High, middle, and low: singing Monteverdi

Wistreich, R. (2015) High, middle, and low: singing Monteverdi. In: Passaggio in Italia: Music on the Grand Tour in the Seventeenth Century. Brepols, Turnhout, pp. 65-83. ISBN 978-2-503-53568-5


Singers and scores could both disseminate Italian arias and madrigals within Italy and throughout Europe. The arts of the performer, however, are only implicit in music notation, whether a score is read by a singer known to the composer, by a foreign visitor who carries a score home, or by a singer 370 years in the future. The performer’s process of realizing a notation that drew on the special abilities of seventeenth-century singers brings him closer to those singers and to the centrality of singing itself in the meaning of what is sung.

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