matter further consideration, based their work on the music about them and only occasionally made some comment to the effect that this or that idiom is beautiful or modern or that another is old-fashioned or less usable. And Nenna the madrigalist Pompeo Nenna uses the same interval in the first of his four-part madrigals at the word “umilita” “humility”.

Here Kurth is undeniably right; but from his hypothesis he finds the style of Palestrina less usable than Bach’s as a basis for the teaching of counterpoint. Detailed discussion of this expansive work, to a great extent decidedly experimental in character and devoted only slightly to the practice of the sixteenth century, would lead us too far afield.