Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Meconi, Honey. "Does Imitatio Exist?" Journal of Musicology 12 (Spring 1994): 152-78.

Until the later sixteenth century there is insufficient evidence to support the notion put forth by scholars such as Howard Brown, Leeman Perkins, and J. Peter Burkolder that compositional procedures involving polyphonic borrowing derive from composers' conscious adoption of rhetorical ideas of imitatio. Moreover, many of the respective techniques and principles were fundamentally different. Literary imitatio had as its goal the restoration of classical rhetoric through emulation, whereas musical borrowing had no such aim. As an alternative to imitatio, one should consider the following reasons for musical borrowing in the early renaissance: (1) it was a natural outgrowth of Medieval practice; (2) it was a means of unifying a multi-sectional work; (3) as composers began to think in terms of vertical sonorities, it was natural to borrow such sonorities; (4) compositional curiosity resulted in the reuse of one's own material; (5) it was a time-saving device; (6) it was often the result of specific commissions; or (7) it intrigued the composer.

Index Classifications: 1400s, 1500s

Contributed by: J. Sterling Lambert, Reginald Sanders

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