Partimento and Continuo Playing in Theory and in Practice

Edited by Dirk Moelants and contributions by Thomas Christensen, Robert Gjerdingen, Giorgio Sanguinetti, and Rudolf Lutz

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This volume is a collection of essays based on lectures given at the International Orpheus Academy for Music Theory on ‘Music and Theory: Thoroughbass in Practice, Theory, and Improvisation'. Hence the point of departure was not ‘Music Theory' as such, but the interaction between music theory, music history, performance practice, aesthetics, and related sciences. This multidisciplinary approach, with the accent on the interplay between music performance and music theory, is reflected in the contributions to this book.

Thomas Christensen, in his contribution, shows how the development of tonal harmonic theory went hand in hand with the practice of thoroughbass. Both Robert Gjerdingen and Giorgio Sanguinetti focus on the Neapolitan tradition of partimento. Gjerdingen addresses the relation between the realization of partimenti and contrapuntal thinking, illustrated by examples of contrapuntal imitation and combination in partimenti, leading to the ‘partimentofugue'. Sanguinetti elaborates on the history of this partimentofugue from the early 18th until the late 19th century. Rudolf Lutz, finally, presents his use of partimenti in educational practice, giving examples of how reviving this old practice can give new insights to composers, conductors and musicians.


Thomas Christensen
Thoroughbass as music theory

Robert Gjerdingen
Partimenti written to impart a knowledge of counterpoint and composition

Giorgio Sanguinetti
Partimento-fugue: the Neapolitan angle

Rudolf Lutz
The playing of Partimento



Format: Edited volume - paperback

Size: 240 × 150 × 10 mm

136 pages

ISBN: 9789058678287

Publication: June 17, 2010

Series: Geschriften van het Orpheus Instituut/Collected Writings of the Orpheus Institute 9

Languages: English

Stock item number: 62220

Dirk Moelants is a viola da gamba player and musicologist working as a Lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and as guest Professor at Ghent University.

Giorgio Sanguinetti is Associate Professor at the University of Rome 'Tor Vergata'.

Robert Gjerdingen is Professor of Music Theory and Cognition at Northwestern University.

Rudolf Lutz is Lecturer at the University of Music in Basel, the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and Artistic Director of the J.S. Bach Foundation in St. Gallen.

Thomas Christensen is Professor of Music and the Humanities at the University of Chicago.