Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Transposition and the Transposed Modes in Late-Baroque France

The purpose of the study is the investigation of the topics of transposition and the transposed major and minor modes as discussed principally by selected French authors of the final twenty years of the seventeenth century and the first three decades of the eighteenth. The sources are relatively varied and include manuals for singers and instrumentalists, dictionaries, independent essays, and tracts which were published in scholarly journals; special emphasis is placed on the observation and attempted explanation of both irregular signatures and the signatures of the minor modes. The paper concerns the following areas: definitions and related concepts, methods for singers and Instrumentalists, and signatures for the tones which were identified by the authors. The topics are interdependent, for the signatures both effected transposition and indicated written-out transpositions. The late Baroque was characterized by much diversity with regard to definitions of the natural and transposed modes. At the close of the seventeenth century, two concurrent and yet diverse notions were in evidence: the most widespread associated "natural" with inclusion within the gamme; that is, the criterion for naturalness was total diatonic pitch content, as specified by the signature. When the scale was reduced from two columns to a single...

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