Philosophies of Music History

By Warren Dwight Allen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
RELIGIOUS, NATURALIST, AND ETHICAL TRADITIONS

I. BIBLICAL PERIODIZATION AND ETHICAL CLASSIFICATION
Tm purpose of this chapter is to show that churchmen and moralists dictated the fundamental bases of early music histories, that certain secular concepts were debated by them from the first, and that in spite of the preponderance of secular theory today, occasional texts still appear which show the persistence of old traditions.For the early schemes of periodization in music history, evidence is first brought from Bonnet Histoire [9], cited at the end of Chapter 1. His periods were as follows:
I. From the Divine Origins at Creation to the Flood.
II. From the Flood to King David and Solomon.
III. From King Solomon to Pythagoras.
IV. From Socrates (3600 years after Creation) to the Birth of Christ.
V. From the Birth of Christ to Gregory the Great.
VI. From Pope Gregory to St. Dunstan.
VII. From the Eleventh to the Sixteenth Centuries (Chap. X and XI).
Chapter XII is devoted to seventeenth-century musicians, and Chapter XIII to musicians of the author's own day.

Supporting the theory of Aristides Quintilianus, Bonnet divides music into Musica Mondana (music of the spheres), Musica Humana (a harmony of the one and the other in man, made by the body, and controlled by the mind), Musica Rhithmica (the consonant harmony one feels in prose), Musica Metrica (music of verse), Musica Politica (the harmonious organization of the State), and Musica Harmonica (musical science and theory).

Bonnet, although a priest, shows less concern with Christian tradition than the laymen, stressing rather the Greek ethos of music so important in didactic music history.

In 1757 Dom P. J. Cassiaux wrote an Essai d'une histoire de lamusique

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