Music History during the Renaissance Period, 1520-1550: A Documented Chronology

By Blanche Gangwere | Go to book overview

Musica theorica: Science of Music

A. Introduction

1. Musica theorica was a part of the quadrivial discipline of musica which was still divided between musica theorica and musica practica MoyM, 4

a) But "in 1537" Nicolas Listenius, wrote a treatise, "Musica, ab authre denuo recognita…", in which he divides the quadrivial discipline of musica into three branches: theorica (science), practica (performance didactics), and poëtica (composition) Man I, 123

(1) He is the first in a line of German theorists to use the term musicapoetica as an aesthetic-technical category ManI, 209

(2) The original title ofMusica… wasRudimenta musicae ingratiam studiosae juventutis diligenter comportata "1533" LisR (a) A facsimile of the original 1533 edition LisR

(3) A German translation of Musica, ab authre denuo recognita… LisMN

(4) An English translation of Musica, ab authre denuo recognita… LisM

b) Therefore, before 1600, writings about music were classified as musica theorica (musica speculativa, musica contemplativa, and musica arithmeticd), musica practica (musica attiva), and musica poetica RanH, 845

(1) This follows Aristotle's division of knowledge (epislēmē)

(a) He divided knowledge into theōrētikē, praktikē, and poiētikē

(2) "In ths scheme, musica theorica (musica speculativa) dealt with the arithmatic foundations of music…" RanH, 845

(a) Musica speculativa has been described as music which is conceived and presented in an esoteric format for academic presentation BraE, 48

i) This indicates that musica speculativa involved something beyond compositional skill

ii) Speculative music was reconciled with practical music by requiring a candidate for a degree to compose a piece of actual music to show his academic ability BraMQ, 5

iii) But, the proof of the composition was in the studying, not in the performance BraMQ, 122

c) Typically the discussions of musica theorica included the Greater Perfect System, the gamut, consonance and dissonance, and interval ratios RanH, 845

-137-

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Music History during the Renaissance Period, 1520-1550: A Documented Chronology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in the Music Reference Collection ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Part I - Reference Material xi
  • Bibliography 1
  • Part II: Historical Outline and Study Guide 122
  • Theorists and Theoretical Sources 123
  • Musica Theorica: Science of Music 137
  • Musica Practica: Performance Didactics 154
  • Musica Poëtica: Composition 177
  • Notation 184
  • Sacred Latin Music for the Catholic Church on the Continent 199
  • Sacred Music for the Reformed Church on the Continent 256
  • Sacred Latin and Vernacular Music in England 295
  • Secular Vocal Music 366
  • Instrumental Music 455
  • Index of Persons 507
  • Index of Works 511
  • Subject Index 527
  • About the Author 537
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