The Italian Traditions and Puccini

The Italian Traditions and Puccini

Compositional Theory and Practice in Nineteenth-Century Opera
Baragwanath, Nicholas
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/08/2011
Format: Hardback 111 music exx.
ISBN: 978-0-253-35626-0
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In this groundbreaking survey of the fundamentals, methods, and formulas that were taught at Italian music conservatories during the 19th century, Nicholas Baragwanath explores the compositional significance of tradition in Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Boito, and, most importantly, Puccini. Taking account of some 400 primary sources, Baragwanath explains the varying theories and practices of the period in light of current theoretical and analytical conceptions of this music. The Italian Traditions and Puccini offers a guide to an informed interpretation and appreciation of Italian opera by underscoring the proximity of archaic traditions to the music of Puccini.

Author Bio

Nicholas Baragwanath is Director of Postgraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Musicology in the Department of Music, University of Nottingham.


Baragwanath represents with admirable clarity the most important (and entangled) facets of the Italian theoretical traditions. . . . An impressive tour de force.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
A Note on Translation and Terminology
1: Musical Traditions in Nineteenth-Century Italy
I. The Italian Schools
II. An Introduction to the Primary Sources
III. Puccini and the End of the Great Tradition
2. Studies in Lucca and Milan
I. Composition as Craft
II. The Istituto musicale in Lucca
III. Scarpia and the Partimento Cadence
IV. The Conservatorio di Milano
3. Lessons in Dramatic Composition I: Rhythm
I. Rhythm without Measure, Accent without Beat
II. Rules of Versification, Lippmann’s Rhythmic-Musical Types, and Two Case-Studies
III. Historical Survey of Writings on Ritmo
IV. Short Case-Studies from Bellini and Puccini
4. Lessons in Dramatic Composition II: Harmony and Counterpoint
I. The Partimento Tradition
II. Michele Puccini’s Corso pratico di contrappunto (1846)
III. The Bolognese Attachment, or "Little Keys for Winding Clocks"
IV. Regular Motions and Melodic Composition
5. Lessons in Dramatic Composition III: Affect, Imitation, and Conduct
I. Dominant Affects and their Movements
II. Physical and Sentimental Imitation
III. Form and Conduct
IV. Case-Studies from Verdi, Boito, and Puccini
6. Vocalizzi, Solfeggi, and Real (or Ideal) Composition
I. Lessons in Singing and Counterpoint
II. Lessons in Singing and Solfeggio
III. From Solfeggio to Ideal Composition in Puccini (and Bellini)
Index of Concepts
Index of Names and Works

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