Provocative and timely, Disciplining Music confronts a topic that has sparked considerable debate in recent years: how do musicians and music scholars "discipline" music in their efforts to confer order and meaning on it? This collection of essays addresses this issue by formulating questions about music's canons—rules that measure and order, negotiate cultural constraints, reconstruct the past, and shape the future. Written by scholars representing the fields of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory, many of the essays tug and push at the very boundaries of these traditional division within the study of music.
"Fortunately, in a blaze of good-humored . . . scholarship, [this] book helps brains unaccustomed to thinking about the future without jeopardizing the past imagine the wonder classical-music life might become if it embraced all people and all musics."—Laurence Vittes, Los Angeles Reader
"These essays will force us to rethink our position on many issues. . . [and] advance musicology into the twenty-first century."—Giulio Ongaro, American Music Teacher
With essays by Katherine Bergeron, Philip V. Bohlman, Richard Cohn and Douglas Dempster, Philip Gossett, Robert P. Morgan, Bruno Nettl, Don Michael Randel, Ruth A. Solie, and Gary Tomlinson.
Claudio Monteverdi's historical position in music has been compared to that of Shakespeare in literature: almost exact contemporaries, each worked from traditional beginnings to transform nearly every genre he attempted. In this book, Massimo Ossi delves into the most significant aspect of Monteverdi's career: the development, during the first years of the seventeenth century, of a new compositional style he called the seconda prattica or "second manner."
Challenged in print for the unconventional aspects of his music, Monteverdi found himself at the center of a debate between defenders of Renaissance principles and the newest musical currents of the time. The principles of the seconda prattica, Ossi argues in this sophisticated analysis of Monteverdi's writings, music, and approaches to text-setting, were in fact much more significant to the course of Monteverdi's career than previously thought by modern scholars-not only did Monteverdi continue to pursue their aesthetic and theoretical implications for the rest of his life, but they also affected his dramatic compositions as well as his chamber vocal music and sacred works.
Ossi "divines the oracle" of Monteverdi's ambiguous theoretical concepts in a clear way and in terms of pure music; his book will enhance our understanding of Monteverdi as one of the most significant figures in western music history.
One is a science, the other an art; one useful, the other seemingly decorative, but mathematics and music share common origins in cult and mystery and have been linked throughout history. Emblems of Mind is Edward Rothstein’s classic exploration of their profound similarities, a journey into their “inner life.” Along the way, Rothstein explains how mathematics makes sense of space, how music tells a story, how theories are constructed, how melody is shaped. He invokes the poetry of Wordsworth, the anthropology of Lévi-Strauss, the imagery of Plato, and the philosophy of Kant. Math and music, Rothstein shows, apply comparable methods as they create their abstractions, display similar concerns with ratio and proportion, and depend on metaphors and analogies to create their meanings. Ultimately, Rothstein argues, they reveal the ways in which we come to understand the world. They are images of the mind at work and play; indeed, they are emblems of Mind itself.
Jacques Barzun called this book “splendid.” Martin Gardner said it was “beautifully written, marvelous and entertaining.” It will provoke all serious readers to think in new ways about the grand patterns in art and life.
“Lovely, wistful. . . . Rothstein is a wonderful guide to the architecture of musical space, its tensions and relations, its resonances and proportions. . . . His account of what is going on in the music is unfailingly felicitous.”—New Yorker
“Provocative and exciting. . . . Rothstein writes this book as a foreign correspondent, sending dispatches from a remote and mysterious locale as a guide for the intellectually adventurous. The remarkable fact about his work is not that it is profound, as much of the writing is, but that it is so accessible.”—Christian Science Monitor
From Scratch: Writings in Music Theory
James TenneyEdited by Larry Polansky, Lauren Pratt, Robert Wannamaker, and Michael Winter University of Illinois Press, 2019 Library of Congress MT6.T354 2015 | Dewey Decimal 780
One of the twentieth century's most important musical thinkers, James Tenney did pioneering work in multiple fields, including computer music, tuning theory, and algorithmic and computer-assisted composition. From Scratch is a collection of Tenney's hard-to-find writings arranged, edited, and revised by the self-described "composer/theorist." Selections focus on his fundamental concerns--"what the ear hears"--and include thoughts and ideas on perception and form, tuning systems and especially just intonation, information theory, theories of harmonic space, and stochastic (chance) procedures of composition.
The highly chromatic music of the late 1800s and early 1900s includes some of the best-known works by Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Cesar Franck, and Hugo Wolf. Yet until now, the harmonic complexity of this repertory has resisted the analytic techniques available to music theorists and historians. In this book, Daniel Harrison builds on nineteenth-century music theory to provide an original and illuminating method for analyzing chromatic music.
One of Harrison's central innovations is his reconstruction of the notion of harmony. Harrison understands harmonic power to flow not from chords as such but from the constituents of chords, reckoned for the most part as scale degrees of a key. This insight proves especially useful in analyzing the unusual progressions and key relations that characterize chromatic music.
Complementing the theoretical ideas is a critical history of nineteenth-century German harmonic theory in which Harrison traces the development of Hugo Riemann's ideas on dualism and harmonic function and examines aspects of Riemannian theory in the work of later theorists. Combining theoretical innovations with a sound historical understanding of those innovations, Harmonic Function in Chromatic Music will aid anyone studying this pivotal period of Western music history.
"Herlinger deserves the thanks of the scholarly community for having prepared both edition and translation with the most meticulous of critical methods and the greatest of care."—Leeman L. Perkins, Renaissance Quarterly
"An almost archetypal example of unpretentious and honest scholarship."—Alejandro Enrique Planchart, Journal of the American Musicological Society
Offering a broad perspective of the philosophy, theory, and aesthetics of early Indian music and musical ideology, this study makes a unique contribution to our knowledge of the ancient foundations of India's musical culture. Lewis Rowell reconstructs the tunings, scales, modes, rhythms, gestures, formal patterns, and genres of Indian music from Vedic times to the thirteenth century, presenting not so much a history as a thematic analysis and interpretation of India's magnificent musical heritage.
In Indian culture, music forms an integral part of a broad framework of ideas that includes philosophy, cosmology, religion, literature, and science. Rowell works with the known theoretical treatises and the oral tradition in an effort to place the technical details of musical practice in their full cultural context. Many quotations from the original Sanskrit appear here in English translation for the first time, and the necessary technical information is presented in terms accessible to the nonspecialist. These features, combined with Rowell's glossary of Sanskrit terms and extensive bibliography, make Music and Musical Thought in Early India an excellent introduction for the general reader and an indispensable reference for ethnomusicologists, historical musicologists, music theorists, and Indologists.
In recent decades, increased specialization has sharply separated music theory from historical musicology. Music Theory and the Exploration of the Past brings together a group of essays—written by theorists and musicologists—that seek to bridge this gap. This collection shows that music theory can join forces with historical musicology to produce a more humanistic form of musical scholarship.
In nineteen essays dealing with musical theories from the twelfth to the twentieth century, two recurring themes emerge. One is the need to understand the historical circumstances of the writing and reception of theory, a humanistic approach that gives theory a place within social and intellectual history. The other is the advantages of applying contemporaneous theory to the music of a given period, thus linking theory to the history of musical styles and structures. The periods given principal attention in these essays are the Renaissance, the years around 1800, and the twentieth century.
Abundantly illustrated with musical examples, Music Theory and the Exploration of the Past offers models of new practical applications of theory to the analysis of music. At the same time, it raises the broader question of how historical knowledge can deepen the understanding of an art and of systematic writings about that art.
Available in English for the first time, Prosdocimo's Tractatus plane musice (1412) and Tractatus musice speculative (1425) are exemplary texts for understanding the high sophistication of music theory in the early fifteenth century. Known for considering music as a science based on demonstrable mathematical principles, Prosdocimo praises Marchetto for his theory of plainchant but criticizes his influential Lucidarium for its heterodox mathematics. In dismissing Marchetto as a “mere performer,” Prosdocimo takes up matters as broad as the nature and definition of music and as precise as counterpoint, tuning, and ecclesiastical modes. The treatises also reveal much about Prosdocimo’s understanding of plainchant; his work with Euclid's Elementa; and his familiarity with the music theory of Boethius, Macrobius, and Johannes de Muris. A foremost authority on Italian music theory of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, Jan Herlinger consults manuscripts from Bologna, Cremona, and Lucca in preparing these valuable first critical editions.
Stories of Tonality in the Age of François-Joseph Fétis explores the concept of musical tonality through the writings of the Belgian musicologist François-Joseph Fétis (1784–1867), who was singularly responsible for theorizing and popularizing the term in the nineteenth century. Thomas Christensen weaves a rich story in which tonality emerges as a theoretical construct born of anxiety and alterity for Europeans during this time as they learned more about “other” musics and alternative tonal systems. Tonality became a central vortex in which French musicians thought—and argued—about a variety of musical repertoires, be they contemporary European musics of the stage, concert hall, or church, folk songs from the provinces, microtonal scale systems of Arabic and Indian music, or the medieval and Renaissance music whose notational traces were just beginning to be deciphered by scholars. Fétis’s influential writings offer insight into how tonality ingrained itself within nineteenth-century music discourse, and why it has continued to resonate with uncanny prescience throughout the musical upheavals of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Drawing on decades of teaching experience and the collective wisdom of dozens of the most creative theorists in the country, Michael R. Rogers’ s diverse survey of music theory— one of the first to comprehensively survey and evaluate the teaching styles, techniques, and materials used in theory courses— is a unique reference and research tool for teachers, theorists, secondary and postsecondary students, and for private study. This revised edition of Teaching Approaches in Music Theory: An Overview of Pedagogical Philosophies features an extensive updated bibliography encompassing the years since the volume was first published in 1984.
In a new preface to this edition, Rogers references advancements in the field over the past two decades, from the appearance of the first scholarly journal devoted entirely to aspects of music theory education to the emergence of electronic advances and devices that will provide a supporting, if not central, role in the teaching of music theory in the foreseeable future. With the updated information, the text continues to provide an excellent starting point for the study of music theory pedagogy.
Rogers has organized the book very much like a sonata. Part one, “ Background,” delineates principal ideas and themes, acquaints readers with the author’ s views of contemporary musical theory, and includes an orientation to an eclectic range of philosophical thinking on the subject; part two, “ Thinking and Listening,” develops these ideas in the specific areas of mindtraining and analysis, including a chapter on ear training; and part three, “ Achieving Teaching Success,” recapitulates main points in alternate contexts and surroundings and discusses how they can be applied to teaching and the evaluation of design and curriculum.
Teaching Approaches in Music Theory emphasizes thoughtful examination and critique of the underlying and often tacit assumptions behind textbooks, materials, and technologies. Consistently combining general methods with specific examples and both philosophical and practical reasoning, Rogers compares and contrasts pairs of concepts and teaching approaches, some mutually exclusive and some overlapping. The volume is enhanced by extensive suggested reading lists for each chapter.
A virtuoso violinist, conductor, composer, and a professor of mathematics and botany, Francesco Galeazzi (1758–1819) firmly believed that musical education should be clear, demonstrable, and practical. In 1791 and 1796, he published the two volumes of his Elementi teorico-practici di musica, a treatise that demonstrated both his thorough grounding in the work of earlier theorists and his own approach to musical study. The first volume gave precise instructions on the violin and how to play it; the second demonstrated his command of other instruments and genres and provided comprehensive introductions to music theory, music history, and music aesthetics. The treatise also addresses the nature of compositional process and eighteenth-century concerns about natural and acquired talent and creativity.
This volume offers an unprecedented English translation of the second volume of Elementi teorico-practici di musica, with annotations and commentary. The translation is introduced with a study of Galeazzi's life and milieu, the genesis and sources for the Elementi, and its reception through the present day.
Taken together, these comprehensive volumes offer an authoritative account of the music of Africa. One of the most prominent experts on the subject, Gerhard Kubik draws on his extensive travels and three decades of study in many parts of the continent to compare and contrast a wealth of musical traditions from a range of cultures.
In the first volume, Kubik describes and examines xylophone playing in southern Uganda and harp music from the Central African Republic; compares multi-part singing from across the continent; and explores movement and sound in eastern Angola. And in the second volume, he turns to the cognitive study of African rhythm, Yoruba chantefables, the musical Kachamba family of Malaŵi, and African conceptions of space and time.
Each volume features an extensive number of photographs and is accompanied by a compact disc of Kubik’s own recordings. Erudite and exhaustive, Theory of African Music will be an invaluable reference for years to come.
Erudite and exhaustive, Gerhard Kubik’s Theory of African Music provides an authoritative account of its subject. Over the course of two volumes, Kubik, one of the most prominent experts in the field, draws on his extensive travels and three decades of study throughout Africa to compare and contrast a wealth of musical traditions from a range of cultures.
In this second volume, Kubik explores a variety of topics, including Yoruba chantefables, the musical Kachamba family of Malawˆ i, and the cognitive study of African rhythm. Drawing on his remarkable ability to make cross-cultural comparisons, Kubik illuminates every facet of the African understanding of rhythm, from timing systems to elementary pulsation. His analysis of tusona ideographs in Luchazi culture leads to an exploration of African space/time concepts that synthesizes his theories of art, rhythm, and culture.
Featuring a large number of photographs and accompanied by a compact disc of Kubik’s own recordings, Theory of African Music, Volume II, will be an invaluable reference for years to come.