Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Tielman Susato and the Music of His Time: Print Culture, Compositional Technique and Instrumental Music in the Renaissance

Academic journal article Fontes Artis Musicae

Tielman Susato and the Music of His Time: Print Culture, Compositional Technique and Instrumental Music in the Renaissance

Article excerpt

Tielman Susato and the Music of his Time: Print Culture, Compositional Technique and Instrumental Music in the Renaissance. Edited by Keith Polk. (Bucina: The Historic Brass Society Series, 5). Hills--dale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2005. [xiii, 208 p. ISBN 1-57647-1063; 978-15784-7106-7. $48]

The lengthy title of this valuable volume might suggest that it contains a rag-bag of various articles culled from different sources, with no real pretence at unity of focus or topic. That would be misleading, however, for it is a collection tightly focussed on Susato himself, on the music he printed, and on his colleagues as instrumentalists. As such, it provides a wealth of new information and significant new ideas.

Two papers discuss Susato's life, not least the time when he was involved with political relations between the Netherlands and the Swedish court. Kristine Forney uses biographical details to rebuild parts of Susato's life to show how aspects of it were influential for his publications; this is an excellent paper, particularly valuable when examining his chansons, the stimuli for their publication and their subsequent reception. It is essential reading.

So is the paper by Kate van Orden, also focussed on the chansons, and another in this author's series of studies about what she calls the "cultures of print", the relationship of books and their content to the larger circles outside those of the professional musicians. …

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