The Prisonhouse of Mode: <i>Cipriano de Rore</i>

Susan McClary

in Modal Subjectivities

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780520234932
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929159 | DOI:
The Prisonhouse of Mode: Cipriano de Rore

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Cipriano de Rore proved a restless tenant of Adrian Willaert's and Gioseffo Zarlino's neomodality. We know very little of his life, save for his early years in the Netherlands, his move to Italy, and his string of professional appointments and publications. This chapter examines Cipriano's work in order to understand both why he resisted the procedures he and his mentor had brought to a kind of perfection and also how to make sense of the compositional choices he made. It starts with a madrigal that establishes itself complacently within an orthodox modal framework before it begins to act out against it. A late work, “Da le belle contrade d'oriente,” appeared in the Fifth Book of Madrigals of 1566. Cipriano's compositional choices reveal much about his notions of modality and its relationship to avant-garde experimentation. Yet although he sets two discursive options in opposition to each other in this madrigal, he does so not only for the sake of pushing the boundaries of accepted musical practice, but also as the means of configuring particular models of human subjectivity.

Keywords: Cipriano de Rore; Adrian Willaert; Gioseffo Zarlino; neomodality; Italy; madrigal; subjectivity

Chapter.  9068 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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