Instrumental Counterpoint, 1600–1700

Colloquium: November 11th, 5-7pm - Eastman School of Music, Annex 404 [rendezvous at 4:50 pm in the 4th floor hallway]
Workshop: November 12th, 9:30–11:30am - University of Rochester, Fountain Court in the Memorial Art Gallery

As independent, literate organ repertories developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, practices of intabulation and division-playing (toccata, fantasia, tiento, color, etc.) were supplemented by newer contrapuntal genres (ricercar, etc.) in imitation of vocal motets. The new instrumental medium potentially allowed greater coordination among the parts but imposed new constraints. How does polyphony improvised by one musician with two hands work similarly or differently than polyphony improvised by an ensemble of musicians, each with their own voice or instrument? This seminar will attempt to assess these technicalities in the context of changes in musical style and liturgical practices which spurred the continued development of keyboard genres borrowed from vocal genres.

Repertoire: Scheidemann, Frescobaldi

Theorists: Banchieri (1605), Theile (ca. 1620)

Dietrich Bartel, Musica Poetica, Musica-Rhetorical Figures in German Baroque (University of Nebraska Press, 1997). Chapter suggested: "Principles of Rhetoric in German baroque Music," pp. 56-89.

Laurence Dreyfus, Bach and the Patterns of Invention (Harvard University Press, 1996), pp. 1-10.

Pieter Dirksen, "The Enigma of the Stylus Phantasticus and Dieterich Buxtehude’s Praeludium in G minor (BuxWV 163)," in Orphei Organi Antiqui, Essays in Honor of Harald Vogel (The Westfield Center, 2006), pp. 107-132.

Spiridionis a Monte Carmelo, Nova Instructio pro pulsandis Organis, Spinettis et Manuchordis (Bamberg, 1670). Preface by Edoardo Bellotti (Il Levante, 1998) and Partes III & IV.

Leon Chisholm, “Intabulation and the Mechanization of Polyphony,” Keyboard Playing and the Mechanization of Polyphony in Italian Music, Circa 1600 (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 2015), 20–70.

*Campus locations and rooms subject to final confirmation. E-mail if you are interested in this session, and we will add you to the notifications e-list. Please also email us your questions and suggestions on repertoire and literature.