821 research outputs found

    Il Gradus as Parnassum di Fedele Fenaroli

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    Illustrates the structure and goals of the treatise Regole e partimenti by Fedele Fenarol

    Going Old School: Using Eighteenth Century Pedagogy Models to Foster Musical Skills and Creativity in Today\u27s Students

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    Recent research has illuminated a pedagogical approach to keyboard improvisation of the Italian conservatories of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, namely that of partimenti: single-stave, multiple clef exercises in which students were trained to improvise (Gjerdingen 2007, Sanguinetti 2012, van Tour 2015). This approach was passed down through oral instruction until the mid-twentieth century, when pedagogical priorities shifted away from improvisation and compositional creativity towards virtuosity, technique and adherence to the printed page. Simultaneously, the tradition of decade-long musical apprenticeship was replaced with semester-long courses in music theory and harmony. The existing research on partimenti presents a compelling historical narrative of its tradition, but fails to provide a comprehensive method for modern day application and study. In his Music in the Galant Style, Robert Gjerdingen guides readers in the process of understanding partimenti as a concatenation of his schemata; memorable musical patterns idiomatic to and ubiquitous throughout music of the Galant period (approximately 1720‚Äď1770). Giorgio Sanguinetti, in his The Art of Partimento: History, Theory and Practice, explains that these partimenti were first introduced through the study of regole or ‚Äúrules:‚ÄĚ musical events such as cadences and suspensions. By practicing the rules, students of the Galant period internalized the very patterns on which partimenti were based, thereby building their musical vocabulary and fluency within the galant language. While manuscripts of these exercises, primarily from student notebooks, or zibaldone, have been resurrected from the archives of European libraries and catalogued, there remains very little regarding the oral tradition of how rules and the improvisational realization of partimenti were taught. Gjerdingen‚Äôs website, Monuments of Partimenti (http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/music/gjerdingen/partimenti), boasts a catalogue of known regole and partimenti. Like the manuscripts on which they are based, there is little to no verbal instruction on how to approach these exercises. Without the assistance of a trained teacher (a current rarity), the interested student would be overwhelmed and lost, not knowing where to begin. Therefore, there is a need for a comprehensive pedagogical method that aids modern-day students with independent rule study towards the goal of partimenti realization. Utilizing the rules of Francesco Durante (1684‚Äď1755), a leading Italian conservatory maestro of his day, this paper presents a step-by-step approach towards working through this historical method of teaching keyboard improvisation and composition. I discuss activities that may help the modern-day student in working through the rules and combining them into a complete partimento, including figured bass realization, study and performance of scores in trio-sonata texture, as well as ‚Äúplay-and-sing‚ÄĚ activities. Additionally, it addresses voicing, invertible counterpoint, transposition, texture, and issues of ambiguity such as deciphering the figured bass and errors within the manuscripts. In addition to a comprehensive approach to Durante‚Äôs rules and their historical context, this paper presents a review of present literature on both historical and modern-day keyboard improvisation teaching methods, as well as suggestions for their applications. Through the rediscovery of the teaching method that trained some of history‚Äôs most remembered composers for several hundred years, students, with the tools provided in this paper, can single-handedly reconnect to a rich lineage of pedagogy traditions, developing musicianship skills seldom synthesized today and discovering what can be learned from the past. In addition to partimenti study, I introduce schemata analysis (Gjerdingen, 2007) as a springboard for compositional creativity. By stripping a piece down to its schemata, one is left with a skeleton of the piece or ‚Äúlead sheet‚ÄĚ on which to improvise. I demonstrate the prevalence of schemata in music throughout the eighteenth century by presenting analyses of varying solo keyboard works of the period and demonstrate a written-out improvisation from such an analysis

    From Partimento to Finished Work Realizing, Revising, and Expanding Partimenti Using Techniques of the Bach Family

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    The centrality of thoroughbass to eighteenth-century musical composition has long been recognized; but only in the past two decades has the related branch of partimento begun to receive full scholarly attention, despite its intense cultivation in eighteenth-century Neapolitan conservatories, its dissemination to other European musical centers, and its continuation as a living tradition to the present day. While scholars have demonstrated partimento’s importance as a training ground for professional musicians, the full extent of its potential for the training of composers remains largely undisclosed, in part because training in composition through partimenti was and remains an oral tradition passed from maestros to their pupils. This dissertation seeks to fill that gap by showing processes for converting the raw material of partimenti into finished musical compositions, in effect demonstrating some of the implicit knowledge that experienced partimento players would have brought to their advanced work. Two opening chapters illustrate simple and imitative partimenti and explain some of the musical lessons they embody. The dissertation then devotes two chapters to preludes and fugues from the second book of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier that exist in early and revised versions. The early versions of these works are always simpler than the later ones, and they are shown to reduce to fairly simple partimento-like progressions; specific techniques that Bach uses to change these relatively simple pieces to their finished, canonic forms involve a variety of compositional methods that are explored here, most of them involving techniques of expansion. A still greater variety of techniques, some quite simple, others involving revisions to the musical form, others producing wholesale changes of genre, appear in the revisions that Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel undertook when revising an early keyboard suite and several early sonatas. First written in the 1730s and revised in the following decade, these movements also reduce to simpler progressions, but exhibit a fuller range of techniques for converting sparse works to finished forms. Three chapters are devoted to several of these movements by C.P.E. Bach. These techniques of elaboration and revision by two generations of the Bach family form a basis for demonstrations that occupy the dissertation’s final two chapters. In the first demonstration, a partimento by Fedele Fenaroli is treated to multiple elaborations, from a figurated upper voice to a more finished, intricate version, as specific points are identified as suitable for various kinds of expansion, as well as rhythmic and contrapuntal elaboration. The second demonstration realizes a four-part fugue from the Langloz manuscript in multiple ways, the first resembling what a keyboard player might first devise, later ones expanding the fugue with additional subject entries, episodes, stretti, and the like. These demonstrations aim to recreate possibilities that an advanced partimento player would recognize, realizing in a stylistically appropriate way some of the possibilities implicit in a partimento’s raw material.PHDMusic: TheoryUniversity of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studieshttps://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/145905/1/hyesahn_1.pd

    Towards a Galant Pedagogy: Partimenti and Schemata as Tools in the Pedagogy of Eighteenth-Century Style Improvisation

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    This article presents a pedagogical approach for teaching modern-day students how to improvise in eighteenth-century style based on Gjerdingen’s schemata and the tradition of partimenti. We present results from a pedagogical experiment conducted at the Eastman School of Music, in which students’ improvisations were recorded. We offer a qualitative assessment of selected student improvisations in order to demonstrate the merits of this approach for teaching music theory and historical improvisation. We also address the challenges associated with implementing such a pedagogical approach in modern-day theory curricula. We conclude by reflecting on sonata-form improvisations by the authors and discuss the theoretical implications of attempting to construct complete movements based on Gjerdingen’s schemata and formal considerations

    The improvisation of structured keyboard accompaniments for the ballet class

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    This dissertation explores the question of how a pianist can learn to improvise accompaniments for a ballet class. It aims to examine the background knowledge required in order to embark upon such a task and to provide a theoretical tool kit for pianists to use in improvising. Additionally, this dissertation makes a detailed case study of notated improvisations by Michael Brett, an expert exponent of this genre. A thematic catalogue is provided of Brett‚Äôs improvisations for a forthcoming publication, examining accompaniment figurations and rhythmic structures. A more detailed harmonic and phrase analysis is then made of three complete pieces, examining the cadential and melodic structures that underpin these works. Similar to the Baroque partimento tradition, these phrase‚Äźlevel analyses can be used as templates, providing the middle ground scaffolding for the improvising pianist to embellish. They can also be treated as exemplars as to how a pianist may structure their own improvisations to suit any particular ballet exercise

    A New (Old) Approach to Learning Western Art Music

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    The Partimento Tradition in the Shadow of Enlightenment Thought

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    How did Enlightenment ideals influence seventeenth-century music theory and composition pedagogy? This article investigates the relationship between partimento pedagogy and Rameau‚Äôs music theories as influenced by Enlightenment thought. Current research on partimento has revealed its importance in Neapolitan music schools of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Along with counterpoint, partimento was a core subject in the study of composition in the Neapolitan schools; however, as pedagogy and theory began to be influenced by Enlightenment ideals such as the scientific method or a preference for clear systemization, the partimento tradition began to wane. Juxtaposing the Enlightenment ideals of Rameau‚Äôs music theory with the ideals of partimento pedagogy, the author suggests that Enlightenment thought hastened the decline of partimento study. Both the method of partimento pedagogy and Rameau‚Äôs theory of the fundamental bass stemmed in part from the practice of thoroughbass, and both were viewed as effective ways to teach musicians composition and improvisation. However, Rameau‚Äôs theory sought to improve on existing pedagogies by condensing eclectic rules and extended study into a few fundamental principles‚ÄĒan example of Enlightenment thought applied to music theory. In the light of Rameau‚Äôs understandable, widely applicable theory of harmony based on Enlightenment assumptions, the long years of practice-based partimento study under a maestro gradually became obsolete

    Die Partimenti von Giovanni Paisiello Ansätze zu ihrem Verständnis

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    The Partimenti of Giovanni Paisiello: Towards Their Understanding in Context. „ÄÄ This doctoral thesis focuses on Paisiello's partimenti and how to approach their realization and performance. To that end I completed an in-depth profile of his pedagogical activities and expanded the already well-known sources‚ÄĒthe Regole published in St. Petersburg (1782)‚ÄĒwith newly discovered partimenti by Paisiello. Crucial for this study were connections between Paisiello's partimenti and not only his own compositions but also those of his teacher Francesco Durante and his other contemporaries. This broader perspective required taking into account the genre-specific contexts in which Paisiello‚Äôs partimenti reside. The inclusion of larger musical forms and complex progressions as compositional models significantly expands the spectrum of possibilities in the realization of his partimenti. A central idea emerging from this study is that partimenti provide a key to the musical language of the time and offer vast possibilities for realization and ornamentation.Research in and through artistic practic

    The Partimento Tradition in the Shadow of Enlightenment Thought

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    This presentation investigates the relationship between partimento pedagogy and Rameau‚Äôs music theories as influenced by Enlightenment thought. Current research on partimento has revealed its importance in Neapolitan music schools of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Along with counterpoint, partimento was a core subject in the study of composition in the Neapolitan schools; however, as pedagogy and theory began to be influenced by Enlightenment ideals such as the scientific method or a preference for clear systemization, the partimento tradition began to wane. In this presentation, I examine Rameau‚Äôs music theory as an example of Enlightenment thought in music, juxtaposing the central ideals of Rameau‚Äôs music theory with the ideals of partimento pedagogy and suggesting that Enlightenment thought hastened the decline of partimento study. Both the method of partimento pedagogy and Rameau‚Äôs theory of the fundamental bass stemmed in part from the practice of thoroughbass, and both were viewed as effective ways to teach musicians composition and improvisation. However, Rameau‚Äôs theory sought to improve on existing pedagogies by condensing eclectic rules and extended study into a few fundamental principles‚ÄĒan example of Enlightenment thought applied to music theory. In the light of Rameau‚Äôs understandable, widely applicable theory of harmony based on Enlightenment assumptions, the long years of practice-based partimento study under a maestro gradually became obsolete. The research methodology of this presentation consists of historical research from primary and secondary sources
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