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Contents

Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century

HOW THEY WERE PERFORMED

Chapter:
CHAPTER 2 New Styles and Forms
Source:
MUSIC FROM THE EARLIEST NOTATIONS TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin
How they were Performed

ex. 2-4a Sequence by Notker Balbulus, Angelorum ordo

How they were Performed

ex. 2-4b Sequence by Notker Balbulus, Rex regum

Even greater regularity, and even greater independence from preexistent models, can be seen in Rex caeli (Fig. 2-2; its first five lines are transcribed in Ex. 2-5), a composition of such sophisticated, artful shape that its status as a sequence has been questioned. (So let’s call it a sequence-type hymn.) Unlike most early sequences, it is structurally “rounded” on several levels. Its lines are arranged not only in couplets but occasionally in quatrains—groups of four successive lines sung to the same melody. The melody of the first couplet recurs in the fourth, and the whole series of seven melodic strains then repeats (in a so-called double cursus or “double run-through”) to provide the next seven. The last pair of melodic units recapitulates the opening and closing strains of the cursus. Line lengths are almost uniformly in multiples of four syllables (eight, twelve, sixteen), giving an impression of regular meter. Not only that, but the words of many of the couplets are linked by such a strong use of assonance—similarity of vowel placement—as to approach rhyme.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 2 New Styles and Forms." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-002004.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 2 New Styles and Forms. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 21 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-002004.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 2 New Styles and Forms." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 21 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-002004.xml
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