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

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Porta Neither Palestrina nor the other great masters sixteejth that period wrote theoretical works. Concerning counterpoibt minor sixth, which the older authors classed with the dissonances, he says, “In my ear, too, it sounds somewhat rough when it stands alone,” and he therefore prefers that it be excluded from the two-part composition where it is most noticeable.

If the harmony of the fifteenth century was often a little ascetic and thin we still find definite traces of the fifth and octave supremacy of the preceding century nevertheless the compositions of the period when vocal polyphony flourished were distinguished by perfection in wealth and variety of tonal combinations.

The section ends cdntury illuminating coverage of notation, the ecclesiastical modes, melody, and harmony. Furthermore, it is taught that an ascending or descending step- wise movement in quarters should not begin on the first beat in the measure; it is best to let these movements in quarters begin in the place of the unaccented halves.

Counterpoint: The Polyphonic Vocal Style of the Sixteenth Century : Knud Jeppesen :

Casimiri, Societatis Polyphonicae Romanae, 6 vols. This classic introductory text focuses on the polyphonic vocal style perfected by Palestrina. For this edition, the distinguished scholar Alfred Mann has contributed a new foreword to Jeppesen’s classic study.

The feeling for tonal combina- tions became more refined, a sharper distinction was made between vocal and instrumental writing, and shorter note values, more energetic move- ments, and stronger rhythmic accents were introduced.

Counterpoint: the polyphonic vocal style of the sixteenth century;

He begins by exploring the beginnings of contrapuntal theory from the ninth to the fourteenth centuries. Cocal the first class he counts the unison, fourth, fifth, and octave, which, as he says himself, stand out in every composition and are the mainstay thereof. Then follows the contra- punto ostinato, in which the contrapuntal part has complete rhythmic freedom within the limits of a melodic motive, an ascending scale of six tones, which therefore must be rhythmically varied so that it conforms at all times to the cantus firmus.

What I say about Fux applies also, though perhaps to a lesser extent, to the writers of nearly all textbooks subsequently based upon him.

Account Options Sign in. The inclination toward the dramatic and programmatic is less pro- nounced, but it continues to be present.

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

For this edition, the distinguished scholar Alfred Mann has contributed a new foreword to Jeppesen’s classic study. Tinctoris says in this regard that more dissonances than consonances occur in the compositions of his prede- cessors, but he observes further that in improvised counterpoint, dis- sonances actually occur only in short note values and on fo beats, or as suspensions. Vicentino expresses this most briefly and clearly: Among them are Counterpoing, Dufay, Binchois, Ockeghem, and Busnois and, in intimate relation with the practice of these musicians, the first great theorist in the modern sense, the Fleming, Johannes de Verwere, or Tinctoris, as polypyonic name is written in Latin.


Although the book is gen- erously supplied with musical examples, students should be required to examine other works of the period for purposes of comparison and per- formance.

With a single 1 “In omnibus modis utendum est semper concordantiis in principio perjectionis licet sit longa, brevis vel semibrevis” Gerbert: Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, Its practical significance, which no other work on contrapuntal theory has attained, is due not only to the pedagogically excellent arrangement of the material so that the difficulties increase gradually, but also partly to the fact that Fux was one of the first to take a more modern attitude toward counter- point.

It is also not wrong for singers who are improvising a counterpoint to close with an imperfect consonance. The second movement was the secular music and that church music which was more strongly influenced by the madrigal, with its clearly emphasized expressive tendencies.

Monte- verdi in the “Lament of Arianna,” for example, introduces with the opening words “Lasciate mi morire” “Let me die”the diminished fourth in a way effectively de- signed to arouse the sympathy of the listener.

It may even at times have the specific task of vigorously opposing recent tendencies, of exposing deficiencies of technique in contemporary composition, of pointing out the remedy, the path toward recovery. Out of respect for what is written down, composers strive, perhaps half consciously, to bring their practice into the nearest possible accord with the inscribed rules. For practical pedagogical reasons it is worth while to keep the subjects separate.

Before beginning three-part writing, students should try their hands at writing two-part motets using the motets of Lassus as models. One should avoid comparisons between music and other arts; they are on the whole so different in character and material that a comparison is apt to prove quite pointless. It begins with a discussion of the intervals and follows with a survey sixeenth consonances and dissonances.

It is the perfect, masterly expression of the musica comuna, that movement within the music of the sixteenth century which dedicated itself to the past, but which in its way is so much more important and typical in the art of music of the time than the more forward-looking expressive tendency, “la musica reservata” poyphonic the 4 Indicative of this view is a letter which a certain Gian, an agent of the Duke Ercolc Estc of Eerrara, wrote at the beginning of the sixteenth century.

The sixteenth century loves clearness, directness, nat- uralness. For that matter, similar passages occur in every kind of style — and not least in Bach’s. From the pedagogical viewpoint, however, the art that takes chords into considera- tion the least must doubtless afford the best starting point for acquiring the technique of independent voice leading. It is possible but by no means certain that Riemann is right when he assumes that a part of the music of the fifteenth century is instrumental music.


Although this manu- script as a whole is not remarkable, it does contain some passages which are surprising in their independence. But it is no ordi- nary textbook, because it maintains an unusually happy balance between theoretical and practical problems, between historical and systematic methodology. First came music itself; only later could the principles of cetnury creation — its theory — be deduced.

A musician who wishes to gain command of a particular technique must first deeide just what it is he wishes to acquire, so that he can accordingly study those composers who mastered that technique. Musicians did not as yet have sufficient command of the necessary musical means of expression, but they tried persistently, and at any rate learned one thing: At present nearly every textbook of counterpoint divides the material according to species.

In the third and last part of the work, eight principal rules of counter- point are finally stated, of which the content is substantially as follows: In the meantime, there are many indications that in western Europe, especially in England and perhaps also in Scandinavia, thirds and sixths were used at a polyphoic when in other places — where the art was nevertheless perhaps more highly developed as in France — the fifth and octave were still used.

If this passage applied to the passing dis- sonances, such a comprehensive exposition of the intervals of resolution would have been superfluous; for the passing second resolves just as well into the unison as into the third, the fourth as well into the fifth as into the third, and so on, according to whether the movement is ascend- ing or descending.

This tendency to think up artificial, difficult exercises seems to grow in the course of the seventeenth century. There are three reasons for this: The result is an exceptionally useful thhe, ideal for classroom use in teaching modal counterpoint. Vicentino further warns against beginnings with runs; rapid movements should grow out of slower ones. Tinctoris then brings in a survey of the twenty-two con- sonances which he considers usable and coutnerpoint presents the different possibilities of combinations and progressions.

Unlike many other texts, it maintains a careful balance between theoretical and practical problems, between historical coungerpoint systematic methodology. The ancient musicians, Plato, Pythagoras, Nichomachus, Aristoxenus, Architas, Ptole- maeus, and many others, indeed even including Boethius himself, dealt extensively with the consonances, and polyphpnic we do not know at all how they arranged and classified them.

It is recognized that musical theory has a retrospective as well as a descriptive character. In the secular songs technical refinement often suffered because of the demands of popular taste, but experiments flourished. For example, as the light permeates Rem- brandt’s “Night Watch,” so a broad formative element is at the core teh Bach’s music.