Other Kinds of Beauty

Bernard D. Sherman

in Inside Early Music

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780195169454
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199865017 | DOI:
Other Kinds of Beauty

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One could locate an endless number of beginning points for the early-music revival, from late 18th-century Handel-reverence to early 20th-century clavichord making. Wherever the revival first sprouted though, one could argue that it was foreshadowed by the 16th-century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Palestrina was the first composer to remain influential not just for a few decades after his death, but for at least 300 years. What kept Palestrina influential was something that theorists derived (more or less) from his music—a set of rules of counterpoint. These became central to musical education and remain so today. This chapter presents an interview with Peter Phillips on the Tallis Scholars and Palestrina, Palestrina’s rules of counterpoint, issues of authenticity in the performance of Renaissance choral music, tempo, use of women instead of boys in choirs, and serenity and balance in Palestrina’s music.

Keywords: Peter Phillips; Tallis Scholars; choral music; rules of counterpoint; authenticity; tempo

Chapter.  7771 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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