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Bruno, Luca

Theory and Analysis of Harmony in Adrian Willaert’s Canzone villanesche alla napolitana (1542-1545)


Institution: University of Trento, Italy

Begun: 2006-01-01

Completed: 2007-04-01

Abstract: This research proposes a new methodology for the analysis of harmonic procedures in particular genres of secular Renaissance polyphony. Adrian Willaert’s Canzone villanesche (1542-1545) represent an ideal model for studying the interactions between chordal composition and other dimensions of the polyphonic fabric, in particular text setting. My analytical method provides answers to the following questions: “Does harmony only organize local events?” or “Could harmony connect larger spans of music?” These questions are not secondary, since theorists up to Gioseffo Zarlino did not contextualize in technical terms the large-scale harmonic perspective, focusing instead on local connections between simultaneities through chains of dissonances and consonances.

The generation of theorists active in Italy during the 1550s displays a new coherence in the treatment of harmony, both from a conceptual and a terminological point of view. My hypothesis is that theorists such as Zarlino and Nicola Vicentino were influenced by the "new” harmonic practice devised by Willaert and applied in nuce in his “lighter” production. Composers such as Orlando di Lasso, Cipriano de Rore, Giovanni Nasco, Filippo Azzaiolo, and Vicentino himself welcomed the new way of composing, which featured local as well as large-scale implications of harmony.

I propose seven stages of analysis to determine how harmony, intended here in its modern sense as the study of chord construction and linkage, interacts with other dimensions of the polyphonic fabric to enhance text setting on both a micro- and a macro-structural level. Matters of text setting, particularly prosodic qualities of the “Neapolitan” language, become determinant factors in detecting at deeper levels of structure the harmonic functionality of chords, functionality that exists not only at cadence points, but also throughout the entire musical phrase. The harmonic orientation of Willaert’s villanesche is indeed far-reaching, involving the tonal unfolding of entire pieces. The analytical method, focusing on the tonal structures of F-per-bemolle, G-per-bemolle, and D-per-bequadro, is exemplified through three case studies from Willaert’s collection: Madonn’io non lo so, Vecchie letrose, and O bene mio.


Keywords: Harmony, Adrian Willaert, Canzone villanesca, Polyphony, text-setting, analysis, Italian Renaissance, sixteenth century, tonal structures, early music


CONTENTS


Acknowledgements ix
List of Music Examples xi
List of Tables xiii
Introduction xv

PART ONE
TOWARD A THEORY OF HARMONY IN SIXTEENTH-CENTURY POLYPHONY 1

Harmony as “discordia concors:” an Introduction to Literature 3

I. CARL DAHLHAUS AND THE UNTERSUCHUNGEN ÜBER DIE ENTSTEHUNG DER HARMONISCHEN TONALITÄT (1968) 9

Dahlhaus’s Untersuchungen: Genesis and Outline 9
Dahlhaus’s Discussion of Tonality and Harmony 17
The Harmonic Cadence 19
Dahlhaus on the History of Harmony: Harmonic Progression and Intervallic Composition 27

II. BENITO V. RIVERA AND THE THEORIES OF CHORDAL FORMATION AND HARMONIC FRAMEWORK IN THE RENAISSANCE 43

History of Harmony in Music Treatises from Tinctoris to Rameau 43
Rivera’s Contribution to Harmonic Analysis in Renaissance Music 52

III. HOWARD WILDE’S THEORY OF VOICE-LEADING STRUCTURE IN SIXTEENTH-CENTURY POLYPHONY 63

Wilde’s Towards a New Theory of Voice-Leading Structure in Sixteenth-Century Polyphony: a Schenkerian Approach 63
Wilde’s Theory of Voice-Leading Structure: Implications for a Theory of Harmony in Renaissance Music 76

IV. BONNIE BLACKBURN’S MUSICOLOGICAL INQUIRY INTO COMPOSITIONAL PROCESSES IN THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 81

V. MIGUEL A. ROIG-FRANCOLÍ ON COMPOSITIONAL THEORY AND PRACTICE IN SPANISH MID-SIXTEENTH-CENTURY INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC 101

Roig-Francolí and Spanish Instrumental Music of the Renaissance 101
Improvisational and Compositional Practices in Santa María’s Arte de tañer fantasía (1565) 103
Vertical Composition and Harmonic Functionality in Santa María’s Musical Thought and Practice 115

PART TWO
ADRIAN WILLAERT’S CANZONE VILLANESCHE: A MODEL FOR RENAISSANCE HARMONY 125

VI. ANALYTICAL APPROACHES TO HARMONY IN SIXTEENTH-CENTURY SECULAR POLYPHONY 127

Introduction to Analysis: Harmony as a Semiological Construct 127
Chordal Events and Compositional Process 132
The Role of Harmony in Willaert’s Compositional Process 136
A Methodological Approach to Renaissance Harmony 144

VII. ADRIAN WILLAERT’S CANZONE VILLANESCHE ALLA NAPOLITANA(1542-1545): ANALYSIS OF HARMONIC PROCEDURES 163

Willaert and the Canzone villanesca alla napolitana 163
Assembling a Chord from the Bass: Aaron’s Tables of Consonances Modified 173
Analysis of the Repertory: Three Case Studies 187

VIII. CONCLUSIONS 251

Bibliography 259


Contact: Luca Bruno

Via G. Amendola trav. 1 n. 3

87037 San Fili (CS), Italy

lucabruno77@hotmail.com

+390 984 642545 (home and fax)
+39 340 4171425(cell)

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