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Giovanni Battista De Vecchis and the theory of melodic accent from Zarlino to Zingarelli

Baragwanath, Nicholas

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Abstract

This article investigates Niccolò Zingarelli's method of text-setting, as documented in Giovanni Battista De Vecchis's Compendio of Neapolitan teachings (1850). It contextualizes De Vecchis's instructions by tracing the genealogy of the concept of 'accent' as understood by early nineteenth-century composers through successive reinterpretations of an Italian theory of qualitative rhythmopoeia established in the sixteenth century, which accounted for rhythm, metre, and pitch through a threefold division of accent. The article explores its origins, its treatment by Zarlino, its significance in writings by nineteenth-century Italian musicians, and the confusing alternative terminology circulated by Rousseau (1768). The Neapolitan doctrine of text-setting presents a historical example of a 'drastic' approach to conceptualizing music, recognizing the priority of unruly human performance over abstract rationalization, in contrast to the 'gnostic' theories of Sulzer and Koch, with their emphasis on notated melodies and their subordination of rhythm (as spoken, sung, or played) to quantifiable metric grids. © 2014 The Author.

Citation

Baragwanath, N. (2014). Giovanni Battista De Vecchis and the theory of melodic accent from Zarlino to Zingarelli. Music and Letters, 95(2), 157-182. https://doi.org/10.1093/ml/gcu010

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2013
Online Publication Date Jul 10, 2014
Publication Date 2014-05
Deposit Date Jun 9, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 9, 2016
Journal Music and Letters
Print ISSN 0027-4224
Electronic ISSN 0027-4224
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 95
Issue 2
Pages 157-182
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/ml/gcu010
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/33846
Publisher URL http://ml.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/2/157.full.pdf
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Music and Letters following peer review. The version of record: Baragwanath, N. (2014) Giovanni Battista De Vecchis and the theory of melodic accent from Zarlino to Zingarelli. Music and Letters, 95 (2). pp. 157-182. is available online at: http://ml.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/2/157.full.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0





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