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Hardly the grand entrance I'd envisioned. Today has got away from me. Let me just put this here and revisit later.

In week one we're exploring the early medieval and ars antiqua period. As several have said, it's a big time span to cover off in one week. My research revealed only 23 recommended pieces for the time period. Further sources added another 49 pieces so we have a total of 72 for the week.

There are two pieces that lead the way with nine recommendations each. To choose a piece of the week, I've selected the one of those two that sits highest in Science's "Talk Classical Community's Favorite and Most Highly Recommend Works". That piece is:

Pérotin: Viderunt omnes

You'll find some great discussion on the piece and some opinion on the best versions here. Viderunt Omnes is #88 in pianozach's listing.

I'll be relistening to this version a little later:



Pérotin: Viderunt omnes

Tonus Peregrinus

I'll reveal more recommendations as we go through the week.
Viderunt Omnes is chock full of tritones, must be trying to summon the devil or something

(The Medieval tritone ban is a recent myth - they used it all the time, as a dissonance it created challenges but was not associated with Satan)
 

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Skipping straight to Dunstable past the Ars Subtilior?

Ars subtilior (Latin for 'subtler art') is a musical style characterized by rhythmic and notational complexity, centered on Paris, Avignon in southern France, and also in northern Spain at the end of the fourteenth century.[1] The style also is found in the French Cypriot repertory. Often the term is used in contrast with ars nova, which applies to the musical style of the preceding period from about 1310 to about 1370; though some scholars prefer to consider ars subtilior a subcategory of the earlier style. Primary sources for ars subtilior are the Chantilly Codex, the Modena Codex (Mod A M 5.24), and the Turin Manuscript


Where else are you going to find songs about dope smoking?


Fumeux fume par fumee, The smoker smokes smoke,

Fumeuse speculacion. A smoky speculation.

Qu'antre fummet sa pensee, While others smoke in thought,

Fumeux fume par fumee. The smoker smokes smoke.

Quar fumer molt il agree For the smoke pleases him greatly

Tant qu'il ait son entencion. As he meditates.

Fumeux fume par fumee, The smoker smokes smoke,

Fumeuse speculacion. A smoky speculation.
 

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But this tradition is polyphonic, not notated and could be > 50,000 years old. At least historical records mention a performance for the Pharaoh Nefrikare in 2,500BC.


I also seem to remember reading about some Roman record of Germanic tribes singing in multiple lines
 

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So can we all agree that there was no three part polyphonic music in Europe before Perotin, as far as we know?
But how would we know? 3-part polyphony over a drone like Perotin's Viderunt Omnes can be found in folk music in Georgia and the Balkans, and scholars view this as predating the fourth century introduction of Christianity. We have no idea what pre-Christian German music sounded like.
 

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But that is beside the point since Pérotin and others would not have heard or known of it. What we know of music prior to the Notre Dame School is chant, is Jewish synagogue tropes - pre-Christian, but this is also where the early Christian prayer service originated.

When this Jewish chanting made it way to Italy and France, it became Gregorian chant, which then led directly to the organum of Leonin and Perotin. I think the traditions of Western Europe and the East you mention are distinct and one did not influence the other.

This is my objection to much of what Marcel Peres does, bringing in singing styles from Eastern styles in the performance of Western chant. I think he does it because he likes the sound of it, not based on sound scholarship. I could be wrong, but that is my gut feeling.
If in the European backwaters of Georgia and the Balkans an older polyphonic folk tradition persists, it may be that this type of music was widespread from before antiquity or spread during Roman times. Dont think we know much about the pre-Christian folk traditions of Western Europe
 

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So when people say that Bach "held Fux in high esteem", are they just saying that he appreciated his book as a pedagogic tool? I thought they were they saying that Bach thought that Palestrina's way of writing counterpoint, as recorded by Fux, encapsulates the best principles for constructing counterpoint. Don't forget the context of this was my reaction to your claim that Palestrina (in some as yet undefined way) "perfected" counterpoint.

You know, you may give your student an exercise because it gets them thinking, but completely dispense with the ideas in the exercise yourself when making your own creative work.

(I have a friend who teaches a course on Fuxian counterpoint here in London, and he says the students love it -- it's like a fun puzzle for them!)
Definitely find dissonances in Bach that are outside of Renaissance practice - you only began to hear the common dom 7 chord cadence in Baroque music, the Baroque is also where the dim 7 chord appears

Renaissance music did not really have the concept of chords, which appeared in the baroque
 
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