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Musica Ficta and Jacobus Gallus

Musica Ficta and Jacobus Gallus . Musica ficta ( musica falsa ) – the term used loosely to describe accidentals added to sources of early music . Modality or tonality ?.

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Musica Ficta and Jacobus Gallus

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  1. MusicaFictaandJacobus Gallus Musicaficta (musicafalsa) – the term used loosely to describeaccidentalsadded to sourcesofearlymusic.

  2. Modality or tonality? • Tonalityarises in: 14. century (A. Machabey), 15. century (H. Besseler), 16. century (E. E. Lowinsky), 17. century (M. Bukofzer). • It is true that much of Monteverdi’s music, particularly in his later Venetian style, can readily be analysed in terms of major-minor tonality (even though this music never uses the resources of tonal modulation in any developed way). On the other hand, the anachronism implicit in such analysis, not least in the light of Artusi’s interest in Monteverdi’s modal practice, has led to 20th-century attempts to interpret the music in terms of modes. Bernhard Meier (see L. Finscher, D1986) is an extreme example of a writer interpreting the music in terms of a supposedly thorough-going, unified modal system, with all divergences from supposed norms interpreted in terms of rhetorical intention. • Dahlhaus: Teiltonarten (‘partial’ keys) that permits cadencing on any note of the prevailing hexachord • But changes in the understanding of the late Renaissance modes during the last three decades have brought into question many of the assumptions on which much of this work was based, including the assumptions that 16th-century music was uniformly modal; that Monteverdi’s tonal language represents a transitional stage between ‘modality’ and ‘tonality’; that the establishment of modern tonality involves an increase in structural complexity; or indeed that tonality depends primarily upon chordal, vertical relationships at all. It is sufficient here to note that many of Monteverdi’s works exploit novel techniques of tonal integration, not necessarily invented by the composer, and that these later became part of the basic equipment of all composers writing in major-minor tonality (see §7 below). Their use contributes to some of the most profoundly satisfying artistic effects in Monteverdi’s music, although they are in part specific to certain sections of his output. • Kantionalsatz – fromabout 1580/90.

  3. Musicafictabefore 1500 • Musicafictaandthesynonymusmusicafalsa (more common in 13th cent.) were used bymusictheoristsfromthemid-13th cent. to denotechromatic notes alien to thehexachordsthathadformedthebasisformusicalinstructionsincetheywerefirstestablishedbyGuido od Arezzo in 1025-6. • Hexachords on g, c’, f’, g’ comprisedthewhite notes ofthe modern diatonicscalewiththeadditionofbb (whichwasadoptedintomusicarectaevenbeforeGuido’s system) – weredefined as musica vera or recta (allofthestructure 1-1-1/2-1-1 andidentifiedwiththe same sylables ut-re-mi-fa-sol-la). Mi-fawerealwaysthe notes ofthesemitone. • Thesingermoved up&downtheoverlappinghexachordsifnecessarymakingtransitions (mutations or coniunctae) on notes common to twohexachords, thoughneverbetweenthe notes boundingthesemitonemi-fa. • Thesystemofsolmization (originallydesignedforplainchant) had to beextended to copewiththegrowingdemandsofpolyphonybytranspozingrectahexachords to alienpitchesthatsemintonestepsotherthan B-C, E-F and A-B could take theirplacewithinthesolmizationsystem. • The range ofavailablefictahexachordswasincreased, rationalizedand in the 1430s UgolinoofOrvietorecognized a completesystemoffictahexachordswhose sole purposewas to accomodatethechromatic notes. • Becauseoftheficta notes thetheoristsfromthe late 13th cent. ownwardsrepudiatedtheapplicationofmodes to polyphony. OnlyTnctorisandGlarean (in the late 15th andearly 16th cent.) madeseriousattempts to assignpolyphoniccompositions to specificmodes. • Enchiriadistreatises (ab. 900): theearliestexplicitofchromaticalteration – namedabsonia (or disonantia). Vitiumseems to meandisturbanceofthe normal scale. A scale G A Bb c | d e f g | a b c' d' | e' f#' g' a' | b' c# wasproposed as anaddition to the more normal scaleand is expeciallysuitedfortheorganum at the 5th. Thepitchesofeband f# wereintroduced to plainchant, c#, g#, d# andAbwereallowed.

  4. Notation • Accidentalswereplacedabove, below, in advanceof or evenafterthe note to whichapplied. • Thereasonsfortheincompleteprovisionofaccidentals are: • thesignswere used to indicatesolmizationandonlyincidentlytheyalsoindicatedinflection, • medievalmusician’s reluctance to admit in theory or to notate in practicesomethingthatlayoutsidetheregular, respectablesystem • Consequentlytheresponsibilityforprovidingtheappropriateinflectionsrested in withtheperformer. • Thecross-sectionofrequiredaccidentalsincludespitchesthatfallwithinmusicarectaandthosethatlieoutside it. The same is withtheadditionalaccidentals – theyaffectedbothrectaandficta notes. Therefore it is not possible to equatemusicafictaonlywithaddedaccidentals (e.g. B).

  5. Theoristsrulesof 13th century Johannes de Garlandia: leading notes need to be a semitone to theirdestination. Lambertus – mainpurposeofmusicaficta is to achieveperfectverticalconsonances on 5ths, 8ves andotherperfectintervals. Jehan de Murs: • formelodicprogressionslowerreturning notes shouldberaised G-F-G → G-F#-G, leading notes approachedbyanyothermeans (e.g. bylap) shouldberaisedalso, • thesoundingof mi againstfa is forbidden in verticalperfectintervals (i.e. 5ths andoctaves are to beperfect; thisrule is ubiquitous in treatises), • theperfect interval shouldbeapproachedbythenearestimperfect interval. A major 3rd willexpand to a 5th, a major 6th to anoctave, a minor 3rd willcontract to anunison, etc. • when one ofthepartsproceedsby step, this step will in practice, be a semitone (ex. 1a; ifbothproceedby step, only one willbe a semitone), Severaltheoristsaddedthattheserulesshouldbeeffectedwherepossiblewithoutresort to musicaficta– ifthe interval or progressioncanbecorrectedwithinthesystemofmusicarecta, thisshouldbe done. (WhereasJehan de Murs’ examplesinvariablysharpen a leading note in theupper part, usingmusicaficta, one progressionmaybecorrectedwithintherectasystembyflateningthelower note insteadofsharpeningtheupper, thusplacingthesemitone step in thelower part (ex. 2b). Invariableconsequence to thesecondharmonicrule, applicable to most music up to 1450 is the ‘doubleleading note cadence’ (ex. 2a) in whichresultsfromthesuperimpositionofthelegitimatetwo-part progressions (ex. 2b and 2c). An anonymus 15th – cent. theoretical fragment from Seville stateexplicitlythatmelodic tritone shouldbeavoidedwhentheyreturnwithintheirownconfines). Truechromaticprogressions (e.g. F-F#-G) are bothallowed in theoryandprescribed in manuscriptsources.

  6. Tinctoris • In Diffinitorium (1472) wrotethatmusicaficta is ‘a wayofsingingapartfromtheregularorderingofthe /Guidonian/ hand’. • In Liber de natura etproprietatetonorum: - 5th and 6th modes (theauthenticandplagal form of F mode) useBband not B. - thenecessityfortheflat is twofold – to createperfectconsonances in polyphonyand to avoidthelinear or vertical tritone, - theflat at thebeginningofthestaffaffectsthewhole segment, whilethe ‘accidental’ flatlasts as long as thehexachord segment beforewhich it is placed, - theformationofthistwomodeswithBb to avoid tritone, is wellknown, so much so thattheflat not need to bealwayswrittendown, - lineartritonesshouldalsobeavoided in othermodesbut in polyphonythey are sometimesunavoidablebecauseofinadmissibleverticalintervalsthatmayotherviseresultand in suchcasesnshouldbe used (ifvertical tritone problem clasheswiththelinear one, theformershuld take precendence), - what is trueofthe tritone in regularmodes is alsotrueofirregularones in musicaficta, - thelinear tritone is lessdifficultwhenapproachedby step thenbyleap.

  7. c1500 to c1600 • So long as thetraditionalgamutandhexachordsystemstood as a basisofmusicalstructure, distinctionofmusicarectaandmusicafictamusthaveinfluencedbothcompositionandperformance, andthoseaccidentalsthatwereextramanumwereconsideredvariableunitswithin a basicallydiatonicsystem. • Even more problematicinterpretationofunspecifiedaccidentalsbecauseof: - gradualincreaseofthenumberofvoices used forvocalpolyphony, - themultiplicationof variant versionsofworks as a resultoftheinventionofmusicprinting, - rise ofexperimentalchromaticandenharmonic tone systems (such as thatofVicentino) alongwith - thefreerexploatationofchromaticdegree-inflectionbycomposersoutsidetherankoftheorists. • On theotherhandcomposers, copyistsandprintersbecomeaccustomed to thespecificationofmany more accidentals. • There is no single formula devisedthatseemsreadilyapplicable to alltypesofmusicafictaproblems, but it seemslikelythatanattitudeofintelligentandwell-informedrelativism on thematter is historically more realisticthenanpocalypticvision a universalsolutionforallcases. • There is a persuasive evidence thatthemusiciansofthat period found it difficulthow to applytherulesofmusicaficta.

  8. Contemporarytheoryand ‘rules’ • Lovinsky (1964) summed up theprevailingrulesundertheheadingsof ‘causanecessitatis’ and ‘causapulchritudinis’. • ‘Causanecessitatis’: - prohibitionofsimoultanoussoundingofmiandfa(e.i. diminished 5ths andoctavesbetweentwosimoultaneouslysounded). ‘Mi contra fa diabolus est in musica’ (ex. a) - ‘una nota super la, semperestcanendumfa’ to prevent a linear tritone when a line ascends la, - theprohibitionoffalserelations. • ‘Causapulchritudinis’: - therulegoverningthesubsemitonium modi – raisingoftheleading note in cadential formula, - theruleofpropinquity – approaching a perfectconsonance in twovoicesbythenearestimperfectconsonance (ex. b) and - theruleofending on a complete (major) triad (probablyonly in 16th century). • How to applytheruleswhen one contradictstheother?

  9. Jacobus Gallus Carniolus,Jakob Petelin Kranjski Lifeandwork: • Born (probably) on July 3rd 1550 either in Šentviška gora or in Ribnica (Reiffnitz) in Carniola (nowadays central Slovenia), • most likely educated at the Cistercian monastery at Stična (Sittich) in Carniola, • left Carniola sometime between 1564 and 1566, traveling first to Austria, and later to Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, • for some time lived at the Benedictine Melk Abbey in Lower Austria, • a member of the Viennese court chapel in 1574, • choirmaster (Kapellmeister) to the bishop of Olomouc (Olmütz), Moravia between 1579 (or 1580) and 1585, • from 1585 to his death worked in Prague as organist to the Church of St. John on the Balustrade (Cz. Sv. Jan naZábradlí), • died on July 18, 1591 in Prague. • represented the Counter-Reformation in Bohemia, mixing the polyphonic style of the High Renaissance Franco-Flemish Schoolwith the style of the Venetian School. Hiswide-ranging, eclectic style blended archaism and modernity, rarely used the cantus firmustechnique, preferring the then-new Venetian polychoral manner, yet he was equally conversant with earlier imitative techniques, • both sacred and secular, and hugely prolific opus of over than500 works. Some are for large forces, with multiple choirs of up to 24 independent parts, • most notable work is the six part Opus musicum, 1577, a collection of 374 motets that would eventually cover the liturgical needs of the entire ecclesiastical year. Printed in Prague wherehealso published 16 of his 20 extant masses, his five-voice motet Mirabilemysterium contains chromaticism worthy of Carlo Gesualdo, • enjoyed word painting in his madrigals (harmoniae), - his secular output, about 100 short pieces, was published in the collections Harmoniaemorales (Prague 1589 and 1590) and Moralia (Nüremberg 1596).

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