Aural transmission and the role of notation in the dissemination of miscellaneous airs in the seventeenth century: insights from the collection in P-BRad MS 964

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

P-BRad, MS 964, an important source of open-score organ music in contrapuntal genres copied between c.1690 and c.1710, is one of several sources from Portugal and Spain containing a collection of miscellaneous airs notated in two-stave, treble–bass score. Headed “Italianos” and “estrangeiros”, the collection is typical for its inclusion of numerous airs that disseminated internationally, including popular favourites such as La Spagnoletta, La Folia and La Bergamasca. Some of these airs seem to have disseminated widely because they were transmitted aurally; they also appealed to a wide variety of musicians because they were not fully worked out compositions but outlines that were open to elaboration and modification. The multiple versions in the sources, adapted to different instruments, show that they underwent a process of continuous adaptation in accordance with particular needs or tastes at a given point in time.

The Portuguese collection in P-BRad, MS 964 has been little studied in comparison with its Spanish counterparts (Esses, 1992–4) but is unusual for its Italian-language titles, suggesting a direct connection to a foreign source. Newly identified concordances with ensemble sonatas by Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti confirm a Roman connection apparent from the titles and attributions for some of the other pieces, but they also highlight the role of notation in the international dissemination of airs. While many popular airs disseminated aurally, their close proximity in this source to sonata movements illustrates that miscellaneous airs could also be authored compositions with traceable origins. On the other hand, it is clear that the copyist regarded them as mere outlines requiring amplification and elaboration: multiple versions of several of the airs, including one of the sonata movements, illustrate that he was engaged in a process of continuous revision and refinement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages428
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventIMS2022 21st Quinquennial Congress of the International Musicological Society: Music across Borders - Faculty of Phylosophy, Athens, Greece
Duration: 22 Aug 202226 Aug 2022
https://pcoconvin.eventsair.com/ims22/

Conference

ConferenceIMS2022 21st Quinquennial Congress of the International Musicological Society
Country/TerritoryGreece
CityAthens
Period22/08/2226/08/22
Internet address

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Aural transmission and the role of notation in the dissemination of miscellaneous airs in the seventeenth century: insights from the collection in P-BRad MS 964'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this