Style in Musical Art

By C. Hubert H. Bart Parry | Go to book overview
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III
SIMPLE TYPES OF INSTRUMENTAL STYLE

STYLE may be considered from as many hundreds of different points of view as there are causes or conditions which induce it. They interlace and intermingle without necessarily disturbing or confusing one another. Some are plain and easily distinguished, and some are hard to define; some are elementary, inevitable, persistent; some are elusive and resultant. Material causes, general causes, psychological, racial, and personal causes, associations and conditions of presentment, all influence and control its variations, of which any one with a glimmering of artistic or literary sense is conscious. It does not require much knowledge of art to tell from the style at what period a picture or a statue, or an engraving, or an enamel, or a piece of porcelain was produced; though within that circuit of style and under the general aspect of a period the essential qualities of the different branches of art are maintained. In the same way with music, the style of Vivaldi or Legrenzi or Cavalli is not mistaken as belonging to the age of Beethoven, nor the style of Lasso and Palestrina as belonging to the period of Hasse or Scarlatti. We should never take a work of Wagner or Brahms, however simple and innocent, for a product of the

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