French Chansons of the Sixteenth Century

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9780271003979: French Chansons of the Sixteenth Century

The advent of music printing in the 16th century generated new life in the French chanson, a musical form that had existed for over two centuries. From the presses in Paris, Lyons, Venice, Nuremburg, Louvain, Antwerp, and, for a brief time, London, thousands of chansons were sent throughout Europe. 'Something for everyone' might have been the publisher's motto, for here the elegant courtly love song (chanson courtois) appeared alongside the obscene narrative (chanson grivoise), drinking song, and dance tune. Highly contrapuntal paraphrase chansons were juxtaposed with simple voix de villes or devout chansons spirituelles. This anthology imitates its 16th century counterparts by presenting a compendium of chansons from the musical centers of Europe. The major composers, both French and Netherlandish, are represented, such as Claudin de Sermisy, Pierre Certon, Clement Janequin, Jacques Arcadelt, Nicolas Gombert, Orlando di Lassus, Cipriano de Rore, Claude Lejeune, and others.The organization facilitates various uses. Each chanson forms a complete unit containing musical setting, poetic text and English translation, historical description, and brief critical commentary listing original sources, modern editions, emendations, and textual sources. The chansons can be extracted individually or joined together for performance programs or study purposes. Different settings of a single chanson poem, a particular chanson genre, or the musical style of a particular geographic area could be examined or performed. Lastly, the anthology presents a concise history of the 16th-century chanson - a valuable guide for the music student interested in exploring the various musical styles.

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About the Author:

Jane A. Bernstein is Professor of Music at Tufts University. She is the author of The Complete Works of Philip Van Wilder, Masters and Monuments of the Renaissance, and Ethel Smyth: Mass in D, as well as numerous articles.

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Bernstein, Jane A.
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Bernstein, Jane A.
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Bernstein, Jane A.
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