Excerpt: ...in polyphonic forms was at least as old as the thirteenth century; that part singing was practised in Italy as far back as the fourteenth century; that songs for 125 one voice were made with Italian texts at least as early as the time of Dante and Boccaccio; that the art of arranging polyphonic compositions as vocal solos by giving the ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...in polyphonic forms was at least as old as the thirteenth century; that part singing was practised in Italy as far back as the fourteenth century; that songs for 125 one voice were made with Italian texts at least as early as the time of Dante and Boccaccio; that the art of arranging polyphonic compositions as vocal solos by giving the secondary parts to the accompanying instrument was known in the time of Minuccio and Casella; that at the time of Poliziano's "Orfeo" the frottola was the reigning form of part song, and that then and for years afterward it was customary to arrange frottole as solos by giving the polyphony to the lute or other accompanying instrument. It seems, then, that we shall not be far astray if we conclude that the solo parts of Poliziano's lyric drama consisted of music of the better frottola type and that the moving appeals of his hero were accompanied on a "lyre" of the period in precisely the same manner as frottole transformed into vocal solos were accompanied on the lute. For these reasons an example of the method of 126 arranging a frottola for voice and lute will give us some idea of the character of the music sung by Baccio Ugolino in the "Orfeo." The examples here offered are those given in the great history of Ambros. The first is a fragment of a frottola (composed by Tromboncino) in its original shape. The second shows the same music as arranged for solo voice and lute by Franciscus Bossinensis as found in a collection published by Petrucci in 1509. 127 MIDI file MIDI file 128 How far removed this species of lyric solo was from the dramatic recitative of Peri and Caccini is apparent at a single glance. But on the other hand it is impossible to be blind to its relationship to the more metrical arioso of Monteverde's earlier work or perhaps to the canzone of Caccini's "Nuove Musiche." The line of development or progress is distinctly traceable. At this point it is not essential that we should satisfy ourselves that...Read Less
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