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Adrian Willaert and the Theory of Interval Affect: The Musica Nova Madrigals and the Novel Theories of Zarlino and Vicentino

Adrian Willaert and the Theory of Interval Affect: The Musica Nova Madrigals and the Novel... 1  For  an  enlighteng  discussion  of  the  private/public  s   tylisc  bifurcaon    mid-sixteenth-century  Venice,  see  Feldman (1995, 197–259). More recently, Susan McClary  (2004,  78–100)  analyzes  the  sophiscated  modal  structures of four Musica nova madrigals as arculatg a variously  flected  “radical  wardness”  that  acquires  shape  from between the les of Petrarch’s poetry. Journal of Music Theory  55:2, Fall 2011 DOI 10.1215/00222909-1540383  © 2012 by Yale University ter Mentre che’l cor, I’ piansi, hor to, and tai: hor piango (the author  does not jusfy the reason for selectg those parcular works). Chapter 4  considers the evoluon of Willaert’s secular style from the perspecve of the  theory of musical affect. It argues that while pre-Musica nova madrigals were  not shaped by consideraons of musical affect, the later-published ones contued to refe the stylisc novaons of that path-breakg collecon. The  fifth and fal chapter explores the impact of Willaert’s affecve style on later  composers  such  as  Cipriano  de  Rore,  Girolamo  Parabosco,  and  Francesco  della  ola.  e  to  space  limitaons,  this  reew  concentrates  on  the  first  three chapters of the book,  which the author lays out the guidg prciples of the theory of terval affect and demonstrates its analycal applicaons. This is not to slight the last two chapters, however, which cast new light  on Willaert’s arsc trajectory and historical legacy. The first chapter of the book, “Contexts,” offers an overew of the musical scene of mid-sixteenth-century Venice (1–11), emphasizg the regulave  noon of stylisc decorum as it applied to private versus public and sacred  versus secular forms of expression (29–39). The treases by Zarlo and cento demonstrate the strong humanist leangs of the upper echelon of Venean musical culture, which would presumably have endorsed unhesitatgly  Willaert’s pursuit of musical affect. The middle secon of the chapter proposes one of the central claims of the book, namely, that Willaert’s affecve use  of tervals marked a signifit departure from preous attempts at representg affect through music (11–23). The “novelty of the theory of terval  affect” (11) is borne out of two major consideraons. First, the treases of Zarlo and cento confirm without the shadow of a doubt that the affecve  dimension of Musica nova was the result of a deliberate strategy.  contrast,  the modern recognion of deliberate affecve strategies  earlier composers  is variably clouded by our lack of knowledge of composional tent (12–15).  Second, Willaert not only was tenonally expressive  his madrigals but also  achieved his expressive goals by relyg on a new concept of harmony that subsumed the older noon of diatonic space— which a nascent awareness of  musical affect was conveyed by the hexachordal arculaon of the gamut— to a new taxonomy of major and mor vercal sonories, now ewed as  “categories of sonic character . . . that could be manipulated for expressive  purposes” (19–20, 24). Both arguments present conceptual difficules.  As an illustraon of a pre-Willaeran approach to musical affect, the  author discusses two famous passages from Guillaume  ’s tenor motet  Ave rega coelorum (composed  1464),  which the personal pleas “Miserere  tui labens ” (“have mercy on your perishg ”) and “Miserere  suppli  ” (“have mercy on your supplit  ”) are set to slowmovg “c-mor-like” chords that greatly contrast with the serene “C-majorlike” episode precedg it. example 1 shows the scorg of the second “Miserere” vocaon. Mengozzi Mengozzi, Ex. 1:   Mengozzi on McKney Gau de Gau ri - o su - per om nes spe - ci - de o Gau de ri - su per om ri nes o - , , sup - pli - spe - ci - o , sup - pli - sup - pli Example 1. McKney’s example 1.3: from , Ave rega coelorum  le with leeman Perks’s terpretaon of this passage,2 McKney  recognizes that the sudden trusion of the e ♭ s “may result  an emoonal  impact upon the listener,” while sll matag that “such gestures must be  distguished from those that are truly affecve” (17). To hear those passages  as  modal  changes  à   la  Schubert  would  be  anachronisc,  because  noons  of “majorness” and “morness” were alien to fifteenth-century sensibilies:  “One  not  safely  conclude  that  this  ‘morness’  was  the  primary  http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

Adrian Willaert and the Theory of Interval Affect: The Musica Nova Madrigals and the Novel Theories of Zarlino and Vicentino

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 55 (2) – Sep 21, 2011

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Duke University Press
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0022-2909
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10.1215/00222909-1540383
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Abstract

1  For  an  enlighteng  discussion  of  the  private/public  s   tylisc  bifurcaon    mid-sixteenth-century  Venice,  see  Feldman (1995, 197–259). More recently, Susan McClary  (2004,  78–100)  analyzes  the  sophiscated  modal  structures of four Musica nova madrigals as arculatg a variously  flected  “radical  wardness”  that  acquires  shape  from between the les of Petrarch’s poetry. Journal of Music Theory  55:2, Fall 2011 DOI 10.1215/00222909-1540383  © 2012 by Yale University ter Mentre che’l cor, I’ piansi, hor to, and tai: hor piango (the author  does not jusfy the reason for selectg those parcular works). Chapter 4  considers the evoluon of Willaert’s secular style from the perspecve of the  theory of musical affect. It argues that while pre-Musica nova madrigals were  not shaped by consideraons of musical affect, the later-published ones contued to refe the stylisc novaons of that path-breakg collecon. The  fifth and fal chapter explores the impact of Willaert’s affecve style on later  composers  such  as  Cipriano  de  Rore,  Girolamo  Parabosco,  and  Francesco  della  ola.  e  to  space  limitaons,  this  reew  concentrates  on  the  first  three chapters of the book,  which the author lays out the guidg prciples of the theory of terval affect and demonstrates its analycal applicaons. This is not to slight the last two chapters, however, which cast new light  on Willaert’s arsc trajectory and historical legacy. The first chapter of the book, “Contexts,” offers an overew of the musical scene of mid-sixteenth-century Venice (1–11), emphasizg the regulave  noon of stylisc decorum as it applied to private versus public and sacred  versus secular forms of expression (29–39). The treases by Zarlo and cento demonstrate the strong humanist leangs of the upper echelon of Venean musical culture, which would presumably have endorsed unhesitatgly  Willaert’s pursuit of musical affect. The middle secon of the chapter proposes one of the central claims of the book, namely, that Willaert’s affecve use  of tervals marked a signifit departure from preous attempts at representg affect through music (11–23). The “novelty of the theory of terval  affect” (11) is borne out of two major consideraons. First, the treases of Zarlo and cento confirm without the shadow of a doubt that the affecve  dimension of Musica nova was the result of a deliberate strategy.  contrast,  the modern recognion of deliberate affecve strategies  earlier composers  is variably clouded by our lack of knowledge of composional tent (12–15).  Second, Willaert not only was tenonally expressive  his madrigals but also  achieved his expressive goals by relyg on a new concept of harmony that subsumed the older noon of diatonic space— which a nascent awareness of  musical affect was conveyed by the hexachordal arculaon of the gamut— to a new taxonomy of major and mor vercal sonories, now ewed as  “categories of sonic character . . . that could be manipulated for expressive  purposes” (19–20, 24). Both arguments present conceptual difficules.  As an illustraon of a pre-Willaeran approach to musical affect, the  author discusses two famous passages from Guillaume  ’s tenor motet  Ave rega coelorum (composed  1464),  which the personal pleas “Miserere  tui labens ” (“have mercy on your perishg ”) and “Miserere  suppli  ” (“have mercy on your supplit  ”) are set to slowmovg “c-mor-like” chords that greatly contrast with the serene “C-majorlike” episode precedg it. example 1 shows the scorg of the second “Miserere” vocaon. Mengozzi Mengozzi, Ex. 1:   Mengozzi on McKney Gau de Gau ri - o su - per om nes spe - ci - de o Gau de ri - su per om ri nes o - , , sup - pli - spe - ci - o , sup - pli - sup - pli Example 1. McKney’s example 1.3: from , Ave rega coelorum  le with leeman Perks’s terpretaon of this passage,2 McKney  recognizes that the sudden trusion of the e ♭ s “may result  an emoonal  impact upon the listener,” while sll matag that “such gestures must be  distguished from those that are truly affecve” (17). To hear those passages  as  modal  changes  à   la  Schubert  would  be  anachronisc,  because  noons  of “majorness” and “morness” were alien to fifteenth-century sensibilies:  “One  not  safely  conclude  that  this  ‘morness’  was  the  primary 

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Sep 21, 2011

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