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Meter in Music, 1600-1800

Performance, Perception, and Notation


Paperback / softback

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Meter in Music, 1600-1800 by George Houle
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The notation of 17th- and 18th-century music is often a puzzle to performers. The symbols look familiar, but the meanings of some have evolved dramatically. The period between 1600 and 1800 witnessed a transition both in notation and in the treatment of meter in performance. Merely transcribing earlier works into modern notation can actually mislead the performer. When performed according to the conventions of its own time, 17th-and 18th-century music conveys a paradoxical mixture of precision and flexibility that has an enchanting lilt, grace and vitality. Illustrating his presentation with generous quotations and musical examples from theoretical treatises and instruction manuals of the period, George Houle provides a practical guide to the performance of Baroque and early Classical music, including discussions of notes in Zgales, fingerings, woodwind tonguings, and string bowings.

Author Biography

George Houle, Professor Emeritus of Music at Stanford University and former music director of the New York Pro Musica, is a performer and music historian particularly interested in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. He is editor of Doulce memoire, Le ballet des facheux, and Ockeghem's Missa Cuiusvis Toni, and co-editor of The Music for Viola Bastarda by Jason Paras (all from Indiana University Press).
Release date NZ
June 1st, 2000
Country of Publication
United States
5 b&w photos
Indiana University Press
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