English Choral Practice, 1400-1650 by John Morehen

By John Morehen

This is often the 1st e-book to survey the appearing practices in English choral track within the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, together with the interval of the English Reformation. The essays, all written by means of experts within the box, examine extensive such components because the development and improvement of the 'church' choir, similar problems with vocal tessitura, appearing pitch, the platforms of pronunciation applicable for Latin- and English-texted track, and the daily education of choristers. there's additionally an research of the neighborhood conditions less than which some of the very important manuscripts of the interval have been compiled, which unearths an unsuspectedly shut interrelationship among family tune and tune for the church. additionally, a research of surviving assets finds that they offer little greater than a normal consultant as to their composers' and copyists' intentions.

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The Music of the Pepys MS 1236', Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 40 (Rome 1967). See fh. 52 above. VOICES 2 - 3 2 4 - 6 or 5 more - - 1450-65 Number of compositions observing each overall compass Total number of compositions Compositions per vocal texture Date of composition of contents: approximate span Table 1:2: Overall compasses in music composed between c. 1450 and c. 1500 Manuscript / Edition GB-Ob Lincoln College NOTES 10 or fewer n 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 or more 2 - - - - - 1 - - - 1 - - - - - 4 - - - - 2 - - - 1 - - 1 - - - 49 - - 3 6 7 19 7 7 - - - - - - - 106 13 10 1 16 15 18 22 8 1 1 - 1 - - - 28 1 2 2 3 2 4 3 6 1 2 - 1 - 1 - - - - 12 6 - 1 2 2 1 17 40 11 - 12 6 25 38 48 32 22 5 6 1 20 40 12 - (e) lat.

In standard three-part music the upper voice was pitched a fifth above the contratenor and tenor, and in consequence the emerging lattices of clefs were crystallizing as CI -C3 -C3 , C2-C4-C4 and C3-C5-C5. 59 As has been observed above, all this music had been composed for performance by adult voices of something akin to alto and tenor timbre. Of the 51 pieces concerned, almost half (25) are found to be laid out (actually or potentially) in the clef configuration C2-C4-C4. All of these use either all or part of the written compass c-c2 (23 instances) or the compass B-b1 (two instances).

The sub-group among the 40 or so vicars choral by whom it was sung numbered four, and references to them and to their work occur regularly throughout the c. 1390 — c. 35 In the recently founded choirs of the early fifteenth century it was from the newly introduced category of the professional lay clerks, rather than from the vicars or chaplains in priest s orders, that the performance of polyphony was expected,36 and the number of clerks appointed for inclusion in these choirs shows a remarkable degree of consistency.

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