Author Topic: Partimento- forgotten foundation of CP music  (Read 152 times)

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Offline BWV 1080

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Partimento- forgotten foundation of CP music
« on: October 28, 2020, 04:42:03 AM »
Here is an interview with Robert Gjerdingen, author of Music in the Galant Style and an authority on 18th century musical pedagogy.  His focus is  partimenti, which were essentially stock licks that could be combined into phrases and was the underlying structure of composition and improv. It was all figured bass - so no one ever wrote roman numerals. If you saw the first scale degree you knew it was harmonized with a 3/5 chord and if you saw the third scale degree, you knew it was harmonized with a 6/3 chord (first inversion tonic triad). Interestingly in the interview below, Robert talks about how even in Debussy's day, the system was still taught in French conservatories and Rameau's theory of chord function was ignored. Nadia Boulanger taught partimento to Elliott Carter. (if you go to Youtube for the video instead, there is a good index of questions and time markers)

He also talks about how modern college music theory was created in ivy league schools for elites to have a semester or two of music without expending the effort required to become a musician, a profession which was below their station. So instead of the hours of practice required to internalize harmony into the playing of an instrument, which was the focus of 18th century training and current Jazz pedagogy, you took the more gentile course of learning to slap some roman numerals on the chords in a Beethoven sonata during a semester at Yale. He also has some positive things to say about Schenker's thinking in figured bass and counterpoint - one of the themes here is that harmony is not separable from counterpoint - good counterpoint results in good harmony

<a href="https://youtube.com/v/KQvYh55vM2w" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://youtube.com/v/KQvYh55vM2w</a>

Online some guy

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Re: Partimento- forgotten foundation of CP music
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2020, 10:33:53 AM »
Is there a version of this in print?

I'm not a big fan of watching videos, even of things that I'm interested in. I think that that's because video goes at a speed, its speed. Print goes at no speed; or, rather, print goes at whatever speed you take it. Plus, you're also stuck with the voices on a video. The often grating, grinding voices of people who are clumsy at reading or speaking.

So, for me, anyway, reading about this would be much more enjoyable and rewarding.

(In the meantime, I'll put in a plug for Derek Bailey's Improvisation, its nature and practice in music. I read this first in my fifties, after a long involvement with music, both academically and practically, and with musicians, both professionally and personally. Well, professionally might be a bit of a stretch. My point is that I knew a lot about music when I first read Bailey's book. I had read a lot about music, had spent a lot of time with musicians, had performed music (amateurishly) for decades. And I learned more about music from that one, slim book than from any other source. Perhaps I learned so much from it because I already knew a lot. That's possible. But I still recommend it for anyone, however experienced or proficient.)

Offline BWV 1080

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Re: Partimento- forgotten foundation of CP music
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2020, 01:40:27 PM »
Is there a version of this in print?

I'm not a big fan of watching videos, even of things that I'm interested in. I think that that's because video goes at a speed, its speed. Print goes at no speed; or, rather, print goes at whatever speed you take it. Plus, you're also stuck with the voices on a video. The often grating, grinding voices of people who are clumsy at reading or speaking.

So, for me, anyway, reading about this would be much more enjoyable and rewarding.

(In the meantime, I'll put in a plug for Derek Bailey's Improvisation, its nature and practice in music. I read this first in my fifties, after a long involvement with music, both academically and practically, and with musicians, both professionally and personally. Well, professionally might be a bit of a stretch. My point is that I knew a lot about music when I first read Bailey's book. I had read a lot about music, had spent a lot of time with musicians, had performed music (amateurishly) for decades. And I learned more about music from that one, slim book than from any other source. Perhaps I learned so much from it because I already knew a lot. That's possible. But I still recommend it for anyone, however experienced or proficient.)

There is Gjerdingen's website: http://partimenti.org/partimenti/about_parti/index.html

Will have to take a look at the Bailey book

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Re: Partimento- forgotten foundation of CP music
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 06:16:38 PM »
Perfect!!