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Partimento, que me veux-tu?

Partimento, que me veux-tu? Jean-Jacques Rousseau, eighteenth-century French author and philosopher, was first a musician. As a youth he had been unable to find a qualified music master and hence lacked the training required to excel in his chosen field. He did read carefully the harmony treatise of Jean-Philippe Rameau, but that study neither advanced his compositional abilities nor later shielded him from the scorn of Rameau himself. Had Rousseau found a master of the then fashionable Italian style of music, he would have studied exercises in partimenti and solfeggi . Solfeggi were studies for voice with bass accompaniment. Partimenti were instructional basses from which an apprentice was expected to re-create complete compositions at the keyboard. The prodigious mental powers developed through the study of partimenti, which greatly facilitated improvisation and composition, gave a competitive advantage to composers so trained. Though an old, nonverbal method of craft instruction, partimenti were nonetheless a cognitively optimal means of developing fluency in a complex, multivoice style of music. In memorizing exemplars of small contrapuntal schemata, fitting them to the matching locations in a partimento, and then realizing them in a current style, the apprentice was training himself to think in "free" counterpoint. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

Partimento, que me veux-tu?

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 51 (1) – Jan 1, 2007

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Duke University Press
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-2008-024
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, eighteenth-century French author and philosopher, was first a musician. As a youth he had been unable to find a qualified music master and hence lacked the training required to excel in his chosen field. He did read carefully the harmony treatise of Jean-Philippe Rameau, but that study neither advanced his compositional abilities nor later shielded him from the scorn of Rameau himself. Had Rousseau found a master of the then fashionable Italian style of music, he would have studied exercises in partimenti and solfeggi . Solfeggi were studies for voice with bass accompaniment. Partimenti were instructional basses from which an apprentice was expected to re-create complete compositions at the keyboard. The prodigious mental powers developed through the study of partimenti, which greatly facilitated improvisation and composition, gave a competitive advantage to composers so trained. Though an old, nonverbal method of craft instruction, partimenti were nonetheless a cognitively optimal means of developing fluency in a complex, multivoice style of music. In memorizing exemplars of small contrapuntal schemata, fitting them to the matching locations in a partimento, and then realizing them in a current style, the apprentice was training himself to think in "free" counterpoint.

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2007

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