Amor Dei in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. (Value Inquiry Book Series 265)

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Rossi was known to have written and conducted music for the Mantuan Jewish theater. The dramas performed included intermedi for which composers, among them Rossi, provided music. How did their connections with the court affect their standing within the Jewish community? Italian Jews of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were confronted by two rival ideologies, the Jewish and the Christian. Theological differences carried over into everyday life where Jews were removed from Christians socially and economically, if not physically, by being increasingly confined to ghettos.

The present report is concerned not with what separates the two, but rather with what relates them, that is, with the processes of linkage that operate, syncretistically, to bring Jews and Christians together in varying degrees of cultural and conceptual proximity. Jews adapted to the social mores of Christians; they shared their languages Latin, Italian and their tastes in literature, art, and music; they shared a propensity toward a tightening of religious strictures and devotional introspection. The Jews maintained their culture intact and their confessional structures unimpaired.

Within the general frame of Renaissance society, with its behavioral and conceptual interchanges between Jews and Christians, all of which would seem to erode the denominational boundaries between them, the same boundaries remained and were even reinforced. Developments of intercultural import have their own significance when construed within separate Jewish and Christian contexts. It is against this background of general similarities, yet detailed differences, of analogies in concept, yet variances in design that the present study moves.

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The pretext for this tectonically maneuvered exercise in exegetics is a musical composition by Allegro Porto, designated ebreo in his publications, in which composition the content can be read in both a Jewish and a Christian sense. As a specific genre the musical encomium is usually neglected in the literature.

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The present study harbors an inclusive view of the encomium in relation to the basic questions it raises about the essence and purpose of music. The discussion turns, first, on the encomium as a distinct literary genre; second, on the peculiarities of the musical encomium; and last, on the arguments its authors form in praise of music. It highlights the overlap between the encomium and the exordium: the exordium usually occurs at the beginning of a speech, yet laudatory remarks on its subject matter were also placed elsewhere in a later chapter or spread over the general exposition.

It usually occupies the beginning of a treatise.

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Yet other examples occur in the middle or at the end of a work. Why praise music? Because it seems to have been from time evermore the target of criticism. One reason is that unlike other arts, e. Another reason for criticizing music is that music making depended on the performing musician, who, ever since antiquity, had been relegated to a servile rank. In defending music, the music theorist was engaged in a heuristic process of reversing the prejudices surrounding its content and transmission. The author of the encomium attempted to show that the meanings of music, its structures, and its procedures derive not from music itself but from the extramusical habitat to which music is inextricably bound.

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Keywords: musical encomium, the praise of music, the encomium as a literary genre, exordium, the defense of music by music theorists. The argument rests on the assumption that in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries music relates, structurally and conceptually, to varying manifestations of social, economic, and political power. At least two kinds of power might be distinguished: the first passive, or directed to oneself; the second active, or directed to others.

For present purposes, within the realm of a potent myth, the passive kind is equated with Orpheus and the active kind with Hercules.

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Not only can European history be read as the interplay of varying forms of polity, but figures like Orpheus and Hercules turn up time and again as their representatives. In the present study they are related specifically to music in the Baroque. The prominence of Orpheus in early seventeenth-century opera and of Hercules in later seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century opera, oratorio, and cantata establishes their relevance to this period.

The difference between Orpheus and Hercules is essentially that between voluptas and virtus. Synonyms for voluptas are pleasure, charm, delight; those for virtus are strength, courage, and moral excellence. The study follows the representation of the two figures in specific works.

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The last report on musicology in Israel covered —, crucial years in the formation of the discipline: they coincided with the inauguration of Departments of Musicology or of Music in the universities, of new research facilities, of the Israel Musicological Society, and of scholarly journals among them Israel Studies in Musicology , now Min-Ad.

The present report will be framed in the more guarded tones of those concerned with solving the problems, yet knowing that no easy solution is forthcoming. It consists of the following sections: higher education and research, the universities, Departments of Musicology, Departments of Music, music libraries, publications, historical musicology, the history of Jewish music, ethnomusicology, Israeli music, and problems and prospects.

The sentence launched a challenge: how does one account for the persistence of the legend, under various guises, from antiquity to the twentieth century? In the most elemental sense, Orpheus represents man, created in the Judeo-Christian tradition after the image of God, hence partaking of godlike faculties, but still not God, only man. The present report considers the process of syncretism as it operates in Jewish musical thought of the later sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

Syncretism refers here to the tendency to reconcile varying, often contradictory principles and practices, the result being a conceptual enlargement with new possibilities for further growth. The subject of Hebrew music turns up, in the later Renaissance, in some eight different writings of Italian Jewish authorship. Several may be traced to Mantua while others were written in Venice. In considering these writings two points are discerned: the correlation of Jewish and non-Jewish traditions, especially as revealed in the tendency to glorify the past; and various ambiguities in the presentation, and thereby apprehension, of the subject matter.

This study proceeds in four separate, yet complementary directions. The second is the idea of integrality as a scholarly desideratum. The third is recent attempts at closing the gap between historical musicology and ethnomusicology. The fourth is the degree to which we are closer, if at all, to understanding what music research is about. In treating the first of them the following questions are asked: do historical musicology and musical cultural studies represent the antipodes of a larger field of activity known as music research?

Are they mutually supportive, counterbalancing one another? To what extent do the terms designate self-sufficient entities? The second point above about integration concerns the perspective used in discussing the topic, in this case, is integrative. It figures as a conceptual and methodological constant throughout Western intellectual history. The term mousike in Greek refers to the all-embracing character of music as synonymous with the arts and with literary culture.

Aggregates may be deconstructed, then reconstructed. The fourth point is the degree to which the various models for historical musicology and ethnomusicology clarify the contents and methods of research. Keywords: historical musicology, musical culture, ethnomusicology, music research. The fifth, and last, point, of an ontological order, treats the principles underlying the music as a prototypical case of cultural mediation within the Judeo-Christian tradition.


The notion of music as a form of speech is a commonplace. It should be remembered that the main vocabulary for describing the structure and content of music is drawn from the artes dicendi. The present study deals with a small, but significant part of this vocabulary: the term elegance along with various synonyms and antonyms borrowed from grammar and rhetoric and applied to music from classical times onwards. The order of discussion is as follows: first, elegance; second, its seeming opposite, barbarism; third, propriety versus impropriety; fourth, the relation of propriety to elegance; and, fifth, elegance as a watchword for a particular approach to music, be it in its composition or in its performance.

The major concern is with the use of the terms elegance, barbarism, etc. If much of the discussion turns on literary issues, it is because the theorists insisted that music be accommodated to speech. The dependency of music on language was clearly stated, after ancient example, by Gioseffo Zarlino d.

Keywords: elegance, barbarism, music criticism, Gioseffo Zarlino, literary criticism. The study is based on a treatise written by Claudio Sebastiani and entitled Bellum musicale The present study traces the origins of this concept in theory, then considers its relevance to composition.

Sebastiani described plainsong and polyphony as competing with each other for superiority in musica ecclesiastica. He plots the mounting tensions between Musaeus and Linus, presiding, separately, over the territories of cantus planus plainsong and cantus mensuralis polyphony , yet bickering over their rights in the performance of the liturgy.


After fierce combat, they call a truce. The laws for music set by Ornithoparcus are pronounced as those binding on the parties. Not only did he recognize the conflict between accentus and concentus but he sought to mediate their separate claims to authority. Le Munerat appears to be the first to conceive music and grammar as two adversaries locked in battle. The musical counterpart to historical battles was the bataille or battaglia , introduced in the late fifteenth century.

The study closes with a survey of the broader implications of battle pieces for music in the Renaissance. Two early writings are examined, both of them containing instructions for singers: the Dialogus de musica c. The Dialogus belongs to the German humanist tradition of writings on singing, extending from later fifteenth-century treatises by Conrad von Zabern and Matthaeus Herbenus to treatises by Sebald Heyden, Adrian Petit Coclico, and Hermann Finck. The Libellus , on the other hand, follows in the Italian tradition, inaugurated in the mid-fifteenth century by Johannes Gallicus and culminating, in the later sixteenth century, in the manuals on diminution by Girolamo dalla Casa, Giovanni Luca Conforto, and Giovanni Battista Bovicelli.

Rossetti, like Rutgerus, stresses the devotional aspects of song, adding to them the concerns of the humanist with a clear, comprehensible delivery. He insists that the singer pay attention to the accentuation of words and their syntax, giving explicit directions for pronunciation, articulation, tempi, and expression.

Both treatises are discussed as forming part of an ancient, yet modern performing tradition reaching its high point in the Renaissance. Keywords: Rutgerus Sycamber, Biagio Rossetti, clear delivery, correct pronunciation, words properly accented. This study deals with the teaching of music history in Israeli universities.