The Classical Music BookDK
This original, graphic-led book explores and explains the key ideas underpinning the world's greatest classical compositions and musical traditions, defines their importance to the musical canon, and places them into their wider social, cultural, and historical context.
The nineteenth title in DK's bestselling Big Ideas series, The Classical Music Book combines accessible, authoritative text with bold explanatory graphics to make the subject of classical music approachable to readers with an interest in the subject who want to learn more while still offering enough to appeal to music aficionados.
From early devotional works to the great symphonies of the Classical and Romantic eras and the diverse and often challenging works of the modern era, The Classical Music Book looks at more than 90 key pieces of music and explores the salient themes and ideas behind each of them.
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CLASSICAL THE BOOK MUSIC US_001_Half_Title.indd 1 26/03/18 1:00 PM US_002-003_Title.indd 2 26/03/18 1:00 PM CLASSICAL THE BOOK MUSIC US_002-003_Title.indd 3 26/03/18 1:00 PM DK LONDON PROJECT EDITOR Sam Kennedy SENIOR ART EDITOR Gillian Andrews SENIOR EDITOR Victoria Heyworth-Dunne US EDITOR Jennette ElNaggar US EXECUTIVE EDITOR Lori Cates Hand ILLUSTRATIONS James Graham JACKET EDITOR Claire Gell SENIOR JACKET DESIGNER Mark Cavanagh JACKET DESIGN DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Sophia MTT PRODUCER, PRE-PRODUCTION Jennifer Murray PRODUCER Mandy Inness MANAGING EDITOR Gareth Jones SENIOR MANAGING ART EDITOR Lee Griffiths ASSOCIATE PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Liz Wheeler ART DIRECTOR Karen Self DESIGN DIRECTOR Philip Ormerod PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Jonathan Metcalf DK DELHI SENIOR EDITOR Rupa Rao PROJECT ART EDITOR Vikas Sachdeva ART EDITOR Sourabh Challariya ASSISTANT ART EDITORS Anukriti Arora, Monam Nishat JACKET DESIGNER Suhita Dharamjit JACKETS EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Priyanka Sharma SENIOR DTP DESIGNERS Shanker Prasad, Neeraj Bhatia, Harish Aggarwal DTP DESIGNER Vikram Singh PICTURE RESEARCHER Sakshi Saluja MANAGING JACKETS EDITOR Saloni Singh PICTURE RESEARCH MANAGER Taiyaba Khatoon PRE-PRODUCTION MANAGER Balwant Singh PRODUCTION MANAGER Pankaj Sharma MANAGING EDITOR Kingshuk Ghoshal SENIOR MANAGING ART EDITOR Arunesh Talapatra TOUCAN BOOKS EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Ellen Dupont SENIOR DESIGNER Thomas Keenes SENIOR EDITOR Dorothy Stannard EDITORS John Andrews, Rachel Warren Chadd, Abigail Mitchell, Larry Porges ASSISTANT EDITOR Michael Clark INDEXER Marie Lorimer PROOFREADER Marion Dent ADDITIONAL TEXT Dr. Anthony Alms, Katy Hamilton, Andrew Kerr-Jarrett, Gavin Plumley, Marcus Weeks, Philip Wilkinson original styling by STUDIO 8 First American Edition, 2018 Published in the United States by DK Publishing, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014 Copyright © 2018 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK, a Division of Penguin Random House LLC 18 19 20 21 22 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 001–305942–Aug/2018 All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under the copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Published in Great Britain by Dorling Kindersley Limited A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN: 978-1-4654-7342-4 DK books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, or educational use. For details, contact: DK Publishing Special Markets, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014 SpecialSales@dk.com Printed and bound in China A WORLD OF IDEAS: SEE ALL THERE IS TO KNOW www.dk.com US_004-005_Imprint_Contributors_REVIZE.indd 4 18/04/2018 16:40 DR. STEVE COLLISSON, CONSULTANT British cellist, lecturer, and examiner Dr. Steve Collisson has taught at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the University of Birmingham, and the Open University. He has adjudicated at many music festivals and competitions, including the BBC Young Musician competition. LEVON CHILINGIRIAN Founder of the Chilingirian Quartet with the pianist Clifford Benson, renowned violinist Levon Chilingirian performs worldwide and teaches at London’s Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music & Drama. MATTHEW O’DONOVAN Head of Academic Music at Eton College, in the UK, Matthew O’Donovan writes extensively about music. He is also a founding member of the vocal ensemble Stile Antico and a published arranger. GEORGE HALL A former editor for Decca and the BBC Proms, George Hall is now a full-time music critic. He writes for a wide range of UK music publications, including The Stage, Opera, and BBC Music Magazine. MALCOLM HAYES Composer, writer, and broadcaster Malcolm Hayes has written biographies of Anton Webern and Franz Liszt and edited The Selected Letters of William Walton. His Violin Concerto premiered at the BBC Proms in 2016. MICHAEL LANKESTER Educated at the Royal College of Music, Michael Lankester enjoys an international conducting career. He has been Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut, and Conductor-in- Residence of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. KARL LUTCHMAYER An international concert pianist, Karl Lutchmayer holds a professorship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London and is guest lecturer at various music colleges, including the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools. KEITH MCGOWAN Early music expert Keith McGowan has worked with most of the major early music ensembles in the UK and was Master of Music on several productions at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. KUMI OGANO Adjunct Associate Professor in Music at Connecticut College, Kumi Ogano is an authoritative performer of the work of Japanese composers Toru Takemitsu and Akira Miyoshi. SOPHIE RASHBROOK Sophie Rashbrook writes and presents on classical music for Sinfonia Cymru and the Royal College of Music. DR. CHRISTINA L. REITZ Dr. Christina L. Reitz is an Associate Professor of Music at Western Carolina University (North Carolina), where she teaches courses in music history and American music. TIM RUTHERFORD-JOHNSON A teacher at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Tim Rutherford- Johnson blogs about contemporary music and is the author of Music after the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture since 1989. HUGO SHIRLEY Hugo Shirley is a music journalist and critic based in Berlin. He is a regular contributor to Gramophone and Opera magazines. KATIE DERHAM, FOREWORD Host of the BBC Radio 3 programs Sound of Dance and In Tune, Katie Derham is one of the station’s best-known voices. She has been the face of the BBC Proms since 2010 and hosts the weekly magazine show Proms Extra during the season. Katie also fronts television documentaries, including The Girl from Ipanema: Brazil, Bossa Nova, and the Beach for the BBC, and hosted the programs All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge and Fine Tuned. In 2015 Katie was a finalist on Strictly Come Dancing, and she won the Christmas Special in 2017. CONTRIBUTORS US_004-005_Imprint_Contributors_REVIZE.indd 5 18/04/2018 16:41 12 INTRODUCTION EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 22 Psalmody is the weapon of the monk Plainchant, Anonymous 24 Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la Micrologus, Guido D’Arezzo 26 We should sing psalms on a ten-string psaltery Ordo Virtutum, Hildegard of Bingen 28 To sing is to pray twice Magnus liber organi, Léonin 32 Tandaradei, sweetly sang the nightingale Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion, Adam de la Halle 36 Music is a science that makes you laugh, sing, and dance Messe de Notre Dame, Guillaume de Machaut RENAISSANCE 1400–1600 42 Not a single piece of music composed before the last 40 years … is worth hearing Missa L’homme armé, Guillaume Dufay 43 Tongue, proclaim the mystery of the glorious body Missa Pange lingua, Josquin Desprez 44 Hear the voyce and prayer Spem in alium, Thomas Tallis 46 The eternal father of Italian music Canticum Canticorum, Giovanni da Palestrina 52 That is the nature of hymns—they make us want to repeat them Great Service, William Byrd 54 All the airs and madrigals … whisper softness O Care, Thou Wilt Despatch Me, Thomas Weelkes CONTENTS 6 55 This feast … did even ravish and stupefie all those strangers that never heard the like Sonata pian’ e forte, Giovanni Gabrieli 56 My lute, awake! Lachrimae, John Dowland BAROQUE 1600–1750 62 One of the most magnificent and expensefull diversions Euridice, Jacopo Peri 64 Music must move the whole man Vespers, Claudio Monteverdi 70 Lully merits with good reason the title of prince of French musicians Le bourgeois gentilhomme, Jean-Baptiste Lully 72 He had a peculiar genius to express the energy of English words Dido and Aeneas, Henry Purcell 78 The object of churches is not the bawling of choristers Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, Dieterich Buxtehude US_006-011_Content_Foreword.indd 6 27/03/18 4:49 PM 7 80 The new Orpheus of our times Concerti grossi, Op. 6, Arcangelo Corelli 82 The uniting of the French and Italian styles must create the perfection of music Pièces de clavecin, François Couperin 84 What the English like is something they can beat time to Water Music, George Frideric Handel 90 Do not expect any profound intention, but rather an ingenious jesting with art Sonata in D minor, K. 9 “Pastorale,” Domenico Scarlatti 92 Spring has come, and with it gaiety The Four Seasons, Antonio Vivaldi 98 The end and final aim of all music should be none other than the glory of God St. Matthew Passion, Johann Sebastian Bach 106 Telemann is above all praise Musique de table, Georg Philipp Telemann 107 His whole heart and soul were in his harpsichord Hippolyte et Aricie, Jean-Philippe Rameau 108 Bach is like an astronomer, who … finds the most wonderful stars The Art of Fugue, Johann Sebastian Bach CLASSICAL 1750–1820 116 Its forte is like thunder, its crescendo a cataract Symphony in E-flat major, Op. 11, No. 3, Johann Stamitz 118 The most moving act in all of opera Orfeo ed Euridice, Christoph Willibald Gluck 120 We must play from the soul, not like trained birds Flute Concerto in A major, WQ 168, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach 122 I was forced to become original String Quartet in C major, Op. 54, No. 2, Hoboken III:57, Joseph Haydn 128 The most tremendous genius raised Mozart above all masters Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 132 The object of the piano is to substitute one performer for a whole orchestra Piano Sonata in F-sharp minor, Op. 25, No. 5, Muzio Clementi 134 We walk, by the power of music, in joy through death’s dark night The Magic Flute, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 138 I live only in my notes Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, “Eroica,” Op. 55, Ludwig van Beethoven ROMANTIC 1810–1920 146 The violinist is that peculiarly human phenomenon … half tiger, half poet 24 Caprices for Solo Violin, Op. 1, Niccolò Paganini 148 Give me a laundry list, and I will set it to music The Barber of Seville, Gioachino Rossini 149 Music is truly love itself Der Freischütz, Carl Maria von Weber US_006-011_Content_Foreword.indd 7 27/03/18 4:49 PM 8 150 No one feels another’s grief, no one understands another’s joy Die schöne Müllerin, Franz Schubert 156 Music is like a dream. One that I cannot hear String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131, Ludwig van Beethoven 162 Instrumentation is at the head of the march Symphonie fantastique, Hector Berlioz 164 Simplicity is the final achievement Préludes, Frédéric Chopin 166 My symphonies would have reached Opus 100 if I had written them down Symphony No. 1 (The “Spring” Symphony), Robert Schumann 170 The last note was drowned … in a unanimous volley of plaudits Elijah, Felix Mendelssohn 174 I love Italian opera—it’s so reckless La traviata, Giuseppe Verdi 176 Who holds the devil, let him hold him well Faust Symphony, Franz Liszt 178 And the dancers whirl around gaily in the waltz’s giddy mazes The Blue Danube, Johann Strauss II 179 I live in music like a fish in water Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Camille Saint-Saëns 180 Opera must make people weep, feel horrified, die The Ring Cycle, Richard Wagner 188 He … comes as if sent straight from God Symphony No. 1, Johannes Brahms 190 The notes dance up there on the stage The Nutcracker, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 192 A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything Also sprach Zarathustra, Richard Strauss 194 Emotional art is a kind of illness Tosca, Giacomo Puccini 198 If a composer could say what he had to say in words, he would not bother saying it in music Das Lied von der Erde, Gustav Mahler NATIONALISM 1830–1920 206 My fatherland means more to me than anything else The Bartered Bride, Bedřich Smetana 207 Mussorgsky typifies the genius of Russia Pictures at an Exhibition, Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky 208 I am sure my music has a taste of cod fish in it Peer Gynt, Edvard Grieg 210 I wanted to do something different Requiem, Gabriel Fauré 212 The music of the people is like a rare and lovely flower Symphony No. 9, Antonín Dvořák 216 Music is a language of the intangible Woodland Sketches, Edward MacDowell 218 The art of music above all the other arts is expression of the soul The Dream of Gerontius, Edward Elgar 220 I am a slave to my themes, and submit to their demands Finlandia, Jean Sibelius US_006-011_Content_Foreword.indd 8 27/03/18 4:49 PM 9 222 Spanish music with a universal accent Iberia, Isaac Albéniz 223 A wonderful maze of rhythmical dexterities El sombrero de tres picos, Manuel de Falla MODERN 1900–1950 228 I go to see the shadow you have become Préude à l’après-midi d’un faune, Claude Debussy 232 I want women to turn their minds to big and difficult jobs The Wreckers, Ethel Smyth 240 An audience shouldn’t listen with complacency Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21, Arnold Schoenberg 246 I haven’t understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it Le Sacre du printemps, Igor Stravinsky 252 And ever winging up and up, our valley is his golden cup The Lark Ascending, Ralph Vaughan Williams 254 Stand up and take your dissonance like a man Symphony No. 4, Charles Edward Ives 256 I have never written a note I didn’t mean Parade, Erik Satie 258 Life is a lot like jazz … it’s better when you improvise Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin 262 A mad extravaganza at the edge of the abyss Les Biches, Francis Poulenc 263 I come with the youthful spirit of my country, with youthful music Sinfonietta, Leoš Janá ček 264 Musically, there is not a single center of gravity in this piece Symphonie, Op. 21, Anton von Webern 266 The only love affair I ever had was with music Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Maurice Ravel 268 Science alone can infuse music with youthful vigor Ionisation, Edgard Varèse 270 A nation creates music. The composer only arranges it String Quartet No. 6, Béla Viktor János Bartók 272 I detest imitation. I detest hackneyed devices Romeo and Juliet, Sergei Prokofiev 273 Balinese music retained a rhythmic vitality both primitive and joyous Tabuh-Tabuhan, Colin McPhee 274 Real music is always revolutionary Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, Dmitri Shostakovich 280 My music is natural, like a waterfall Bachianas brasileiras, Heitor Villa-Lobos 282 Never was I listened to with such rapt attention and comprehension Quartet for the End of Time, Olivier Messiaen 284 I must create order out of chaos A Child of Our Time, Michael Tippett 286 The music is so knit … that it takes you in very strong hands and leads you into its own world Appalachian Spring, Aaron Copland 288 Composing is like driving down a foggy road Peter Grimes, Benjamin Britten US_006-011_Content_Foreword.indd 9 27/03/18 4:49 PM CONTEMPORARY 298 Sound is the vocabulary of nature Symphonie pour un homme seul, Pierre Schaeffer/Pierre Henry 302 I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas; I’m frightened of the old ones 4´33˝, John Cage 306 He has changed our view of musical time and form Gruppen, Karlheinz Stockhausen 308 The role of the musician … is perpetual exploration Pithoprakta, Iannis Xenakis 309 Close communion with the people is the natural soil nourishing all my work Spartacus, Aram Khachaturian 310 I was struck by the emotional charge of the work Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, Krzysztof Penderecki 312 Once you become an ism, what you’re doing is dead In C, Terry Riley 314 I desire to carve … a single painful tone as intense as silence itself November Steps, Toru Takemitsu 316 In music … things don’t get better or worse: they evolve and transform themselves Sinfonia, Luciano Berio 318 If you tell me a lie, let it be a black lie Eight Songs for a Mad King, Peter Maxwell Davies 320 The process of substituting beats for rests Six Pianos, Steve Reich 321 We were so far ahead … because everyone else stayed so far behind Einstein on the Beach, Philip Glass 322 This must be the first purpose of art … to change us Apocalypsis, R. Murray Schafer 323 I could start out from the chaos and create order in it Fourth Symphony, Witold Lutosławski 324 Volcanic, expansive, dazzling—and obsessive Études, Gyorgy Ligeti 325 My music is written for ears L’Amour de loin, Kaija Saariaho 326 Blue … like the sky. Where all possibilities soar blue cathedral, Jennifer Higdon 328 The music uses simple building blocks and grows organically from there … In Seven Days, Thomas Adès 329 This is the core of who we are and what we need to be Alleluia, Eric Whitacre 330 DIRECTORY 340 GLOSSARY 344 INDEX 351 QUOTE ATTRIBUTIONS 352 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 10 US_006-011_Content_Foreword.indd 10 27/03/18 4:49 PM 11 FOREWORD Music has a certain magic. It can transport us to a different world, drive us to dance, or remind us of lost loved ones. A single chord can reduce us to tears. Far from being an exclusive, elite preserve, the kind of music that provided people in the Western world with pleasure and inspiration for most of the past 1,000 years—and now commonly known as classical music—is still delighting listeners today. It toys with our emotions in our favorite movies; its symphonic swells add drama to the action of computer games; and it hides in the structure and melodies of everyday pop songs. Its magic is of a very special sort—one that has grown and evolved over the centuries, shaped by politics, geography, religion—and the particular genius of a multitude of great composers. Sometimes it’s enough just to listen and let the music wash over and through you without asking why, when, or how, this piece originated. However, the classical music canon can seem intimidatingly vast, encompassing many different styles and genres. For example, the early music of the medieval church— plainsong and chant—is a sonic world away from the waterfalls of sound created by the 19th-century symphony orchestras employed by romantic composers, such as Tchaikovsky and Brahms, or the atonal experimentation of Schoenberg in the early 20th century. At times exploring new sound worlds can be unfamiliar, or even a little uncomfortable, as the composer may have intended. With The Classical Music Book, you will discover the context of the great musical works of the last 1,000 years. Understanding who the composers were and why they were writing can be a revelation and can add a new layer of enjoyment and insight to your listening. A familiar piece such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons takes on a whole new resonance when you learn that Vivaldi demonstrated the true potential of the concerto form for the first time and that his reputation spread from Italy to Germany, where he inspired a young organist named Johann Sebastian Bach. You might know that Beethoven was deaf later in life, but learning which of his works he composed yet never actually heard adds a poignancy and an increased sense of wonder to the listening experience. Realizing that Mozart was effectively an 18th-century pop star might convince you to give the Marriage of Figaro another try. Power, patronage, and censorship have each played a part in the genesis of some of the best- loved pieces of music. As you will discover, the real-life drama and scandals often kept pace with the musical dramatics on the stage and in the score. These, then, are the worlds that the book you are holding invites you to explore. It will be an invaluable companion as it takes you on a journey through the different periods of musical history, deepening your understanding and appreciation of some of classical music’s greatest works. It will delight those of you who already love classical music but may have never—until now—come to grips with the component elements of musical vocabulary and theory. And best of all, it will, I hope, encourage endless hours of new listening. Classical music, like all music, has passion at its heart. It’s why the great works of the past have endured for centuries, why contemporary composers still strive to match and challenge that beauty, and why millions of us love to play, listen, and be transported by it today. There is so much wonderful, passionate music out there—let this book open your eyes and your ears to it. Katie Derham Classical music commentator US_006-011_Content_Foreword.indd 11 27/04/2018 17:47 INTRODUCTION US_012-013_Introduction_Opener.indd 12 26/03/18 1:00 PM INTRODUCTION US_012-013_Introduction_Opener.indd 13 26/03/18 1:00 PM A vital part of human culture, at least since Neolithic times, music has been a feature of every civilization, as cave paintings, frescoes, and archaeology show. What is loosely referred to as “classical music” is the music of Western civilization as it evolved from medieval times to the present day. In its broadest sense, it covers a wide spectrum of music and not just the orchestral or piano music that some people imagine. This book explores how classical music developed as an essential part of European culture and then spread across the world, delighting, surprising, and sometimes perplexing audiences as it evolved through the centuries. Bold leaps The development of a musical tradition, from medieval church music and courtly trobadors to the avant-garde music of the 21st century, was often incremental, but it has also been punctuated by exciting innovations. The first operas, staged at the end of the 16th century, for example, revolutionized sacred as well as secular music, while Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony shocked early 19th-century audiences with its groundbreaking structure and disregard for Classical conventions, just as Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (Rite of Spring) astounded those who attended its Paris premiere a century later. Such leaps have defined the main periods of classical music— Early Music, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Nationalist, Modern, and Contemporary— though these are broad distinctions, with different styles within each one, and the dividing lines are not clear-cut. The role of the Church Like other art forms, music has been shaped by external influences as well as by brilliant individuals. The first of these was the Church. Western classical music originated in a Europe dominated by the Church. In addition to wielding considerable political power, the clergy provided the only source of learning in society. For the educated, music was part of an act of worship, not entertainment. It was sung by monks without instrumental accompaniment. The “New Art” For hundreds of years, the Church resisted any change to the simple chanting of sacred texts, the rise and fall of which was represented on manuscripts by “neumes” (inflective marks). Eventually, however, new ideas found their way in. With the invention of a system of notation by Guido d’Arezzo, a monk in 11th-century Italy, choristers began to sing simple harmonies to the tunes. They later embellished them with other melodies, creating polyphony, a new sound that, in the 14th century, was hailed as the Ars nova, the “New Art.” Composers soon introduced other innovations, such as an organ accompaniment. The Church began to lose its control over music, and culture in general, a process helped along by the birth of a new cultural INTRODUCTION Music is the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is. Malcolm Arnold 14 US_014-017_Introduction.indd 14 26/03/18 1:00 PM movement, the Renaissance. As the taboo surrounding secular music disappeared, composers expressed themselves more freely, and their music spread through Europe, especially after the invention of a method for printing and therefore distributing music. No longer controlled by the Church, musicians sought employment in the aristocratic courts of Italy, France, Britain, and the Netherlands, where they made a comfortable living providing entertainment. The Church still wielded some power, however, and after the Reformation, a more austere musical style was imposed on the Protestant churches in northern Europe, and even the Catholic authorities looked to curb the complexity of polyphony. Composers thus developed a simpler yet more expressive harmonic style. Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 broke new ground for sacred music by incorporating elements of this exciting new style. Musical explosion Around the same time, in Florence, a group of intellectuals called the Camerata de’ Bardi came up with a new form of entertainment, combining music and drama to create opera. This was a success in the aristocratic courts, which continued to act as patrons to composers and performers, but there was also an increasing public demand for opera and music in general, prompting investment in opera houses, concert halls, and public theaters. As the Baroque period progressed, composers such as J.S. Bach and George Frideric Handel created works of increasing complexity, taking advantage of the orchestras provided by their aristocratic patrons. The music of the “High Baroque” era was particularly expressive, often ornamented with trills and other embellishments, and sometimes dazzlingly virtuosic. For a while, the concertgoing public flocked to hear the latest orchestral showpieces, operas, and choral works, but then the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, dawned, and fashions changed. There was suddenly a demand for more elegant music emphasizing balance and clarity, leading to the Classical period from which “classical music” gets its name. In a short time, Classical composers, such as Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, established the musical forms that are the staple of modern concert repertoires, including the four-movement symphony, the solo concerto, and the string quartet. Music also became popular in the home as the swelling middle class acquired leisure time and musical instruments, including the piano, became more affordable. The Romantic period Despite its enduring influence, the Classical period gave way to a new cultural movement almost as soon as it had begun. As Romanticism, with its emphasis on the individual, swept through Europe, expression took precedence over clarity. Composers stretched the Classical forms to their limits in the quest for new sounds. They looked to extramusical sources of inspiration, such as art, literature, landscapes, and human experience. ❯❯ INTRODUCTION What passion cannot music raise and quell. John Dryden 15 US_014-017_Introduction.indd 15 26/03/18 1:00 PM Romanticism was essentially a Germanic movement, yet its emphasis on the individual provoked a wave of nationalist composers who wanted to distance themselves from Austro- German dominance of the musical ancien régime and champion the music of individual nations. Russian and Czech composers began to integrate elements of folk music and themes into their work, a trend later explored by composers in other parts of Europe. By the end of the 19th century, the excesses of German Romanticism also precipitated a breakdown of the very foundations of Western music—a structure based on the harmonies of the major and minor keys. What followed was a century of composers seeking not just a fresh style but a completely new musical language. Two of the many strands that emerged were particularly influential: 12-note “serialism,” pioneered by Arnold Schoenberg and refined by Pierre Boulez, and “aleatoricism”—in which chance played a role in the composition or performance of music. New influences These musical experiments coincided with the evolution of jazz and later the explosion of pop and rock music, whose rhythmic beats had instant appeal, causing audiences to turn away from the unfamiliar sounds of new classical music, and even classical music in general. Nonetheless, popular music also influenced and inspired classical composers, producing a cross-fertilization of ideas that brought new life to classical forms, as did the harnessing of modern technology. Composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen exploited the potential of the electronic studio and the huge advances in recording equipment. Today, some composers, more conscious of public tastes, are writing in a more accessible style than was the case 50 years ago, but composers continue to experiment, producing music incorporating video, theater, and global influences. The elements of music In order to understand the ideas and innovations described in this book, it is useful to be familiar with the “building blocks” of Western classical music, many of which were devised by medieval monks, drawing on concepts formulated by the Ancient Greeks. Notes are the fundamental material of all music, either sung or played on an instrument. The pitch of an individual note, how high or low the sound is, especially in relation to others, is represented by a letter (A, B, C, and so forth), sometimes modified by “accidentals” (sharp or flat) that raise or lower the note by a half step. For much of the history of classical music, melodies (patterns of notes) were composed using the notes of the major and minor scales, or keys, which help to determine the mood of a piece of music. The key also governs the harmony, when two or more notes are played at the same time. Certain combinations of notes— chords—are consonant, or harmonious, and others more dissonant, harsher; major chords tend to sound brighter, while minor chords are more mournful. INTRODUCTION Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul. Plato 16 US_014-017_Introduction.indd 16 26/03/18 1:00 PM A feature of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods was the system of major-minor tonality in which a key note, called the tonic, is the gravitational center around which a composition revolves— moving away from the tonic to create tension and toward the tonic to resolve it. Musical forms Different styles of music emphasize particular aspects of its structure. Some focus on melody, perhaps with a harmonic accompaniment, as was common during the Early Baroque period; others employ counterpoint, the interweaving of two or more melodies in a complex form of polyphony that is one of the defining characteristics of Western classical music. Also important is the musical form, or shape, of a piece of music: it may comprise recognizably different sections, perhaps in contrasting keys. For example, in a simple “ABA” form, a musical idea is presented, followed by a second idea, and then the opening idea is repeated. Musical forms range from simple songs, such as the Lieder, made popular by Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann, to the complexity of a multimovement symphony. For listeners, the most noticeable difference between a Renaissance song and a full-blown 19th-century symphony is the sound of the voice and/or instruments. Throughout history, new musical instruments have been invented and existing ones refined, giving composers and musicians new sounds with which to work. Each of these instrument has its own distinctive timbre, or tone, and different combinations of instruments and voices have evolved over time. These range from a cappella (the unaccompanied voice), through solo instruments, like the piano, and small chamber groups, such as the string quartet, to the full concert orchestra of more than 70 players of stringed, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments, and—since the 1950s—electronic technology. This book How composers put these musical elements together to develop different genres of classical music, and the factors that influenced them, is explained in this book. It presents significant milestones in the history of Western classical music: not only the great composers and their works but also some lesser-known figures whose music exemplifies a style or period. They are arranged in chronological order, placing them in a wider historical context to show how they reflect society and culture. Each article focuses on a piece of music that illustrates a particular development in music, discussing its salient features and its significance in relation to other works by the same composer, or in the same style. An “In Context” sidebar and a “See also” section refer to other pieces of music that are relevant to the one under discussion. As not every major composer, let alone all the great pieces of music, could be featured, a Directory section at the end of the book details other significant composers and their work. ■ INTRODUCTION The time is past when music was written for a handful of aesthetes. Sergei Prokofiev 17 US_014-017_Introduction.indd 17 26/03/18 1:00 PM EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 US_018-019_Chapter_Opener_Early_Music.indd 18 26/03/18 1:00 PM EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 US_018-019_Chapter_Opener_Early_Music.indd 19 26/03/18 1:00 PM W hat is now known as Western Classical music evolved from the music of the medieval Church in Europe, which in turn had its roots in Jewish religious music and the music of classical Rome and Greece. Our knowledge of this early music is limited, however, as it was an oral tradition, memorized by musicians and passed down from generation to generation. The little that is known for certain comes from contemporary accounts, which almost exclusively describe sacred music, as the Church effectively had a monopoly on literacy. The role of the Church The story of classical music begins with sacred Latin texts sung by monks as part of acts of worship. The performance was simple— it was exclusively vocal music, without accompaniment, and consisted of a single line of music, known as monody, which could be sung by one voice or a choir singing in unison. The tunes they sang are called “plainchant,” and each region had its own collection of chants. At the beginning of the seventh century, however, Pope Gregory attempted to collect, categorize, standardize, and teach these regional variations of plainchant as part of his efforts to unify liturgical practice. In order to guarantee that performance of these plainchants was standardized across the whole of Christendom, a form of music notation was developed. This used symbols, known as “neumes,” written above the text to give a graphic indication of the shape of the melody. At this point, some time in the ninth century, the pace of change began to accelerate: a standardized form of church service, the Mass, was established, and specific plainchants were assigned to its various sections. Notation also became more sophisticated, with a horizontal line to clarify the pitch of the notes, showing how high or low they are. Most significant musically was the introduction of “organum,” a simple form of harmony. Where plainchant had consisted of a single line of music, organum had two, and later three or even four, lines. One voice would sing the plainchant, and the other a parallel line of music a few notes higher or lower. As the music became more complex over the years, the means of writing it down also evolved, INTRODUCTION Guido d’Arezzo pens his treatise Micrologus and dedicates it to Tedald, Bishop of Arezzo, in Tuscany, Italy. C.800 Frankish ruler Charlemagne instructs his musicians to employ the nuances of Roman singers, leading to the development of neumatic notation. The anonymous treatise Musica enchiriadis is published, the first publication to name musical pitches with the letters A to G. C.875 C.1151 Hildegard of Bingen’s musical play Ordo Virtutum depicts a war between the Virtues and the Devil over the human soul. C.600 Pope Gregory I gathers plainchant traditions from across the Church in an attempt to unify them. C.850 The development of the sequence, text associated with a particular chant melody of the Latin Mass, redefines liturgical music. C.750 Gregorian chant, a synthesis of Roman and Gallican chants, is commissioned by French Carolingian rulers. C.1026 20 US_020-021_Chapter_Intro_Early_Music.indd 20 27/03/18 4:49 PM and in the 11th century a system of differently shaped dots written on a staff of four or more horizontal lines was established this way— the forerunner of our modern system of music notation. Music spreads Notation not only helped standardize performance but also enabled musicians to write new music, which they did from the 12th century onward, marking the beginning of classical music as it is known today. Music was no longer anonymous and passed on orally, and this led to the emergence of composers and compositions. This new breed of composer was keen to try out innovatory techniques. The simple harmony of organum, with voices singing in parallel with the melody of the plainchant, was succeeded by a more complex style, polyphony, in which each voice has its own melody. This new technique was pioneered by Léonin and Pérotin in Paris and rapidly caught on across Europe. At the same time, secular music was flourishing, too, in the form of traveling minstrels who entertained in the aristocratic courts and on the street. Known as trobadors, trouvères, or similar regional variations, they were poets as well as composers and performers and, unlike church musicians, sang their songs with an instrumental accompaniment. It is likely that these entertainers also played purely instrumental music for dancing, but as such secular music was still an oral tradition, none has survived. By the mid-14th century, polyphonic music with interweaving vocal lines had become known as Ars nova, the “New Art,” and composers who had mastered the technique were commissioned to write Masses for the cathedrals. The new style was not exclusively developed for the Christian Mass. Composers also wrote shorter settings of words in the same polyphonic style called “motets.” Some were settings of sacred texts, but a number of “serious” composers were also writing polyphonic motets on secular poems. As the medieval period drew to a close, and the Renaissance got under way, the Church’s monopoly on music was on the wane. Sacred and secular music were about to flourish side by side. ■ EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 C.1170 C.1280–1283 C.1300 C.1320 C.1360–1365 C.1350 Adam de la Halle’s Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion, regarded as the first secular French play, is premiered in Naples. Music theorist Johannes de Garlandia’s De mensurabili musica explains modal rhythmic systems. The Tournai Mass, composed by several anonymous authors, is the first known polyphonic setting of a Mass transcribed to a manuscript. French composer Guillaume de Machaut’s polyphonic mass Messe de Notre Dame is composed. In Paris, Léonin bridges the gap between plainchant and polyphony in his Magnus liber organi. The Toulouse Mass assembles polyphonic Mass movements adapted from existing motets for three voices. 21 US_020-021_Chapter_Intro_Early_Music.indd 21 27/03/18 4:49 PM 22 PSALMODY IS THE WEAPON OF THE MONK PLAINCHANT (6th–9th CENTURY), ANONYMOUS T he early Christian Church began as a Jewish sect, so the evolving liturgy, or forms of service, of the new faith shared many traits with Jewish worship, including the repeated speaking, or chanting, of scripture and prayer. Specifically, Christian aspects focused on particular types of observance, such as the reenactment of the Last Supper (later to become the Mass) and psalm-singing, scripture readings, and prayer to mark the new Church’s holy days and feasts. Over time, these rites evolved into the Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours—the basis of Roman Catholic worship. The singing of rites As Christianity spread from the Holy Land, so did its rites and ceremonies, celebrated in the languages of the communities where it took root, such as Aramaic in Palestine and Greek in Rome. As a result, different chant styles evolved, including the Mozarabic in Iberia, the Gallican in Roman Gaul, and Ambrosian, after St. Ambrose, a 4th-century bishop of Milan. Of these earliest liturgies, only the Roman and Ambrosian chants have survived in a recognizable form. They became known as “plainsong” (a direct translation of the Latin cantus planus) for the simplicity of their unaccompanied melodies, which were sung in a free, speechlike rhythm, reflecting the unmetrical prose of prayers, psalms, and the scriptures. This music, though unstructured, largely A wooden sculpture of St. Ambrose (c.1500) shows him in his study. The Roman bishop championed the hymn, or “sacred song,” as a key part of church worship. IN CONTEXT FOCUS Plainsong BEFORE c. 1400 bce A clay tablet from the ancient city of Ugarit in northern Syria records the hymn of a religious cult, with fragmentary musical notation. c. 200 bce–100 ce Found on a tombstone in a town near Ephesus, in Turkey, the “song of Seikilos” is the earliest complete, notated musical composition. AFTER 1562–1563 The Catholic Church’s Council of Trent bans the singing of the medieval embellishments of plainchant known as “sequences.” 1896 The monks of the Benedictine Abbaye de Solesmes publish their Liber usualis, an attempt to restore Gregorian chant, distorted by centuries of use, to a more pristine and standardized text. US_022-023_Plainchant.indd 22 26/03/18 1:00 PM 23 This Gregorian chant, Hodie Cantandus (“today we must sing”), by St. Tuotilo, a 10th-century Irish monk, has neumes on the upper lines and Latin script underneath. See also: Micrologus 24–25 ■ Magnus liber organi 28–31 ■ Messe de Notre Dame 36–37 ■ Canticum Canticorum 46–51 ■ Great Service 52–53 EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 followed the ancient Greek modal system of seven-note octaves made up of five tones and two semitones, and consisted of two types of chant: the responsorial and the antiphonal. The former involved more elaborate, solo chants, with a response from the choir. Antiphonal chants, where singing alternated between choir and congregation, consisted of simpler melodies. These forms were shared by Roman and Ambrosian plainsong, but Ambrosian chant was smoother in its note progression and more dramatic than Roman chant. It also made greater use of melisma, in which a string of notes was sung on one syllable—a style still used in Middle Eastern and Asian song. By the middle of the first millennium, thousands of chants existed across the different rites. The sheer variety of unique styles and traditions was addressed by Gregory I (Pope 590–604 ce), who wished to unify liturgical practice. Gregory consolidated the music of the Roman rite and is said to have instigated a papal schola cantorum (“choir school”) to do justice to the evolving repertoire. Expanded repertoire Under the rule of Charlemagne (742–814), the first Holy Roman Emperor, Roman chants were synthesized with elements of the Gallican style, which was also in common use. This expanded collection formed the basis of Gregorian chant, which remains at the heart of Catholic Church music. Plainsong was also the foundation for medieval and Renaissance music and its notation, based on the staves and neumes, or notes, of written chants. ■ The Mass It took until at least the 11th century for the Mass to reach a final form. Its music became known as the Gradual, a book divided into the Ordinary (the elements that remain the same every week) and the Proper (the parts that are particular to the time and day in the Church calendar). The Ordinary of the Mass has five parts. The first, Kyrie eleison (“Lord, have mercy”), is an ancient text in Greek (the language of Roman services until about the 4th century); the second, Gloria in excelsis Deo (“Glory to God in the highest”), was introduced in the 7th century; the third, the Credo (“I believe”) was adopted in 1014 (though is believed to date from the 4th century); and the fourth, the Sanctus (“Holy”), rooted in Jewish liturgy, had become part of the Roman rite before the reforms of Pope Gregory I. The fifth section, Agnus Dei (“The Lamb of God”), was added to the Roman Mass in the 7th century, originating from a Syrian rite. The ritual of the Mass was based on the Last Supper, shared by Christ and His disciples, seen here in this detail from a 6th-century manuscript. US_022-023_Plainchant.indd 23 26/03/18 1:00 PM 24 M odern Western musical notation has its origins in Europe’s monasteries at the end of the first millennium. The earliest musical symbols, called neumes, were written aids for chants that used simple pen strokes to remind the monks if the music moved up or down, or remained on the same tone. Diastematic, or “heightened,” neumes brought more clarity to notated chant by formalizing the note shapes and imagining a single horizontal line across the page. This gave a “horizon” against which the singer could work out the pitch. Nonetheless, heightened neumes were open to misinterpretation and greater precision was needed. Invention of the staff The solution, credited to Guido d’Arezzo, an Italian monk and music theorist (though he may have only formalized what was then current practice) was to draw four lines across the page, allowing the singer to precisely gauge the melody’s movement. Guidonian notation sometimes has one of the lines in yellow ink to show the note C, and one in red to show F, so pitch was now not only fixed from note to note, but the singer knew at a glance on which note to start. Guido’s treatise Micrologus (c.1026) describes the singing aid for which he is best known, the Guidonian Hand. If a modern singer has to describe a particular note, they might picture the continuous row of notes using seven letters from A to G, repeated over the seven octaves of a piano. To specify a particular “C,” the singer might The Guidonian Hand was a system invented to teach monks the easiest way to reference the 20 notes of medieval liturgical music. IN CONTEXT FOCUS Early music notation BEFORE 500 ce Boethius, a Roman senator and philosopher, writes De institutione musica, which was still in use as a music primer in the 16th century. 935 ce In France, Odo of Cluny’s Enchiridion musices becomes the first book to name musical pitches with the letters A to G. AFTER 1260 German music theorist Franco of Cologne writes Ars cantus mensurabilis, which adds refinements to Guido’s notation. 1300 In Paris, Johannes de Garlandia writes De mensurabili musica, describing the six rhythmic modes. UT, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA MICROLOGUS (c. 1026), GUIDO D’AREZZO US_024-025_Guido_d_Arezzo.indd 24 26/03/18 1:00 PM 25 Italian monk and music theorist Guido d’Arezzo wears a laurel wreath in a portrait painted by Antonio Maria Crespi in the early 16th century, some 600 years after Guido’s death. See also: Plainchant 22–23 ■ Ordo Virtutum 26–27 ■ Le jeu de Robin et de Marion 32–35 ■ Great Service 52–53 ■ Monteverdi’s Vespers 64–69 ■ St. Matthew Passion 98–105 EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 say “middle C” (in the middle of the keyboard). However, if that is not the one they had in mind, they might have to say clumsily, “C, the octave above middle C.” Guido, requiring only 2.5 octaves (20 notes) to cover the vocal range of the chants, used the same seven note names we use today (A to G) for his singing aid. The novice monk would point to the tip of his left-hand thumb and sing a low G. Sliding his finger to his thumb’s middle joint, his voice ascended to A, and so on up the scale, spiraling his finger around the joints and tips of his fingers to indicate all 20 notes (going into falsetto as the spiral tightened and the octaves ascended). Solmization syllables Guido backed up these seven letter names with six “solmization” syllables—ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la—a system of talking about melodies in an abstract way. This was the precursor to today’s more familiar sol-fa (doh, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti), but Guido’s syllables differ in that his solmization did not use the note ti, so it has only six notes—a hexachord. As the range went beyond the six notes, the hexachord had to be repeated in overlapping patterns over the extent of the 20 notes of Guido’s Hand. Each note then ended up with both a base letter name and a secondary coordinate, derived from the note’s unique position on the hand, to designate the octave. Modern “middle C” translates to “C sol-fa-ut” on the Guidonian Hand and the lowest G, using the Greek letter name, was “gamma ut,” hence the expression still in use today “running the gamut.” The monk could now easily specify any of the 20 notes in conversation, in writing, or by simply pointing to his hand. ■ Western music inherited a theoretical foundation based on early church musical practices in Greece, Syria, and Byzantium. Sometime in the 10th century, the principle of musical “modes” (groupings or “scales” of notes) developed, by which the various melodies of plainchant (the basis for “Gregorian” chants that developed soon after) were categorized. Modes helped monks remember the many liturgical works. Modes can be played by using only the white notes on a piano. If you were to play six complete seven-note scales, starting on each of the following notes, that would give an idea of how each basic corresponding church mode would sound: C (Ionian mode, corresponding with the major scale); D (Dorian); E (Phrygian); F (Lydian); G (Mixolydian); A (Aeolian, corresponding with the natural minor scale). (The mode on “B,” sometimes called “Locrian” mode, was not used in the Western music of the Middle Ages as it was too dissonant.) Music was organized according to this modal theory until, by the time of 18th- century Baroque composers, such as Bach and Handel, the “major” and “minor” principle of tonal harmony essentially reduced the number of scales to just two. From then on, music was considered to be in a particular “key” and not in any given “mode.” The modes I have determined to notate this antiphoner, so that any intelligent and diligent person can learn a chant. Guido d’Arezzo D E F G A B C D US_024-025_Guido_d_Arezzo.indd 25 26/03/18 1:00 PM 26 O ne of the most original voices in sacred music of the early Middle Ages was that of the female cleric Hildegard of Bingen in Germany. Her musical output is also one of the largest of any single identifiable medieval composer. Her collection entitled Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum (“The symphony of the harmony of celestial revelation”), for example, includes more than 70 plainchant compositions. Hildegard grew up under the tutelage of a young visionary called Jutta of Sponheim. With support from Jutta and a monk named Volmar at the abbey of Disibodenberg, Hildegard learned the psalms and practiced the Hildegard receives a divine vision in an image from a 13th-century manuscript. She is accompanied by Volmar of Disibodenberg (left) and her confidante Richardis von Stade. IN CONTEXT FOCUS Early female composers BEFORE c. 920 The surviving two stanzas of Jórunn Skáldmaer’s Sendibítr (“A biting message”) represent the longest skaldic verse (a type of Norwegian poem possibly sung in performance) by a woman. 1150 In Paris, Abbess Héloïse possibly composes the Easter music drama Ortolanus and the Easter sequence Epithalamica, attributed to theologian Peter Abelard. AFTER 1180 Beatriz Comtessa de Dia writes a collection of five troubadour songs. The song A chantar m’er de so qu’eu no volria survives with notation. 1210 Juliana of Liège may have written music for the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is said to have come to her in a vision. WE SHOULD SING PSALMS ON A TEN-STRING PSALTERY ORDO VIRTUTUM (c.1151), HILDEGARD OF BINGEN US_026-027_Hildegard_of_Bingen.indd 26 26/03/18 1:00 PM 27EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 See also: Le jeu de Robin et de Marion 32–35 ■ Messe de Notre Dame 36–37 ■ Missa l’homme armé 42 ■ The Wreckers 232–239 ■ blue cathedral 326 chant repertory of the church year, studied the playing of the psaltery (a stringed instrument), and learned to write Latin. Like Jutta, Hildegard professed to be divinely inspired, claiming to have “never learned neumes, or any other part of music.” While the truth of this assertion is unknown, it may have been an attempt to disassociate herself and Jutta from an education that ordinarily would not have been available to women. For women in the 12th century, to profess knowledge of the trivium (the rhetorical arts) or quadrivium (the sciences and music theory) or to provide interpretation of the Bible might be considered a direct threat to male authority. Magnum opus The earliest extant morality play, and one of the first musical dramas to be recorded, Hildegard’s most well-known work, Ordo Virtutum (“The play of the Virtues”), contains more than 80 melodies that form a musical drama most likely intended to be performed by the nuns of Hildegard’s order. The play calls for a cast of more than 20 singing roles and concerns the struggle for a soul (Anima) between 17 “Virtues” (Humility is the Queen of the Virtues) and their adversary, Diabolus (the Devil). Diabolus, perhaps originally spoken by Hildegard’s friend and scribe Volmar, lacks all harmony and articulates in spoken interjections. The accompanying melodies in the manuscript indicate when the Virtues sing as a chorus and gives more florid music to the solo voices. As the Virtues step forward to introduce themselves, the music becomes more expressive and animated, the sweeping vocal lines of Humilitas (Humility), Fede (Faith), and Spes (Hope) inspiring the sister Virtues to respond with ardor. However, the original notation is little more than the barest of bones: recordings with fiddles, flute, and harmonized accompaniments represent the modern interpretation of this sketch. Writings and divinity Hildegard’s letters reveal her status as “seer and mystic,” which allowed her not just the freedom to offer stern advice (even to the pope) but opportunities for musical expression. She often emphasized the transcendent origin of her works. Music connected her to a lost Eden, before Adam and Eve precipitated the Fall of humankind by eating the forbidden fruit. She envisaged her texts being at the service of the music, so that “those who hear might be taught about inward things.” ■ Hildegard of Bingen Born in 1098 as the youngest child in a large family of lesser nobility, Hildegard spent her early childhood in Bermersheim, south of Mainz, in Germany. She suffered from ill health, and even before the age of five began to see visions, drawing the family’s attention to her spiritual acuity by predicting the color of an unborn calf. At about the age of eight, she was placed in the care of Jutta of Sponheim, a visionary who lived as a recluse in a hermitage near the abbey at Disibodenberg. The women’s hermitage was later opened to monastic aspirants, and at the age of 14 Hildegard devoted her life to God as a Benedictine nun. On the death of Jutta in 1136, and at the age of 38, Hildegard was elected to lead the religious community. She performed this role until her death in 1179 but also found time to write three volumes of visionary theology, scientific works, and religious verse. Other key work c.1150s Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum Heaven was opened and a fiery light of exceeding brilliance came and permeated my whole brain … and immediately I knew the meaning of the exposition of the Scriptures. Hildegard of Bingen US_026-027_Hildegard_of_Bingen.indd 27 26/03/18 1:00 PM 28 TO SING IS TO PRAY TWICE MAGNUS LIBER ORGANI (c.1170), LÉONIN T he development of polyphony (richly layered music for multiple voices) in the mid-12th century is closely linked to Notre Dame in Paris, the lavish new cathedral built by Maurice de Sully when be became Bishop of Paris in 1160. Around this time, a French composer called Léonin was creating fresh embellishments for two voices, in order to enhance the traditional plainchant. Under the patronage of the cathedral, Léonin and a number of other innovative composers formed what later became known as the Notre Dame School. Composing organa There are no records of Léonin until nearly a century after he was active, when an Englishman studying in Paris (known to musicology as “Anonymous IV”) wrote about Master Léoninus. IN CONTEXT FOCUS The rise of vocal harmony BEFORE c.1000 More than 160 organa, probably written by Wulfstan, the Cantor of Winchester Cathedral, are collected in the Winchester Troper. c.1140 The Codex Calixtinus mentions a certain Magister Albertus Parisiensis as composer of the first notated work for three voices. AFTER c.1200 Pérotin improves and expands on Léonin’s work in the Magnus liber organi. US_028-031_Leonin.indd 28 26/03/18 1:00 PM 29 See also: Plainchant 22–23 ■ Micrologus 24–25 ■ Messe de Notre Dame 36–37 ■ Canticum Canticorum 46–51 ■ Monteverdi’s Vespers 64–69 ■ Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott 78–79 He described Léonin as the optimus organista (best composer of organa, or vocal harmonizations) and the author of the Magnus liber organi (Great Book of Organum), an anthology of music used by the cathedral to solemnify the liturgy. Anonymous IV writes that Léonin’s Great Book was used until the time of Pérotin (c. 1160–1205), who was known as the best composer of discants—an organum with countermelodies on top of the plainsong. Pérotin shortened and improved Léonin’s organa, wrote better clausulae (musical episodes inserted in the chant), and also composed organa for three and four voices. According to Anonymous IV, Pérotin’s music was still in use at Notre Dame in his time (c.1280). Early harmony Before the time of Léonin, vocal harmonies were far simpler. Theorists took a certain interest in the practice of singing in parts from the latter half of the 9th century, but the stages in the development of harmony-singing are unclear. The papal Schola cantorum (choir) of the 7th century maintained a total of seven singers, including three scholae (scholars) as well as an archiparaphonista (the fourth-ranking singer) and three paraphonistae, a Greek term meaning “one who sings alongside the chant.” Some musicologists believe this may suggest the presence of singers who specialized in a harmonizing role. The simplest harmonizing technique was for a singer to hold the finalis (principal note) of the mode of the piece as a sustained note underneath the chant. This would be sung to an open vowel sound, perhaps occasionally EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 The nave of Notre Dame de Paris was completed shortly after the death of Maurice de Sully in 1196. Léonin and Pérotin created their music in or close to the new cathedral. Cistercian monks at Zwettl Abbey, Austria, practice choral singing in this miniature accompanying notation for the Graduale Cisterciense (c.1268). A graduale is a liturgical chant or hymn. shifting the single note to an adjacent pitch, to make a more pleasant relationship with the chant before moving back to the finalis. Traditions involving a fixed note accompaniment are still heard today, in Sufi Muslim Qawwali music from India and Pakistan, and in bagpipe music. A sinful sound The move toward polyphony was not universally welcomed. Some within the church objected to the new methods—notably the English cardinal Robert of Courçon, who criticized the writers of organum on the grounds that this new music was effeminate. In his Summa, he wrote that “If a wanton prelate gives benefices to such wanton ❯❯ US_028-031_Leonin.indd 29 26/03/18 1:00 PM 30 singers in order that this kind of minstrelish and wanton music may be heard in his church, I believe that he becomes contaminated with the disease of simony.” Attitudes such as Courçon’s, which associated the intertwined male voices of polyphony with sodomy, sought to discredit the new musical style by associating it with sin. Two handbooks The first works that attempted to explain vocal harmony were Musica enchiriadis (“The Music Handbook”), c.900, and its companion text Scholia enchiriadis. The simplest harmonizing method illustrated by the writer of the handbooks was singing in octaves. This technique was known as “magadizing” in ancient Greece and occurs naturally when men and boys sing in unison. The method of utilizing a basic harmony, parallel to the original chant, was called “simple organum” by the writer of the enchiriadis. Scholia enchiriadis also suggests a hybrid method, whereby the vox organalis (“accompanying voice”) either holds a pitch or moves in parallel harmony with the vox principalis (“main voice”) before returning to a unison with the chant at the ends of phrases. Although simple organum involves more than one voice, this singing in octaves is not normally described by modern writers as “polyphony,” because the two parts are not independent. Creating harmony by simply following the melody at a different octave (or other harmonic interval) makes the harmonizing part a slave to the chant’s shape and movement. The effect is to enrich the sound of the chant, but the technique of finding this added harmony has little finesse. Musicologists prefer to THE RISE OF VOCAL HARMONY Pérotin’s Alleluia nativitas was written for three voices. As seen here, the number of lines in a staff was not fixed at this time; they merely gave a rough idea of the “height” of the notes. describe this technique as a version of “heterophony” (embellishing a single line). Scattered examples A short piece of organum for two voices moving independently came to light in 2014 on the back leaf of a manuscript in the British Library that can be dated to c. 900. It appears to demonstrate that some singers in northwest Germany were quite adept at this hybrid style of organum by the end of the 9th century. Although it is a single isolated example, the piece (Sancte Bonifati martyr, “St. Boniface the Martyr”) is agreed to be the oldest existing notated piece of polyphonic music for performance. The Winchester Troper (c.1000), a manuscript copied into two books at Winchester Cathedral from Masters of organum … set minstrelish and effeminate things before young and ignorant persons. Robert of Courçon English cardinal (c.1160–1219) US_028-031_Leonin.indd 30 26/03/18 1:00 PM 31 Pérotin, called Perotin Magister (“Pérotin the Master”) by Anonymous IV, is believed to have lived from c.1160–1230. He is pictured here with church bells at Notre Dame de Paris. French sources a few decades after Sancte Bonifati martyr, gives a snapshot of monastic musical life in England prior to the Norman Conquest. Although the second volume contains 174 organa (making it the first substantial corpus of composed polyphony), the notation assumes that the singer already has some knowledge of the repertoire. The unstaffed neumes do not give a precise indication of pitch, either of the original chant melody or in the harmonizing vox organalis, making accurate transcription of these pieces difficult. A century after the Winchester Troper, The School of St. Martial of Limoges explored polyphony in 90 pieces in four French manuscripts (c. 1120–1180), and the Codex Calixtinus (c. 1140) from Santiago de Compostela, in northwest Spain. The notation of this “Aquitanian polyphony” was less ambiguous in pitch than the Troper and suggests that most of the repertoire was sung to a rhythm. The pieces are mostly for two singers in a more melismatic style, in which the upper voice sometimes has many notes, sung over a less active lower voice. The Codex Calixtinus contains what may be the first composition notated for three voices, the Congaudeant Catholici. The Notre Dame School As the Cathedral of Notre Dame rose up on the Île de la Cité in Paris, the discant style emerged, which allowed the upper voice of organa more freedom. The roles of the two singers diverged into that of the florid soloist and an accompanying voice holding long notes. This distinction was reflected in the new titles of tenor (“one who holds”) and duplum (“second voice”). At this time, Léonin introduced a greater degree of rhythmic organization to his compositions, regulating the flow of the meter in an early form of “modal rhythm.” In its mature iteration, modal rhythm sets the line in motion according EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 to one of six metrical patterns (trochaic, iambic, and so forth, akin to Classical poetic meter). These are indicated by two note shapes, longa and brevis (long and short), the duration of the note depending on context. Léonin’s development of organum in the discant style owed much to this innovation. Pérotin, Léonin’s successor in the Parisian style of discant, went one better, composing organum triplum, and even organum quadruplum, for three and four voices respectively. Proclaiming their magnificence, the Bishop of Paris decreed in 1198 that Pérotin’s four-voice works Viderunt omnes and Sederunt principes should be performed on Christmas Day, St. Stephen’s Day (December 26), and again on New Year’s Day. ■ Organum: Addition of a second voice at a different octave paralleling the first voice. Development of vocal harmony Plainchant: A single unaccompanied vocal line in free rhythm, like speech. Counterpoint: The interweaving of simultaneous playing or singing. Also known as contrapuntal. Harmony: Three or more musical notes sung simultaneously to create a chord. [Pérotin] notated his books very faithfully according to the use and custom of his master, and even better. Anonymous IV US_028-031_Leonin.indd 31 26/03/18 1:00 PM 32 TANDARADEI, SWEETLY SANG THE NIGHTINGALE LE JEU DE ROBIN ET DE MARION (1280–1283), ADAM DE LA HALLE D iverse musical traditions are known to have flourished in European towns and villages in the Middle Ages, as they did in the courts of noble families, yet almost none of this popular music survives in notation. While the Church used scribes to regulate and record its own repertoire for posterity, much secular music was passed on orally. However, the lack of written sources among common people is not just the consequence of poor literacy. For many dance musicians and the singers of epics, a written text would not have reflected the skilful, improvisatory nature of their profession, honed by generations of hereditary entertainers. Furthermore, by recording their works in a manuscript, they risked handing their cherished repertoire to rivals. IN CONTEXT FOCUS Secular medieval music BEFORE c. 1160 Festum stultorum (Feast of Fools) appears in Paris and Beauvais as an opportunity around Christmas for clerics to indulge in a parody of the liturgy. c. 1230 Ludus Danielis (The Play of Daniel) is written in Beauvais as a liturgical drama in Latin. AFTER Late 14th century The annual cycle of Mystery Plays (performances of biblical scenes set to music) begins in York and Wakefield, England. US_032-035_Adam_de_la_Halle.indd 32 26/03/18 1:00 PM 33 See also: Missa l’homme armé 42 ■ Water Music 84–89 ■ Musique de table 106 ■ The Magic Flute 134–137 ■ Die schöne Müllerin 150–155 The sources of European secular music tended to be found where popular styles aroused the interest of the Church or nobility. The crusading knights of southern France found the highly developed styles of instrumental and vocal music they encountered on Crusades in the Holy Land particularly appealing, this being a period of great cultural exchange as well as of conflict and hostility. Languages and influences Medieval secular music features distinct poetic identities linked to regional languages. Two medieval French languages emerged from Latin: langue d’oc or Occitan in Southern France and Northern Spain (where oc meant “yes”); and langue d’oïl, north of the Loire (where oïl meant “yes”). Each of these languages had its own bardic tradition: the south had the music of the trobador and female trobairitz, while the north used the word “trouvère,” both of which may have come from the Early French word trobar, meaning “to find or invent” (a song). An alternative root may be the Arabic word tarab, meaning “source of joy.” One of the earliest troubadours, William IX, Duke of Aquitaine, was said to have sung “in verse with pleasant tunes” about his experience of leading the so-called “Crusade of the Faint-Hearted” into Anatolia (now Turkey) in 1101. His songs are clearly influenced by Arabic poetic conventions, in particular the popular song-forms of muwashah and zajal. A play with music The 13th-century musician Adam de la Halle has been described as a trouvère. De la Halle probably wrote EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 Adam de la Halle French musician Adam de la Halle was born in the cloth- working city of Arras in 1222, and grew up learning about music as part of his theological education at the abbey of Vaucelles, founded only a century before. De la Halle’s father expected him to enter the Church, but he chose a different path. After a short- lived marriage, he enrolled at the University of Paris, where, among other things, he learned the polyphonic techniques that he would later apply to popular musical genres. De la Halle initially used his verse to speak out against the corrupt administration of Arras but later entered into noble service. It was in the service of Charles of Anjou, who became king of Naples, that he wrote Le jeu de Robin et de Marion. Halle died a few years later, sometime between 1285 and 1288. Other key works Date unknown Mout me fu grief/Robin m’aime/Portare (Great was my sadness/Robin loves me/Portare) Date unknown A jointes mains vous proi (Take my hand, I pray) Le jeu de Robin et de Marion (“The Play of Robin and Marion”) for his fellow Frenchmen as part of a Christmas celebration in Naples in 1284. The French noblemen had taken refuge there after the island of Sicily had overthrown the rule of Charles I of Anjou (Adam’s patron) in a bloody Easter coup. The Jeu tells the story of a country maid who is wooed by a lustful knight yet remains true to her lover ❯❯ Le Jeu de Robin et de Marion was performed in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1907. Its set design was recorded in watercolor by Mstislav Dobuzhinsky. US_032-035_Adam_de_la_Halle.indd 33 26/03/18 1:00 PM 34 Robin. The titular characters perform the bulk of the music, in monophonic songs that de la Halle created by setting his own lyrics to tunes in a popular style. Some have called it the “first comic opera,” although modern audiences might more readily SECULAR MEDIEVAL MUSIC Henry of Meissen performs at court in the Codex Manesse (1300). The musician was called Frauenlob (“praise of women”) for his chivalric songs. identify the piece as pantomime (drama of spoken text with songs). Halle’s comedy knew no limits—he poked fun at the church and its corrupt clerics, at the people of Arras, where he lived and worked, and even his own family and life. Chivalric tales The songs of both trobadors and trouvères—have their roots in the medieval culture of fin’amor (courtly love)—the chivalric code of etiquette between a knight and an idealized lady, based on the principles of allegiance and fealty that defined a noble life. De la Halle’s Robin and Marion played to this idea, as a depiction of a knight trying to woo his love, but was also influenced by the French pastoral storytelling tradition. Trobador verse has survived well: there are more than 2,000 extant poems composed by more than 450 known poets. However, transmission of the musical accompaniment for these songs is patchy, with barely 10 percent of the poems having their associated melodies relayed in notation. Trouvère activity in northern France began with the 13th-century poet Chrétien de Troyes, about 70 years after the first trobador in the south. The number of surviving trouvère songs is similar to that of the southern corpus, but more than 60 percent of trouvère songs have music—albeit without precise information concerning rhythm. Southern Europe While trobadors and trouvères were a distinct group of courtly poets writing in specific poetic genres, When I see the lark Set flight for joy toward the sun … It’s a marvel that my heart Does not melt with longing at the sight. Bernart de Ventadorn US_032-035_Adam_de_la_Halle.indd 34 26/03/18 1:00 PM 35 lesser entertainers were manifold, and their activities were varied. In southern Europe, a musician might go by the title of joglar or joglaresa, while their northern counterparts were called jongleurs. The skillsets of these musicians encompassed feats of dexterity, fluency in any instrument required for dancing, singing songs of love and heroes, or simply playing the fool. Yet, in spite of the joy they brought, itinerant entertainers were not only on the lowest rung of the social order but were also outside of the protection of the law. One example of joglar song is the work of Martin Codax (c.1250), written in the style of cantiga de amigo, a genre that told stories from a woman’s point of view. Codax, for example, evoked the emotions of a woman left on the shore in Vigo (a fishing town in Galicia, Spain), waiting for her beloved to come home from sea. Tavern players Another type of medieval musician at this time, the goliards, had a lot in common with traveling musicians, but were, in fact, unemployed clerics known for playing bawdy songs in taverns that satirized society at all levels. The Carmina Burana Manuscript (c.1200–1300) is the main surviving source of goliard song. The title ménestrel (minstrel) meanwhile refers to one who is a “little minister,” in service perhaps at court, or to a city. Armed with finely honed musical skills and a claim to a patron’s protection, a minstrel might hope to escape some of the opprobrium that was often levelled at a jongleur. By the 14th century, however, the term ménestrel was increasingly used in France as a term to describe all urban musicians—many of whom played in taverns or on the streets. Songs in German The genre of courtly love extended all the way from Latin Europe to the German-speaking peoples, where the Minnesinger sang songs about chivalric romances. Like his French counterpart, the Minnesinger was normally welcome in noble houses as a social equal, and examples of early Minnelieder (“love songs”) suggest that trouvère songs were known in Germany. By 1200, the style asserted a stronger identity characterized by the work of Walther von Vogelweide—but, compared to the works from Spanish and French traditions, few Minnelieder survive with contemporary melodies. ■ EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 Medieval instruments Many of the instruments associated with European medieval music have their roots in North Africa, Central Asia, and the Balkans. These included the lute (a string instrument with a back shaped like the shell of a tortoise), the rebec (a spoon- shaped bowed instrument), and the shawm, the precursor of the oboe. The European tabor (drum) is akin to the Indian tabla while nakers were related to the Asian naqqara (kettledrums). The English word “fanfare” probably derived from Arabic anfar, meaning trumpets. Early poets often accompanied themselves on the vielle, a bowed string instrument supported on the collarbone. A vielle could have anywhere from three to six strings passing over a flat bridge, or string support. This favored a harmonic style of playing with many strings sounding at once—unlike the arched bridge of the modern violin, which allows individual strings to be sounded, thus favoring melody. Jongleurs Low-born itinerant storytellers, jugglers, and acrobats, who also danced and sang. Minstrels Musicians who initially performed for the nobility and later on street corners and in public taverns. Goliards Traveling songsters who were former clerics. They often sang bawdy and satirical verses in Latin “a cappella.” Troubadours Poets and composers who performed songs for the nobility that were inspired by the culture of courtly love. Musicians fitted into distinct categories that were defined by social status and their typical audience. Europe’s secular music-makers US_032-035_Adam_de_la_Halle.indd 35 18/04/2018 15:23 36 MUSIC IS A SCIENCE THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH, SING, AND DANCE MESSE DE NOTRE DAME (c. 1360–1365), GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT T he 14th century was one of the most turbulent periods of medieval history. The “Little Ice Age,” which began around 1300, resulted in crop failures and famines, including the Great Famine of 1312–1317, and the Black Death killed up to 60 percent of Europe’s population. Such extreme social, economic, and environmental upheaval shook religious certainties. Scholars, such as the French scientist-cleric Nicole Oresme (c.1320–1382), began to envision a more complex universe than the faith-based view of the natural world. Music, already embracing polyphony, was also influenced by this way of thinking and exploded into new metrical complexity when Oresme’s fellow Frenchman, the mathematician-composer Philippe de Vitry (1291–1361), devised a precise method to notate rhythm. A new order of rhythm The new style became known as Ars nova after de Vitry’s treatise Ars nova notandi (“The New Art of Notation”), published in 1322. Vitry composed vocal pieces to demonstrate the novel notation in the form of motets (polyphonic compositions based on one melody and text, with other voices bringing in different words and melodies). Each of Vitry’s motets, only 12 of which survive, displayed different aspects of a technique known today as isorhythm (from the Greek for “same rhythm”), which aimed to give structure to extended compositions. Musicians illuminate a 1316 manuscript of Le Roman de Fauvel, a French poem by Gervais du Bus, which is interspersed with some of the first Ars nova music. IN CONTEXT FOCUS Polyphony and the notation revolution BEFORE c. 1320 The Tournai Mass is the first known Mass that uses polyphony—“many sounds.” c. 1350 The Toulouse Mass assembles polyphonic Mass movements arranged from existing motets (short, unaccompanied choral pieces). AFTER 1415–1421 The Old Hall Manuscript contains several polyphonic settings of the Kyrie to suit the English fashion for elaboration of that section of the Mass. 1440s Missa Caput is an early Mass by an English composer using a cantus firmus (“fixed song”) around which other melodies are based. It includes a bass voice below that of the tenor—one of the first compositions with a bass part. US_036-037_Guillaume_de_Machaut.indd 36 26/03/18 1:00 PM 37 See also: Magnus liber organi 28–31 ■ Missa l’homme armée 42 ■ Missa Pange lingua 43 ■ Canticum Canticorum 46–51 ■ Monteverdi’s Vespers 64–69 EARLY MUSIC 1000–1400 Vitry took a series of notes in the tenor voice (called the color) and applied a rhythmic pattern (called a talea) to it. The talea (rhythm) was usually shorter than the color (melody) so it might require several cycles of the talea to equal one repetition of the color. The Church was not enamored of Ars nova, and Pope John XXII condemned it in a decree of 1323. The clergy were alarmed by the style’s role in the secularization of the once purely sacred motet, which was now appropriated as a way to comment on events of the day. The satirical poem Le roman de Fauvel (c. 1316), for example, contains 130 musical works, including five motets by de Vitry. Despite the religious opposition, the precision of the new notation opened the door to experiments in rhythm and meter. These can be heard in the intricate and shifting rhythms of the songs of the Italians Matteo da Perugia and Philippus de Caserta and the French composer Baude Cordier (all working around 1400), in a style that is now known as Ars subtilior (“even more subtle art”). Ars nova had become established and went on to form the basis for the development of rhythmic notation in Western music. Changing the Mass De Vitry’s ideas found perhaps their greatest flowering in the music of Guillaume de Machaut, a 14th-century composer and poet. Machaut used the same isorhythmic techniques in his own motets and in the Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and Ite, missa est movements of his Messe de Notre Dame, the first known setting of polyphonic music for a complete Mass cycle by a single composer. As well as using isorhythm to unify elements of the Mass, Machaut also employed a plainsong cantus firmus (“fixed song”) as a linking melody for each movement, from which other melodies develop, and added a contratenor to raise the number of voices from three (the traditional number) to a richer and more expansive four. Machaut secured his artistic heritage by carefully managing his own output, collecting his works in manuscripts that he compiled during his lifetime. Besides his importance as a composer, Machaut was one of the greatest French poets of the medieval period, producing extensive poetic narratives in the form of lais (lines of verse with eight syllables) and dits (verse without music). He also developed shorter poetic genres with repeated phrases, or refrains, such as the ballade, rondeau, and virelai, which became popular vehicles of expression for poets and composers of subsequent generations. ■ Guillaume de Machaut Born in the Champagne region of France around 1300, Machaut spent much of his life in and around the nearby city of Reims. After taking holy orders, in 1323 he joined the household of John of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia, traveling with him around Eastern Europe and Italy as his chaplain and secretary. Through King John, Machaut acquired lucrative benefices as canon of the cathedrals at Verdun in 1330, Arras in 1332, and in Reims in 1337. After King John’s death at the Battle of Crécy in 1346, Machaut found further patronage from Bonne of Luxembourg, the second daughter of King John the Blind, and Charles II, King of Navarre in Spain. The composer’s final years were spent in Reims, overseeing the compilation of his works. He died in 1377 and was buried in Reims cathedral. Other key works c. 1330s Douce dame jolie (virelai) c. 1340s Rose, liz, printemps, verdure (rondeau) c.1340s Voir dit Certain disciples of the new art are preoccupied with their measured dividing up of beats … We forbid these methods. Pope John XXII US_036-037_Guillaume_de_Machaut.indd 37 26/03/18 1:00 PM RENAISSANCE 1400–1600 US_038-039_Chapter_Opener_Renaissance.indd 38 26/03/18 1:00 PM RENAISSANCE 1400–1600 US_038-039_Chapter_Opener_Renaissance.indd 39 26/03/18 1:00 PM T he cultural movement known as the Renaissance emerged in Italy as early as the 14th century. However, a distinctively Renaissance style of music did not manifest itself until some years later. It first flourished in the Netherlands, at the court of Philip the Good of Burgundy (1396–1467). The composers there, although Franco-Flemish by birth, were cosmopolitan by nature. The leading light of the Franco-Flemish school, Guillaume Dufay, inspired by the Ars Nova polyphony that he had heard while in Italy, found a way to break with the medieval style and began to redefine Renaissance music. One of Dufay’s innovations was his use of the cantus firmus, the technique of composing a polyphonic piece around a plainchant melody. Echoing the Renaissance trend toward increasing secularization, he started to use secular melodies instead of plainchant as a basis for his Masses, which were in a richly expressive polyphonic style. He and other composers at the Burgundian court, including Gilles Binchois, Johannes Ockeghem, and one of the finest composers of the early Renaissance, Josquin Desprez, did not restrict themselves to sacred music and also wrote secular motets and chansons. New challenge The Franco-Flemish school of polyphony dominated the music of the early Renaissance, but in the 16th century, things changed dramatically. The power that the Catholic Church had wielded in medieval times was being challenged, and in 1517 Martin Luther triggered the Reformation. Much of northern Europe converted to the Protestant Church, which had a very different attitude to music for their services, preferring simple hymns and melodies for the congregation to sing rather than polyphonic Masses sung only by the choir. Such music became the foundation of a distinctly Germanic musical tradition. The Reformation had, however, provoked a reaction in the Catholic world—the Counter-Reformation— in which the Church defended some of its practices while examining and reforming others. One of the things that came under scrutiny was the music for church services. Many in the Catholic Church were uncomfortable INTRODUCTION C.1430 C.1460 C.1570 1572 C.1515 1568 Thomas Tallis’s 40-part motet Spem in alium, is composed, featuring eight choirs of five voices each. Guillaume Dufay composes the Mass L’Homme armé, employing the third interval in the scale to create a sweet sound. Franco-Flemish composer Josquin Desprez sets music to the Ordinary of the Mass in his Missa Pange lingua. Italian composer and diplomat Alessandro Striggio premieres his motet Ecce beatam lucem in Munich, Germany. Missa Rex seculorum is written as a cantus firmus Mass in the influential English style, attributed either to John Dunstaple or Leonel Power. Spanish composer Tomás Luis de Victoria writes his first collection of motets while working in Rome. 40 US_040-041_Chapter_Intro_Renaissance.indd 40 27/03/18 4:49 PM with the complex polyphony that had become fashionable, as so many voices singing different lines of melody made the words unintelligible. Composers were told to moderate their style, precipitating the adoption of a relatively simple polyphony that avoided the sometimes dissonant harmonies that occur in polyphonic music and emphasized the clarity of the words. This clearer and sweeter-sounding style characterized what came to be regarded as the musical “High Renaissance.” Among the first composers to adopt the style was Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, who wrote numerous motets and Masses for churches in Rome. Composers from across Europe gravitated to Italy to absorb the new sound, before taking it back to their native lands. In England, it was adopted by composers such as Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. Instrumental music It was not just church music that was changing. By the end of the 14th century, traveling minstrels had all but disappeared thanks to the ravages of the Black Death. They gravitated instead to the aristocratic courts, where they provided entertainment, singing chansons and playing instrumental music for dancing and for civic ceremonies, such as the installation of a new Doge in Venice. In a more secularized society, instrumental music became popular not only in the courts but also among an increasingly educated middle class, creating a demand for music to play at home, either in consorts of instruments, such as viols or recorders, or for solo keyboard instruments, such as the harpsichord. Thanks to the development of a mechanical technique for printing, sheet music was readily available, and the new style spread through Europe. Madrigals, for small groups of singers, became a popular form of home entertainment, especially in Italy and England. However, composers and the public were experimenting with another form by the end of the 16th century, and a dramatic new style was heralded by the works of Giovanni Gabrieli in Venice. The last great works to be composed in the Renaissance style were Tomás Luis de Victoria’s Officium defunctorum and John Dowland’s Lachrimae, fitting ends to an era. ■ 1584 C.1580–1590 1597 1585 1600 1604 William Byrd composes Great Service for use on state occasions at Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace. Italian organist Giovanni Gabrieli uses loud and soft dynamics in Sonata pian’ e forte. Venetian composer Giovanni Bassano publishes his four-part collection Ricercate, passaggi et cadentie, to be played in the style of an étude. Thomas Weelkes pens O care, thou wilt despatch me as part of his most famous work—his collection of madrigals. Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina writes the Canticum Canticorum, a collection of motets based on excerpts from the biblical Song of Songs. John Dowland’s Lachrimae uses dissonance to conjure an atmosphere of melancholy. 41RENAISSANCE 1400–1600 US_040-041_Chapter_Intro_Renaissance.indd 41 27/03/18 4:49 PM 42 See also: Micrologus 24–25 ■ Magnus liber organi 28–31 ■ Missa Pange lingua 43 ■ Canticum Canticorum 46–51 ■ St. Matthew Passion 98–105 F rom Franco-Flemish composer Guillaume Dufay onward, the harmonic language of music begins to sound more familiar to modern listeners. Earlier composers had followed the harmonic ideals worked out by the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, based on the “perfect” consonance of octaves and fourth and fifth intervals. Dufay’s innovation was to use chords featuring the third interval in the scale as a harmony note (mi in the sol-fa singing scale, following do and re). Historically, the harmony of third intervals had been seen as somewhat dissonant, to be used sparingly. Secular sounds in church Dufay’s masses made much use of the cantus firmus technique, which built a piece around an already existing melody, such as a well- known sacred composition or a plainchant. In L’homme armé, Dufay chose a popular French folk song with a distinctive melody that lent itself well to a polyphonic layering of voices. Following the lead of English musicians, who had already embraced the use of third intervals, Dufay allows the music to dwell on the interval’s sweet, less hollow sound. This extended the harmonic vocabulary and created room for more voices. ■ NOT A SINGLE PIECE OF MUSIC COMPOSED BEFORE THE LAST 40 YEARS … IS WORTH HEARING MISSA L’HOMME ARMÉ (c.1460), GUILLAUME DUFAY IN CONTEXT FOCUS New harmonies BEFORE 1430 Englishman Leonel Power composes Alma redemptoris mater, possibly the first Mass to use an identified cantus firmus—a “set song”—as the basis for its melodic framework. 1430 Rex seculorum is written as a cantus firmus Mass in the English style, either by John Dunstable or Leonel Power. AFTER 1570 Italian Giovanni Palestrina publishes a five- voice setting of the Mass on the L’homme armé melody. 1999 Welsh composer Karl Jenkins incorporates the L’homme armé folk song into the first and final movements of his Mass The Armed Man. Master of melody Guillaume Dufay stands beside a portable organ in an illumination from the 15th-century poetic work, Le champion des dames. US_042-043_Guillaume_Dufay.indd 42 26/03/18 1:00 PM 43 See also: Messe de Notre Dame 36–37 ■ Missa l’homme armé 42 ■ Canticum Canticorum 46–51 ■ St. Matthew Passion 98–105 RENAISSANCE 1400–1600 TONGUE, PROCLAIM THE MYSTERY OF THE GLORIOUS BODY MISSA PANGE LINGUA (c.1515), JOSQUIN DESPREZ IN CONTEXT FOCUS Dissemination of music BEFORE c.1415–1420 The largest collection of 14th-century Italian music, the Squarcialupi Codex illuminated manuscript, is compiled in Florence. 1457 The Codex Psalmorum, produced in the German city of Mainz, is the first printed book to contain music, although the notation is handwritten. AFTER c.1520 English printer John Rastell produces the first music where the staves, notes, and text are printed in a single impression. 1710 The Statute of Anne, enacted in Britain, gives authors copyright over their printed work for the first time, a right finally extended to music composition in 1777. J osquin Desprez, born in France around 1450, was an early beneficiary of the printing press. Until the invention of the technology in the mid-15th century, music was copied out by hand, by professional copyists. According to the 16th-century Swiss music theorist Heinrich Glarean, Desprez “published his works after much deliberation and with manifold corrections.” This care and attention made his compositions a favorite in the emerging music publishing market. Desprez’s contemporary, the Italian printer Ottaviano Petrucci, perfected a method for printing music in three passes: the staves, followed by notes, and then the words. Petrucci’s first publication, Odhecaton, a selection of nearly 100 secular pieces, mostly by Franco-Flemish composers, including Desprez, Alexander Agricola, Antoine Busnois, and Jacob Obrecht, appeared in 1501. To meet the challenge of a first collection of polyphonic music for the Mass with underlayed text, Petrucci chose to devote his Misse (1502) to works solely by Desprez. A late Mass Missa Pange lingua was one of Desprez’s final compositions, taking its central melody from a hymn for the Feast of Corpus Christi written by the 13th-century Italian friar and theologian Thomas Aquinas. The work was not ready in time for Petrucci’s final book of masses in 1514, but it survived in manuscript form and was finally published in 1532. ■ Now that Josquin is dead, he is putting out more works than when he was alive! Georg Forster German composer (1510–1568) US_042-043_Guillaume_Dufay.indd 43 26/03/18 1:00 PM 44 HEARE THE VOYCE AND PRAYER SPEM IN ALIUM (c. 1570), THOMAS TALLIS T he composition of the great 40-voice motet Spem in alium by Thomas Tallis marked a pinnacle of early English Renaissance choral music and was an inspired response to a continental challenge. In 1567, the composer Alessandro Striggio had arrived in England on a diplomatic A chapel choir sings from sheet music displayed on a lectern in the frontispiece of Practica musicae by the Italian music theorist Franchini di Gaffurio, published in 1512. IN CONTEXT FOCUS Large-scale choral music BEFORE c. 1500 French composer Antoine Brumel writes a Mass in 12 parts, Missa Et ecce terrae motus, known as the “Earthquake Mass.” 1568 Alessandro Striggio’s motet Ecce beatam lucem for 40 voices with instruments is performed in Munich. AFTER 1682 Heinrich Biber composes his Missa Salisburgensis in 53 parts arranged in six choirs of singers, strings, recorders, cornetts, and sackbuts, with two ensembles of trumpets and timpani, and at least two organs—probably the largest work in the Colossal Baroque style, the name given to large-scale, poly- choral works. mission from the Medici court in Florence, bringing with him the parts for his recent compositions for 40 or more independent voices. These were musical manifestations of influence and power, and some wondered what the result might be if an English composer were to attempt such a composition. They turned to Tallis, who had been the foremost court composer under four monarchs—Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. Tallis’s Roman Catholic patron, Thomas Howard, Fourth Duke of Norfolk, commissioned the work. A long choral tradition The English had long excelled at choral music. In the 15th century, John Dunstable established the contenance angloise (“English manner”), a distinctive, richly harmonic polyphonic style. Flemish music theorist Johannes Tinctoris described Dunstable as “the fountain and source” of musical innovation. A generation before Tallis, Robert Fayrfax was the leading English composer and a favorite of Henry VIII. He was the organist and Master of the Choristers at St. Albans Abbey from 1498 to 1502 US_044-045_Thomas_Tallis.indd 44 26/03/18 1:00 PM 45 See also: Messe de Notre Dame 36–37 ■ Missa l’homme armé 42 ■ Missa Pange lingua 43 ■ Canticum Canticorum 46–51 ■ Great Service 52–53 ■ St. Matthew Passion 98–105 RENAISSANCE 1400–1600 and composed the complex five- voice Mass O quam glorifica for his doctorate in 1504. Masters of sacred music In the early 16th century, John Taverner emerged as a significant composer of English sacred music after his appointment in 1526 as Master of the Choristers at Thomas Wolsey’s newly founded Cardinal College, Oxford (the future Christ Church). There he composed three six-voice Masses, Corona spinea, Gloria tibi Trinitas, and O Michael. The tenor part from the “In nomine Domini” section of the Benedictus of his Gloria tibi Trinitas became widely used by other composers as the basis of vocal and instrumental arrangements. This was the origin of the English fantasia genre known as In nomine, which was popular until the late 17th century. Taverner moved back home to Lincolnshire after Wolsey’s downfall and produced little more music. John Sheppard was perhaps more adept at tailoring his output to the tastes of Roman Catholic and Protestant monarchs. He was the choirmaster at Magdalen College, Oxford, for three years, and then, from 1552, a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal under Edward VI and Mary I. He died on the eve of Elizabeth’s succession in 1558. Much of Sheppard’s Latin-texted church music survives. His responsory Media vita for six voices is a Lenten work of monumental status: the slow statement of the Nunc dimittis chant running through the work adds to its impact. An extraordinary response Thomas Tallis was a member of the Chapel Royal when Striggio visited and unfurled his multipart scores. The Italian’s works were in the polychoral style, with voices grouped into self-contained choirs that came together in a grand sound at crucial points in the score. Tallis’s response in his motet Spem in alium was quite different: it dipped back into the soaring sound of Taverner’s and Sheppard’s music to create an unmistakably English piece. The 40 voices of Spem in alium seldom gather in the same groupings, but each follow their own paths. One voice may maintain a steady pace on the beat but will have a counterpart that achieves something similar in syncopation, adding a scintillation to the steady voice. Like a gradual murmuration of birds, the voices gather, separate, and finally assemble to exhilarating effect. ■ Thomas Tallis Little is known of Tallis’s early life, but by 1532 he was the organist of Dover Priory, on England’s south coast. After the priory’s dissolution three years later, he worked at the church of St. Mary- at-Hill in London, Waltham Abbey, and Canterbury Cathedral, before becoming a member of the choir (“Gentleman”) of Henry VIII’s Chapel Royal, where he later became the organist. Queen Elizabeth granted Tallis and William Byrd a patent to print music in 1572, and in 1575 they jointly published Cantiones sacrae, a collection of Latin motets. Tallis was also one of the first to set English words to psalms, canticles, and anthems. Centuries later, his setting of Psalm 2 was used by Vaughan Williams for his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis (1910). Tallis died peacefully at home in 1585. It is thought he was around 80 years of age. Other key works 1560–1569 The Lamentations of Jeremiah 1567 Nine psalm settings for Archbishop Parker