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Embellishing lute music: Using the Renaissance Italian passaggi practice as a model and pedagogical tool for an increased improvisation vocabulary in the Baroque style

Robin Rolfhamre

https://www.academia.edu/332

Embellishing lute music: Using the Renaissance Italian passaggi practice as a model and pedagogical tool for an increased improvisation vocabulary in the Baroque style. Danish Musicology Online, Special Edition: 17th Nordic Musicological Congress, pp. 119–138

Early seventeenth century lute improvisation — a phrase that by its mere utterance may cause debates full of uncertainties, fears and fantasies. What is proper improvisation? How did they do it 360 years ago? Even, how can we research what is non-existent, that is, not recorded, not clearly written down or captured by any other means? The discourse of historic improvisation practices clearly gives rise to many problems and it is
a complex subject to treat. An understanding of improvisation practice, no matter what period of time the scholar or performer seeks to address, must be bound to a thorough understanding of cultural practice and musical ideologies, an understanding reaching a level of artistic expression not possible without actually being there learning from the masters. It concerns a level of musical expertise that is very difficult to explain in writing. How, then, can we teach the student, or even ourselves, to improvise in the styles of Early Modern music? In this article I seek to revive a systematic practice of teaching ornamentation and improvisation from the Renaissance scholars — that is, the passaggi practice — and adopt it to function as a methodology for Baroque music. This is done in order to present a practice that can be used in tuition, to have new generations of musicians improvise in a comfortable manner using a broad vocabulary…)

Embellishing lute music

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