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Toward an understanding of the madrigal in sixteenth century Spain : a case study of the manuscript MadM 6829


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Meyers, Rachel Marguerite (2009) Toward an understanding of the madrigal in sixteenth century Spain : a case study of the manuscript MadM 6829. Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis examines how the mid sixteenth century madrigal phenomenon was
perceived and interpreted by Spanish composers through a close reading of the text-music
relationship in the manuscript collection MadM 6829, commonly referred to as Cancionero
de la Casa de Medinaceli, a title taken from the modern edition edited by Miguel Querol
Gayalda. MadM 6829 contains a significant number of musical settings of the wildly popular
Italianate poetic forms that were intimately connected with the madrigal, but although the
manuscript has been in modern edition for almost sixty years, the collection has received
little scholarly attention. No previous study has considered the contents of the manuscript in
relation to the contemporary innovations that changed the way European composers viewed
the rhetorical power of music and its expression of text. This study helps to clarify the
process by which the Spanish composers may have taken the text as a basis for musical
composition and identifies the features of the text that were given primacy in determining
compositional procedure.
The study begins with an introduction to the broad repertory of Spanish musical
settings of Italianate poetry during the sixteenth century, and moves to establish the position
of the manuscript within the historical tradition of secular song in Spain. The remainder of
the thesis focusses exclusively on MadM 6829, examining the text-music relationship of the
Italianate settings in two ways: (1) a consideration of the particular types of poetry that were
chosen for musical settings; and (2) an analysis of the formal and stylistic devices that
composers used to express important textual features.
This thesis challenges the assumption that the Spanish settings of sixteenth century
Italianate poetry were less musically expressive than contemporary Italian settings. Indeed,
the entire basis by which composers interpreted poetry and important poetic features seems
to have differed from the culturally more familiar Italian tradition. Typically, the composers
chose to express important textual details with direct and immediately audible musical
manipulations of rhythm, melody, or musical texture. Additionally, there are several cases in
which composers expressed emotional climaxes of the text or other formal poetic
considerations with more complex and subtle structural musical manipulations.
This study demonstrates that although the musical expressionexpression of text did not involve the
profound harmonic developments that characterized the Italian madrigal phenomenon, this
restraint in musical language did not prevent the composers from employing distinctive and
effective models of musical expressivity.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Meyers, Rachel Marguerite
Keywords: Madrigals, Spanish, Madrigals, Vocal music
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2009 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Available for use in the Library and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (MMus)--University of Tasmania, 2009. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 03:03
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2017 06:36
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