CHAPTER 19 Pressure of Radical Humanism
The “Representational” Style and the Basso Continuo; Intermedii; Favole in Musica
As hinted in previous chapters, the central irony of the “Renaissance,” as the term is applied to music, is the way in which the Greek revivalism that motivated the “rebirth” of philosophy and the other arts actually undermined the dominant “Renaissance” musical style, if we take that style to be the ars perfecta. It would be even sillier to say that the neoclassical revival produced the musical “Baroque,” since that term was never used about art until the middle of the seventeenth century, when it was used to describe Roman architecture, and was only first applied to a musical composition (Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera Hippolyte et Aricie, as it happened) nearly a century later, in 1733, as an insult. “Baroque” is a term that musicians do not need. Trying to justify it in any terms that actually relate to the music of the period has never led to anything but quibbling, sophistry, and tergiversation. All it is now is a commercial logo for a kind of “classical music” that record companies and radio stations market as sonic wallpaper. Let’s try to forget it.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 19 Pressure of Radical Humanism." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 26 May. 2015. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-chapter-019.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 19 Pressure of Radical Humanism. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 26 May. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-chapter-019.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 19 Pressure of Radical Humanism." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 26 May. 2015, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-chapter-019.xml