By Claude V. Palisca
Now encompasses a bankruptcy on French and English sacred track within the seventeenth and 18th century.
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Additional resources for Baroque Music (3rd Edition)
They were often indeed designated as madrigals, and the texts were of the same sort that had served the earlier polyphonic madrigal composers. Both airs and madrigals were eventually infused with the style of the recitative. The history of the air in the sixteenth century is mainly an unwritten one. Court poet-singers who improvised upon standard or original tunes rarely recorded their settings. The airs sung in sacred or secular plays are almost all lost. A few tunes survive in instrumental variations and dances and in published or manuscript compilations.
But it is like none of these. A true return to Greek practice would have been unpalatable to musicians around 1600, because it would have meant discarding the Western tradition of regularly measured rhythm and the recently mastered triadic harmony. Greek music was purely monophonic, like psalmody. Neither the plainchant practice nor the manner of improvising on tunes to sing poetry was adequate to modern needs, because both were too insensitive to the meanings and feelings of the text. A new method was needed, and recitative was a truly progressive solution, because it built on the most recent advances in the use of chordal harmony and controlled dissonance.
Princeton University Press, 1949, reprinted, with additions, 1971), Vol. 2, gives a detailed and comprehensive picture of developments in the sixteenth-century madrigal that led to the second practice. : Princeton University Press, 1980). A good briefsurvey that includes England and other northern countries is Jerome Roche, The Madrigal (London: Hutchinson University Library , 1972). James Haar's Essays on Italian Poetry and Music in the Renaissance, 1350 to 1600 (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1986), contains several chapters on improvised singing and the madrigal that are full of new insights.