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Ornamentation According to C. P. E. Bach and J. J. Quantz.

by Kris Palmer. 1st Books Library (2595 Vernal vernal /ver·nal/ (ver´n'l) pertaining to or occurring in the spring.  Pike, Bloomington, IN 47404), 2001. 188 pp., $11.95.

Kris Palmer writes in the forward to Ornamentation ornamentation

In music, the addition of notes for expressive and aesthetic purposes. For example, a long note may be ornamented by repetition or by alternation with a neighboring note (“trill”); a skip to a nonadjacent note can be filled in with the intervening
 According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 C. P. E. Bach And J. J. Quantz that her goal is to give insight to the differences in realizing the ornaments Ornaments are a frequent embellishment to music. Sometimes different symbols represent the same ornament, or vice versa. Different ornament names can refer to an ornament from a specific area or time period.  in baroque, rococo and classical music. She examines ornaments found in C. P. E. Bach's A-Minor Flute Concerto A flute concerto is a concerto for solo flute and instrumental ensemble, customarily the orchestra. Such works have been written from the Baroque period, when the solo concerto form was first developed, up through the present day. , Wq. 166. The first two sections of the book discuss appoggiaturas and trills as found in the A-Minor Concerto, and the last section covers ornaments not found in the piece, but occurring in other C. P. E. Bach flute concerti.

Clearly, the author is knowledgeable about ornamentation, and she attempts to give general guidelines as well as specific suggestions for realizing the ornaments found in these concerti. She points out that Quantz and C. P. E. Bach worked together for almost thirty years in Berlin in the court of Frederick II Frederick II, king of Sicily
Frederick II, 1272–1337, king of Sicily (1296–1337), 3d son of Peter III of Aragón. When his brother, who was king of Sicily, became (1291) king of Aragón as James II, Frederick was his regent in Sicily.
, King of Prussia King of Prussia, industrialized suburban area (1990 pop. 18,406), Montgomery co., SE Pa. It has glass and steel fabricating, food processing, printing and publishing, and varied manufacturing (textiles, liquified petroleum gas, water-treatment and electrical . Quantz's On Playing the Flute (1752) and Bach's Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments Noun 1. keyboard instrument - a musical instrument that is played by means of a keyboard
accordion, piano accordion, squeeze box - a portable box-shaped free-reed instrument; the reeds are made to vibrate by air from the bellows controlled by the player
 (1753) are the primary sources referred to in this guide, although Palmer also quotes other scholars such as Robert Donington and Frederick Neumann. Written for the serious instrumentalist, this book has detailed references to the two treatises (with many footnotes).

For a performer learning one of these flute concerti or the keyboard versions of the same works, the book would be invaluable. As a general reference book, however, I found it less helpful, largely because the presentation seemed unnecessarily complicated. For example, there are many musical examples in the book that help illustrate her points, but there are many examples described in words rather than in musical notation musical notation, symbols used to make a written record of musical sounds.

Two different systems of letters were used to write down the instrumental and the vocal music of ancient Greece. In his five textbooks on music theory Boethius (c.A.D. 470–A.D.
. Having a score of the A-Minor Flute Concerto available when reading the book would help clarify things, since the author is careful to indicate measure numbers for each ornament ornament, in architecture
ornament, in architecture, decorative detail enhancing structures. Structural ornament, an integral part of the framework, includes the shaping and placement of the buttress, cornice, molding, ceiling, and roof and the capital and
 being considered. A second concern is the order in which ornaments are presented--often with the exceptions or inconsistencies presented at the beginning of a chapter before a thorough presentation of the normal conventions. She assumes the reader will already be familiar with those conventions.

Chapter One begin with the variable or long appoggiatura. Palmer quotes from Bach's treatise about the length of the appoggiatura (half to two-thirds of the following note) and placement (on the beat) of this ornament. What follows are many examples of appoggiaturas, generally in the order they appear in the A-Minor Concerto. However, before we get even one clear example of a variable appoggiatura that follows the "rule," we get double-dotting (without explanation) and then several examples where the long appoggiatura is even longer than predicted by the definition because a rest follows the ornamented note. Palmer quotes from the Bach Essay regarding his attempt to indicate the exact length of the variable appoggiatura by having the small note be the correct rhythmic value of the realization. For example, if the appoggiatura is written as an eighth-note, then the appoggiatura should take an eighth-note value from the main note. Unfortunately, Bach was not consistent in this effort, and Palmer discusses these inconsistencies.

I found the section on trills similarly complicated. The first section on the "normal trill trill, in music, ornament consisting of the more or less rapid alternation of two adjacent notes. Indicated by any of several conventional symbols, it varies in speed and duration and in the manner of its beginning and ending according to context. " begins with a quote from Bach about the four types of trills--normal, ascending, descending and half (or short) trill. The following section, however, doesn't discuss the normal trill or any of the other types mentioned, but immediately begins to discuss something else--the snap and some hybrid ornaments. The author tries to help the reader understand what something is by also defining what it is not. I would have preferred to read general principles first, followed by some clear examples that follow those principles--and then learn of exceptions to the "rule."

Of course, anyone who has studied ornamentation in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music knows there are no simple rules that apply in all situations. This book certainly confirms there are no easy answers about how to realize ornaments. Rather, one must know the conventions of the period and the composer's preferences and also consider the context in which the ornament appears. Palmer reminds us of this in the book's concluding section, when she states that the harmonic and melodic context surrounding ornaments are very important in deciding how to realize them.

Palmer's suggestions are well researched, and her knowledge of the subject is very thorough. While the book is not easy to read, anyone who is interested in a serious examination of the topic should find the book helpful. Reviewed by Sue Haug, Ames, Iowa Ames is a city located in the central part of the U.S. state of Iowa, about 30 miles north of Des Moines in Story County. It is the principal city of the 'Ames, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area' which encompasses all of Story County, Iowa and which, when combined with the ,
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Author:Haug, Sue
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 1, 2002
Previous Article:American Musical Traditions, Volumes 1-5.
Next Article:Beethoven's Piano Sonatas: A Short Companion (with CD).

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