Author: Mengozzi, Stefano
Title: Between Humanistic Ideals and Scientific Thought in Glareanus's Dodecachordon
Institution: University of Chicago
Begun: September 1994
Completed: March 1997
In this study, I identify two main components of Glareanus's thought. The first one is his concern that modal theory be coherent and exhaustive. Using arguments of a rational-deductive kind, Glareanus presents his theory as an organic system, in which modes occupy a specific position within the whole, and can be compared to each other. The second component of Glareanus's theory is a marked empirical attitude: in careful testing his new theory against present and past musical repertories, he examines in detail a large number of compositions, thus illustrating both the strength of his system, and the aesthetic value of the musical work. I argue that Glareanus's critique of his present time and of the immediate past, his calculated use of rhetorical means of persuasion, and his philological and interpretive approach to musical texts bespeak the humanistic orientations of this author; on the other hand, I suggest that Glareanus's combination of deductive reasoning with inductive verification, as well as his search for a systematic and organic theory, recall contemporary developments in the sciences (Copernicus). The dissertation also explores the ways in which the problem of mode, and Glareanus's system in particular, has been discussed in the scholarly literature of recent years.
Keywords: Glareanus, modes and keys, humanism and music, music criticism, ekphrasis
I. Introduction. Glareanus as a Humanist
II. Glareanus and the Modal Tradition
III. The Practice of the Modes in the Renaissance
IV. Glareanus's Path to Music Criticism
V. Between Modes and Keys: a Big Wall or a Thin Line?
VI. The Reception of Glareanus in Italy, between Zarlino and Zacconi.
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