The Crisis of Music in Early Modern Europe, 1470-1530

The Crisis of Music in Early Modern Europe, 1470-1530

by Rob C. Wegman

Paperback(New Edition)

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In the final decades of the fifteenth century, the European musical world was shaken to its foundations by the onset of a veritable culture war.

At a time when composers like Obrecht, Isaac, and
Josquin were bringing the craft of composition to new heights of artistic excellence, critics began to insist that art polyphony was useless, wasteful, immoral, decadent, and effeminizing. They campaigned aggressively to popularize those criticisms, challenging old certainties about music, and threatening its position in contemporary church and society. Their most effective slogans became critical commonplaces, ideas that left their mark in the writings of figures as diverse as Leonardo, Erasmus, Savonarola, Castiglione, and others.

Yet defenders of polyphony struck back with a vicious counter-offensive, and for several decades music would remain a topic of bitter controversy. When the crisis had finally passed, in the 1530s, nothing would ever be the same again.

Now in paperback, The Crisis of Music in Early Modern
Europe tells the story of this cultural upheaval, drawing on a wide range of little-known texts and documents, and weaving them together in a narrative that takes the reader on an eventful musical journey through early-modern Europe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415964746
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 09/15/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Rob C. Wegman is Associate Professor of Music at Princeton University.

Table of Contents

1 "They Are Not Hofereyen!"
2 Polyphony and Its Enemies: Before and After the 1470s
3 The Defense of Music
4 A Special Case: England
5 The Crisis and Its Legacy
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3

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