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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, RM 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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Abstract

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, RM
Keywords: Madrigals, Spanish, Vocal music
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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:

Thesis (MMus)--University of Tasmania, 2009. Includes bibliographical references

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