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Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 12:30pm to 1:15pm
Anabel Taylor Hall, Chapel
Anabel Taylor Hall, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
Midday Music for Organ: Matthew Hall, "The Art of Coloration": Keyboard music of the fifteenth and sixteenth century is often characterized as being "intabulated" vocal music — that is, transcribed with florid ornamentation or "coloration" (called diminution and coloratura in later centuries). However, the art of intabulation does not imply that the source material was "uncolored": the apparent plainness of the notation of vocal polyphony does not preclude the possibility that vocal performances were colored. Theorists from Gaffurius to Coclico to Praetorius describe coloration in vocal performances of polyphony, and occasionally this practice ossified into the performance tradition of certain pieces and was notated, as in the case of Allegri's Miserere. The "coloration" preserved in the keyboard literature of the period, then, may provide a window into the vocal performance practice of the period, disclosing the apparent purity of Renaissance vocal polyphony as an artifact of notation. I explore this soundworld through the music of Conrad Paumann, Paul Hofhaimer, Arnolt Schlick, Josquin, and Obrecht.