"The First Booke of Songes or Ayres" Johna Dowlanda. Profesjonalna muzyka na usługach amatorskiej rozrywki
Wydział Kompozycji, Teorii Muzyki i Reżyserii Dźwięku (Akademia Muzyczna im. Feliksa Nowowiejskiego w Bydgoszczy)
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Dzieło muzyczne i jego źródła
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Wydawnictwo Akademii Muzycznej im. Feliksa Nowowiejskiego w Bydgoszczy
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"The First Booke of Songes or Ayres" Johna Dowlanda. Profesjonalna muzyka na usługach amatorskiej rozrywki
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IX Międzynarodowe Sympozjum Dzieło muzyczne i jego źródła
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At the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth century London was a place of extraordinary flowering of amateur music-making and high interest in sophisticated music in wide circles of the aristocracy and the middle class. In an age where there was no radio, television, Internet, or mp3 players, home music-making was one of the most popular pastimes. Music teachers did not complain about the lack of work, and publishers competed in inventing ever new advertising slogans such as “never before published” or the “newest and best songs sung at Court and at the Public Theatre,” aimed to get the attention of music lovers in a flood of similar anthologies. An amateur music-making has its roots in the earlier court music tradition (music was played and sung during less official events, not only by talented courtiers but also by the rulers). At the second half of sixteenth century an advanced amateur music-making flourished on a larger scale. It was cultivated by a wide range of society, including lower classes. About 1550 in England had developed a specific genre—song with lute accompaniment, which is defined as the so-called “ayre” or “lute-song”. It was a synthesis of selected features of madrigal, broadside ballad, consort song and dance instrumental music. The most eminent composers of this genre practicing include John Dowland and Thomas Campion. It seems that the first one played a leading role in the spread of lute-song and giving it a high artistic level. The turning point was the publication of The First Booke of Songes or Ayres in 1597. This collection of 21 polyphonic songs with lute accompaniment quickly gained immense popularity, as evidenced by even the fact that in a short time it had as many as five editions (1600, 1603, 1606, 1608, 1613), bringing international fame to the composer. Journey to Italy and music which composer has had the opportunity to listen to, had an impact on his own work. The Dowland’s lute-songs focuses on Love, Longing, Death. There are the main topoi of Italian Mannerist works from this period. However, while the madrigals by Luca Marenzio or Carl Gesualdo were set to express feelings of affection, and made use of advanced chromatics and so-called sound painting, consisting of closely coupled layers of text and music at the level of individual words, lute-songs by Dowland and Campion exploited much simpler means, more affordable for the average music lover. Dowland’s ayres, unlike evolutionarily shaped madrigals were based on the strophic construction, which precluded the use of illustrative effects for all verses of text layer. Individual verses are usually formed into two sections separated by cadences, the second of which is repeated creating diagram ABB. The internal structure of segments is based on symmetrical short phrases (often of a similar motives), which in a natural, comfortable way allows singers to regulate breathing and promotes easy and rapid remembering of the musical substance. Clear texture, the advantage of diatonic, catchy melodies, frequent use of dance triple meter (in five cases Dowland’s ayres are actually adaptations of popular lute galliards, which the composer rearranged in 4-part polyphonic structure and added lyrics), all these qualities perfectly suited the tastes and skills of amateur musicians.
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