Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Brown, Howard Mayer. "Embellishment in Early Sixteenth-Century Italian Intabulations." Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association 100 (1973-74): 49-83.

Embellishment in sixteenth-century intabulations ranged from the more sparing use of ornaments by mid-century lutenists to a much heavier and consistent use of ornamentation in the 1580s and 1590s. A comparison of several intabulations from the mid-century reveals a similar procedure of applying embellishments to obscure points of imitation and repeated sections of the vocal model. The lack of concern for bringing out the structure of the model and the freedom with which ornaments were applied shows how mid-century lutenists prized variety more than structural clarity. In the intabulations of Francesco da Milano and Francesco Spinacino, original vocal models are transformed into idiomatic pieces through a more motivic use of graces and through recomposition of certain passages. While the practice of free embellishment through idiomatic figuration continued throughout the sixteenth century as a special technique of virtuoso soloists, the systematic exploitation of stereotyped graces led to diverse figuration patterns and a rich network of motives used in intabulations as well as variation sets in the second half of the century.

Works: Intabulations of O s'io potessi by Barberiis, Bianchini, Gintzler, and Vindella (56-62); Francesco da Milano: Intabulation of Las je me plains (72); Spinacino: Intabulation of Mon souvenir (74-75), Arrangement of La bernardina (78).

Sources: Arcadelt or Berchem: O s'io potessi, donna (56-62); Sermisy: Las je me plains (72); Ghizeghem: Mon souvenir (74-75); Josquin: La bernardina (78).

Index Classifications: 1500s

Contributed by: Jir Shin Boey

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