Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Spinacino’s Twelve-tone Experiment

This essay is about one of the most extraordinary lute ricercars of the sixteenth century, a sophisticated tonal experiment and a work that ha spassed virtually unnoticed in the revival of lute music in the last century and in the scholarship that has accompanied it. A piece of music designed to upset the applecart through being conceived in complete contravention of accepted music theory, it is even more remarkable that such a work should be found in the rst book of lute music ever printed, Francesco Spinacino’s Intabulatura de Laura, Libraprimo (Venice: Ottaviario Petrucci, 1507).‘Both the structural and conceptual elegance of this ricercar as well as its radical interrogation of the principles of tonality and the practice of modal composition obliges a reconsideration of the status of the earliest lute ricercars within the broader musical context, as well as a reevaluation of Francesco Spinacino as lutenist, composer, and musical...

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