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1558 __ « Le Istitutioni Harmoniche »
Gioseffo Zarlino (1517-1590)
Comment : Gioseffo Zarlino (1517-1590) was one of the most influential music theorists of the Renaissance. His principal work, Le istitutioni harmoniche, is a unique synthesis of the music theory of Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and the compositional practice of his own time. The Dimostrationi harmoniche presents music theory according to the axiomatic model of Euclid's Elements. In the Sopplimenti, Zarlino displays his wide reading of classical sources in a sharp response to Vincenzo Galilei's critique of his earlier writings. While he was a moderately prolific composer, and his motets are polished and display a mastery of canonic counterpoint, his principal claim to fame was his work as a theorist. While Pietro Aaron may have been the first theorist to describe a version of meantone, Zarlino seems to have been the first to do so with exactitude, describing 2/7-comma meantone in his Le istitutioni harmoniche in 1558. Zarlino also described the 1/4-comma meantone and 1/3-comma meantone, considering all three temperaments to be usable. These are the precursors to the 50- 31- and 19-tone equal temperaments, respectively. In his Dimonstrationi harmoniche of 1571, he revised the numbering of modes to emphasize C and the Ionian mode, thereby drawing closer to the harmonic and melodic system basing itself on tonality and the major and minor scales.Zarlino was the first to recognize the primacy of the triad over the interval as a means of harmonic thinking. His development of just intonation came from a realization of the imperfection of the intervals in the Pythagorean system, and a desire to retain as much purity as possible using a limited number of tones. He was also the first to attempt an explanation of the old prohibition of parallel fifths and octaves as a rule of counterpoint, and the first to study the effect and harmonic implications of the false relation. Zarlino's writings, primarily published by Francesco Franceschi, spread throughout Europe at the end of the 16th century. Translations and annotated versions were common in France, Germany, as well as in the Netherlands among the students of Sweelinck, thus influencing the next generation of musicians who represented the early Baroque style. (Compiled from various sources)
French comment : Le compositeur et théoricien italien Gioseffe Zarlino (1517-1590) a joué un rôle fondamental dans ce que l'on peut qualifier de première révolution musicale. Son traité le plus important, Le Istitutioni harmoniche, divise in quattro parti (« Les Institutions harmoniques, divisé en quatre parties »), publié à Venise en 1558, présente une synthèse des différentes théories musicales de l'Antiquité, du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance, ainsi que des diverses méthodes de composition en usage au xvie siècle. Zarlino y expose en particulier les caractéristiques d'une gamme dont les intervalles sont définis de la manière la plus « naturelle » possible. Le système de Zarlino, bien qu'imparfait, et qui sera combattu par un de ses élèves, Vincenzo Galilei, dans Discorso intorno all'opere di Messer Gioseffo Zarlino da Chioggia (1589), ainsi que par le théoricien Giovanni Maria Artusi, régnera en maître jusqu'à la fin du XVIIième siècle, avant d'être supplanté par la gamme dite tempérée. (Juliette Garrigues, Encyclopediæ Universalis)
Source : Zarlino, Gioseffo (1558). "Le Istitutioni harmoniche". Coll. Monuments of Music and Music Literature in Facsimile, New York: Broude Brothers (1965); and also, translated by Guy Marco and Claude. V. Palisca. New Haven and London, Yale University press, 1968.
Urls : http://num-scd-ulp.u-strasbg.fr:8080/452/ (last visited ) http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Zarlino,_Gioseffo (last visited ) http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k58227h/f2 (last visited )

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