top of page


Public·27 members

Burmeister Musica Poetica Pdf Fr

Burmeister attended the University of Rostock, where he received the master's degree and became cantor at the Nicolaikirche and St. Mary's Church, Rostock. He then taught grammar, Latin, rhetoric and poetry at the Rostock Gymnasium (Scholae Rostochiensis Collega Classicus).In Rostock Burmeister was acquainted with some famous humanists such as Eilhard Lubin [de], Johannes Simonius [de], Paul Tarnow [de], and Johannes Posselius. His aim while publishing his books was to prove that music was an art full of dignity, like eloquence.[1]In Musica autoschédiastikè and Musica Poetica Burmeister provided a list of musical soloecisms, musical ornaments or figures, parts of the musical poem and musical styles. He inquired about rhetorical convenience and pronunciation of music.Burmeister was a very literate writer, his books show his mastery of Greek and Latin and contain references for example to Erasmus, Melanchthon, Lucas Lossius [de].

Burmeister Musica Poetica Pdf Fr

Analytic reduction, with its implicit recognition of music as a multi-leveled structure in which surface complexities conceal more basic underlying patterns, forms one of the cornerstones of Heinrich Schenker's theory of tonality. Schenker's work is well known today, and there are few theorists active who have not been influenced to some degree by his ideas. Moreover, it is precisely Schenker's insistence on reducing complex musical phenomena to simpler foundations that has had the most widespread effect upon recent theoretical conceptions. Thus reduction technique, both in its specifically Schenkerian form as well as in other less orthodox (though Schenker-derived) versions, is widely current and represents a topic of general familiarity among musicians.

Indeed, Schenker's current prominence is such that musical reduction is often viewed as an exclusively Schenkerian phenomenon, or even as a purely Schenkerian invention. This stems partly from Schenker himself, who was inclined to emphasize differences between his own ideas and those of his predecessors and contemporaries. The reasons are not difficult to find: increasingly attacked by all but a small group of devoted followers, he preferred to stress his conceptual isolation and to emphasize the innovative nature of his work. In addition, Schenker was not himself overly concerned with the historical aspects of music theory: aside from an occasional remark,1 there is little indication that he felt any desire to uncover historical precedents for his own work.2

One unfortunate result of this can be seen in a tendency to separate Schenker from the larger course of Western music theory. He is too often considered a musical thinker sui generis, as if his ideas developed solely as the result of a miraculous and entirely personal (and thus ultimately idiosyncratic) conceptual leap. Although it would be absurd to deny the extraordinary originality of Schenker's achievement (which is patently clear to anyone with even a superficial knowledge of his work), overemphasis on his uniqueness has tended to obscure his position in the larger historical context. What is more, it has alienated many musicians who, less immediately drawn to his approach, are led to believe that his ideas are completely without precedent and thus totally removed from the terra firma of everyday practical musical discourse. There is no denying that, for many, Schenker remains even today a sort of musical aberration, an outsider to be looked upon with suspicion if not fear.

The present article proposes to show that Schenker's ideas are in fact firmly rooted in the historical tradition. The point, again, is not to distract from his importance or originality. On the contrary, the aim is to reveal that his theory represents a remarkable synthesis of some of the main currents of Western musical thought.

The roots of reduction technique, the foundation of the Schenkerian system, extend far back into Western music history and encompass a wide range of theorists and theoretical ideas. Although a complete account would exceed the scope of this paper, an effort will be made to trace the most important lines of development preparatory to and, in an historical sense, leading toward Schenker. These can be grouped into three principal areas: 1) diminution technique; 2) musica poetica, or the theory of musical figures; and 3) functional harmonic theory. It should be borne in mind, however, that all of these areas, and particularly the first two, are closely interrelated and to some extent overlap with one another.

The practice of diminution continues throughout the Renaissance and Baroque periods in both written and improvisatory form. In written composition it produces the type of florid polyphony designated by Tinctoris in the fifteenth century as Contrapunctus diminutus in distinction to Contrapunctus simplex (i.e., note-against-note counterpoint in equal values). The determination of the relationship between these two types of counterpoint becomes one of the principal concerns of the theory of musica poetica and will be discussed in the next section. For the moment we shall focus upon diminution as an art of improvised performance, a time-honored practice that eventually emerges in the sixteenth century as a subject of widespread and thorough theoretical treatment, principally in instruction books for singers and instrumentalists.

The earliest manual on performance practice to encompass diminution is Conrad Paumann's Fundamentum organisandi, a mid-fifteenth century book of organ instruction consisting almost entirely of musical examples presumably intended as models for improvisation.9 The Fundamentum illustrates how a faster moving, ornamental discant can be combined with an underlying cantus, the complexity of which is gradually increased from simple rising and falling scales in regular durations (the ascensus simplex and descensus simplex) to more differentiated melodic and rhythmic forms.

It is clear from Ganassi's examples that the underlying second may be radically altered by the surface elaborations. Particularly suggestive from Schenker's point of view is the transformation of the rising second into a descending seventh or rising ninth through octave transference. In summary, Ganassi offers, even at this early stage, a clearly formed conception of musical elaboration as a process that preserves the structural meaning and integrity of the foundation upon which it is based.

Evident in all of these treatises is a tendency toward schematization. Conforto's manual Breve et facile maniera d'essercitarsi (1593?), for example, contains as many as thirty variants for a single two-note figure, while there are as many as forty-three in Bovicelli's Regole, Passaggi di Musica (1594). The diminutions thus take on the character of set musical formulae, and as such they become part of the standard vocabulary of written, as well as improvised, composition. In both of these forms diminution technique continues as a vital part of musical instruction and practice until well into the late eighteenth century, as is evident from the importance accorded it in the performance treatises of C.P.E. Bach, Leopold Mozart, Tartini and Quantz, as well as in more general theoretical works such as Kirnberger's Die Kunst des reinen Satzes. Indeed, the central position of diminution in both the practical and theoretical areas of musical life accounts in significant measure for the unusually close correspondence between theory and practice notable during this entire period.13

The idea that music is organized according to principles analogous to those of the verbal art of rhetoric, or poetics, was in general acceptance from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century, and there is scarcely a theorist during this period who fails to betray its influence.15 Two basic assumptions underlie the notion of musica poetica, both of which are important for our considerations: first, that there are certain standard types of musical elaboration, called figures, through which both literal meaning and affect are communicated; and second, that these figures belong to a heightened, "poetic" style of communication, employed for rhetorical or expressive purposes, that represents a departure from the simpler, "normal" forms of musical discourse.

Diminutions are among the first figures to be considered within a musico-rhetorical framework. Thus Coclico, whose Compendium Musices (1552) is one of the earlier works to discuss the use of diminutions in performance, introduces the subject in a section entitled De musica figurali and remarks that music "is taught in the same way as rhetoric." Moreover, his designations simplex and elegans, distinguishing the basic model from its elaboration, are taken directly from rhetorical terminology.

The first theorist to develop a more or less complete system of musical rhetoric, however, is Joachim Burmeister, whose highly influential Musica Poetica appeared in 1606. Burmeister, who wished to develop a method of compositional instruction based upon actual practice, took the highly evolved organizational structure already existing in rhetoric as a model for the classification of different types of musical phenomena. In his treatise Musica autoschediastike, published in 1601, he already distinguishes levels of rhythmic and contrapuntal complexity by differentiating between simple and ornamental forms of musical "syntax," commenting explicitly on the analogy with language: "In my opinion . . . there is a difference between what the ars musica prescribes for the (simple) syntax of consonances, and what is added to this syntax when the work of art is to shine forth in full brilliance. And if we reduce music to a more exact conceptual scale, we will be able to show unequivocally that there is only a slight difference between the nature of music and that of speech. For the great power of the art of speech does not lie in the simple succession of simple words, nor in the correct articulation of sentences, nor in simply combining sentences in always similar ways, but in the fact that speech reveals its power of expression through its pleasing ornamentation and through important words, and because emphatic words are included in the sentences. In the same way music offers the listener more than just a combination of pure consonances. It offers a text capable of moving the heart, made up of a mixture of perfect and imperfect consonances as well as dissonances."16 350c69d7ab


Welcome to the group! You can connect with other members, ge...
bottom of page