Last updated: February 16, 2019
Topic: ArtMusic
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Viderunt Omnes By Magister Leoninus Essay, Research Paper

Magister Leoninus

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Viderunt Omnes

When George Gershwin wrote & # 8220 ; I Got Rhythm, & # 8221 ; he knew that, for coevalss to come, hearers and performing artists likewise would hold a good thought of what he meant. After all, there would be recordings and piano axial rotations of his existent public presentations of the piece. Not to advert a standardised notation system to steer future performing artists. Alas, no such musical preservatives were available to Magister Leoninus in the last half of the twelfth century, assuming he would hold wanted them even if they had existed. What were his sonic purposes? We & # 8217 ; ll cover some of the possibilities utilizing two really different recordings of his version of the Gradual, from the Mass Proper, & # 8220 ; Viderunt Omnes. & # 8221 ; One reading, by the EMCL ( C. 1975 ) , utilizes a rigorous metrical rhythmic construction, while the other illustration, by the Ensemble Organum ( C. 1990 ) , features a much freer rhythmic attack. These will be referred to as & # 8220 ; metric & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; free & # 8221 ; severally.

The metric version has a Western feel that would look more & # 8220 ; rectify & # 8221 ; to ears of European propensity ( or larning ) . Much as we tend to see the yesteryear through the prism of today, those who finally set these ancient chants in standardised notation saw them through an every bit corrupt regard. The Benedictine monastics left most ornamentation out of their chant scenes ( C. 1900 ) because they viewed it as an eighteenth Century tradition.1 This prejudice, along with a demand to hold an easy learnable piece of music, tended to simplify, instead than embroider, the standardised agreement. True, it could be argued that the text has a certain rhythmic swing ( conspectum gentium. . . ) ; nevertheless, merely one author from the period, around 1300, noted any parallel between the rhythmic manners and poetic meter.2 Barely a instance for common pattern. To my ears, this metric version sounds stilted and Stoic. Almost as if it has been stuffed into ill-fitting apparels by a shortsighted seamster. I find the add-on of a bell, reenforcing certain downbeats, bland at best. For people who had yet to be enslaved by the clock, this is excessively square.

The free version sounds much more organic to me ; fluxing and cascading like a twist river. Could this be more in line with what Leonin intended? Composers of early polyphonic music were still utilizing a horizontal ( linear ) method in which each line was its ain entity. This would non leave rigorous beat as the ulterior perpendicular ( coincident ) method of the Renaissance would. Regardless of the composer & # 8217 ; s original purposes, he must hold known that this peculiar piece would be performed with changing relish and attending throughout the twelvemonth depending on the juncture. Yes, it could be argued that the discant subdivisions use the really Western construct of sequences ; nevertheless, I believe it is the Eastern pattern of centonization at drama here. Kee

ping that in head, the more Eastern pattern of melodious mordents, shakes, and frills is non every bit contributing to strict rhythmic public presentation as a blunt field tune would be. Marcel Peres believes a batch of these chants were performed utilizing ornamentation that is still populating in Byzantine, Syriac, or Coptic pieces.3 Above all, this piece merely sounds more religious to me. Immediately the atmosphere struck me as more church-like. Steady beat is for dancing, and no 1 was dancing to this chant. I think.

I & # 8217 ; m convinced that music evolved harmonizing to the milieus in which it existed. As music became used for more secular intents, it moved out of the sonic sanctuary of the Gothic churches and into the visible radiation. Without the stoney beds of natural reverb to meld entrywaies and alterations in pitch into a wash of sound, I belive composers and instrumentalists became more cognizant of preciseness and the demand for it in new milieus that were non so forgiving of wateriness. This peculiar piece remains rooted in the sloppy age. Rhythmic notation was an emerging trade as was polyphonic composing. In stead of this, I would non anticipate vocalists in the thirteenth Century to be systematically skilled at their executing. Personally, I think the original purpose of Leonin was someplace between the two versions we & # 8217 ; ve dicussed. Once once more, I & # 8217 ; m presuming Leonin had a specific purpose. Like a few twentieth Century composers, he might hold been simply making a loose model, cognizing the piece would germinate and alter with each public presentation. Back to my return & # 8211 ; I believe the melismatic organum subdivisions were to be performed in an extemporaneous free mode. Then, as the discant clausulae appear, the beat becomes more of import and pulse-like. The following subdivision, the linking verb, would so function as a manner to unroll that beat into the cloudy organum of the beginning. Leonin was, after all, get downing down this way of polyphonic music without a map. By taking taking the old and adding to it ( troping ) , he could convey about new textures without abandoning the old. He was playing with polyphonic music and detecting the rhythmic fluctuation it offered. Melodic fluctuation of the clip ( tuning, 1/4 or 1/3 tones ) would necessitate another paper to discourse. In decision, I believe that seeking to nail a unequivocal rendition of this piece, or any others from that clip period, is non merely impossible, but indefensible. Even today, one can happen illustrations of reasonably new melodies that are played otherwise in different topographic points on different occasions. Thelonious Monk & # 8217 ; s & # 8220 ; & # 8216 ; Round Midnight, & # 8221 ; within a decennary of its release, was already being played with & # 8220 ; East Coast alterations & # 8221 ; or & # 8220 ; West Coast changes. & # 8221 ; Things would hold been much more diverse before mass communicating. However, if I were to pick between the free or metric renderings, I would pick the free version. It merely sounds more reliable to my modern ears. Besides, an cyberspace hunt tells the mark: Peres 12, Morrow 0.