Cambridge Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music: The Organ in Western Culture, 750-1250

Cambridge Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music: The Organ in Western Culture, 750-1250

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Description

How did the organ become a church instrument? How did it develop from an outdoor, Mediterranean noisemaker to an instrument which has become the embodiment of Western music and responsible for many of that music's characteristics? In this fascinating investigation, Peter Williams speculates on these questions and suggests some likely answers. He considers where the organ was placed and why; what the instrument was like in 800, 1000, 1200 and 1400; what music was played, and how. He re-examines the known references before 1300, covering such areas as the history of technology, music theory, art history, architecture, and church and political history. Central to the story he uncovers is the liveliness of European monasticism around 1000 AD and the ability and imagination of the Benedictine reformers. Professor Williams's approach is new in both tactics and strategy, giving an interdisciplinary idea of musical development relevant to those both in and out of music.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 22mm | 740g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9 Printed music items; 19 Halftones, unspecified; 3 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 0521617073
  • 9780521617079
  • 1,649,216

Back cover copy

How did the organ become a church instrument? How did it develop from an outdoor, Mediterranean noisemaker to an instrument which has become the embodiment of western music and responsible for many of that music's characteristics? In this fascinating, investigation, Peter Williams speculates on these questions and suggests some likely answers. He considers where the organ was placed and why; what the instrument was like in 800, 1000, 1200 and 1400; what music was played, and how. He re-examines known references before 1300, covering such areas as the history of technology; music-theory art history; architecture, church and political history. Central to the story he uncovers is the liveliness of European monasticism around 1000 and the ability and imagination of the Benedictine reformers. Professor Williams's approach is new in both tactics and strategy, giving an interdisciplinary idea of musical development relevant to those both in and out of music.
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Table of contents

List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; Maps; 1. Organs, music and architecture; 2. Organs and documentation; 3. Organs and written technology; List of references; Index of places; Index of names.
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Review quote

..."it is the author's highly commendable achievement to have produced a fascinating account of the early evolution of the instrument we often take so much for granted." James B. Hartman, The Diapason
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About Peter Williams

Peter Williams (1937-2016) held the first Chair in Performance Practice in Britain at the University of Edinburgh, where he was first Director of the Russell Collection of Harpsichords and latterly Dean of Music. He was also the first Arts and Sciences Distinguished Chair at Duke University, North Carolina. He authored many books, including The European Organ (1966), Bach: The Goldberg Variations (Cambridge, 2001), Figured Bass Accompaniment (1970), The Chromatic Fourth during Four Centuries of Music (1998) and The Organ Music of J. S. Bach (Cambridge, 2003).
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