Printer Friendly

HUMANISTS IN RENAISSANCE BOHEMIA AND MUSIC.

In the age of Petrarch, when Bohemia was ruled over by Charles IV, a spiritual movement was born in Italy. It was marked by a strong interest in ancient thinkers and their ideas, and also by a return to classical Roman Latin. Medieval verse forms in poems and songs gradually gave way to the ancient system of syllable weight; medieval corruptions and neologisms from various national languages were dispensed with. And Italian writers weren't just inspired by the forms used by their ancient forebears--they also took on their ideas, focused on the improvement of man, on his actions benefitting all of society (humanism), and on the creation of a functional system of scholarship. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Italy was flooded by Greek scholars. They brought with them the heritage of Ancient Greek thought--mostly philosophy but poetry too. The first translations of Plato and Homer into Latin soon followed and were received enthusiastically. Intellectuals were also fascinated by Greco-Roman mythology and its interpretation. It was put to use in the arts, specifically in the decorations of renaissance palaces and municipal administrative centres.

The arrival of humanism and the Renaissance in the Czech lands was inhibited by the Hussite wars--this series of conflicts between Christian Hussite reformists and the Holy Roman Church lasted from 1419 to 1434, but Hussitism defined the history of the entire 15th century in Bohemia. After George of Podebrady (Jiri z Podebrad) ascended the throne, however, in the 1460s and '70s, Italian influences slowly infiltrated the Czech lands, particularly in the works of diplomats who had travelled to Italy. During Jagiellonian rule (1471-1526), Italian influences were fortified by an intermediary: Hungarian humanism as expounded by the intellectuals of the court at Buda. Members of the court office in Prague also entertained humanist pastimes. Some of them had the advantage of having studied in Italy, but the Utraquists--a moderate faction of the Hussites that constituted a majority of the Bohemian population until the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War--overcame their shortcomings in Latin by focusing on literature written in Czech. It is to this period that we date the first Czech translations of the authors of antiquity, though they are smaller in number than renderings of works by the Italian humanists and Erasmus of Rotterdam--some of the earliest surviving Czech translations. Humanist scholarship was cultivated in the courts of Catholic noblemen and bishops--for a long time, the university in Prague took a rather reserved stance towards these new impulses. It was thus the regions in the west and northwest of Bohemia, falling under the sphere of influence of the universities in Leipzig and Frankfurt an der Oder, that become the centres of humanism, along with the city of Olomouc and its troupe of humanists gathered around the bishop Thurzo.

The dissemination of humanist education was hastened by the invention of the printing press. In Utraquist Bohemia, printing developed slowly, but book traders supplied intellectuals with high-quality editions of the ancient classics and the humanists of Basel and Nuremberg. Many handbooks were published with the aim of improving common communication in Latin--conversational handbooks, collections of letters, etc. The rise of Lutheranism and the related influence of the university in Wittenberg were crucial for Czech intellectuals. Martin Luther claimed allegiance to the legacy of Jan Hus, thus symbolically freeing the Czech Utraquists from their isolation in central Europe. Wittenberg became the second most popular university for Czech students, after the university in Prague. The universities brought back the art of composing occasional poetry, an interest in natural phenomena and their theological interpretation, and finally also a liking for spiritual poetry and music.

In addition to the spiritual compositions used for school teaching or sung by literary brotherhoods (choir groups composed mostly of citizen and craftsmen) as part of church services, this period also saw the creation of the first secular compositions in the Czech lands, written on the occasion of weddings or graduations. Another welcome occasion for musical performances were various celebrations, for instance those connected with the coronation of a new ruler.

Thanks to travel aimed at study and learning, but also given developments on the book market, the most advanced music from the developed cultural regions in western Europe made its way to Bohemia. Humanist scholarship is also present in Catholic circles; clerics and monastery superiors supported Latin authors and applied themselves to collecting printed books and manuscripts. Ancient authors became the cornerstone of poetics and rhetoric at Jesuit schools. Nevertheless, there are only a few Catholic intellectuals amongst the non-Catholic majority.

Of course, humanist education partially infiltrated the Latin city schools, whose principles and teaching were inspired by Philip Melanchthon. In the second half of the 16th century, the Czech lands boasted a dense network of Utraquist city schools, overseen by the university in Prague, which also provided teachers--recent graduates. At the time, university lecturers were models for their students in cultivating occasional poetry, which gradually made its way to the cities of the Czech lands. This led to the creation of a relatively significant class of benefactors of urban culture, often hailing from Prague's university environment. However, a large part of Moravia and the more remote cities in northwest and western Bohemia were outside of the influence of the university in Prague. The schools in these regions--often first-rate--summoned their teachers from Wittenberg and other German universities on the other side of the border. Another important moment is the relocation of the imperial court of Rudolf II to Prague at the turn of the 1570s and '80s. Prague, before then a rather provincial town which had still not washed away all the marks of the Hussite wars, became an important hub in central Europe and a travel destination for intellectuals from around the continent. The educated emperor surrounded himself with scientists and artists. The court intellectuals brought along an interest in new genres, which soon made their way into the urban classes. The end of non-Catholic culture in the Czech lands was marked by the defeat of the rebellious estates and crowned by the Battle of White Mountain. A rigorous process of counter-reformation followed. It led to an exodus of non-Catholic intellectuals, the destruction of a number of libraries and collections, and the closure of the university in Prague. Education was taken over by Catholic institutions led by the Jesuit order. Under their influence, the selection of literary genres changed and counter-reformation ideology gradually took control of both the social and the natural sciences.

The series we present to the readers in several instalments will introduce several crucial figures in Czech Rudolfinian and pre-White Mountain humanism, figures that played an important role in shaping the musical and literary culture of Bohemia. Our aim is to situate their work in the European context and show their true import without nationalist misinterpretations or embellishments.

Jiri Cropatius of Teplice, The Travelling Composer: Teplice--Wittenberg--Prague--Padua--Venice--Jerusalem and back.

It is remarkable how many times Jiri Cropatius (Georgius Cropatius or Cropacius, Georg Kropacz or Kropacz, Jorgius Cropatius) is mentioned in the musicological literature. The frequency of citations is all the more strange as very little is known about the life or work of Cropatius. He is mostly referenced in connection to his 1578 publication of a collection of masses with Angelo Gardano, a leading European publisher specialising in sheet music. No copies of this volume survive (or are still awaiting discovery). However, the mere fact that this author--who came from a family of Protestant city dwellers and tried to make his name in several Czech cities--published a collection of polyphonic settings of the Mass ordinary in 1570s Venice is so historically exceptional that it deserves our attention.

Jifi Cropatius' Origins

Information about the origin, life, and activities of Jiri Cropatius were thus far deduced primarily from his few published volumes of occasional poetry. We, however, have managed to discover some details that have remarkably extended his brief biography. Cropatius was born around the year 1550 in Teplice. We have no specifics on how he began his education--he tells us himself that he was interested in languages from an early age; in addition to Latin and Greek, he also displayed an affinity for Hebrew, with which he might have come into contact thanks to Teplice's sizeable Jewish community. He also used Czech in his publications and we can assume he later learnt German and Italian.

Cropatius doubtless extended his language skills while studying at the university in Wittenberg, where he was inscribed on the 4th of December 1563 as Georgius Cropacius Vandalus. He left for Prague in 1574, where he was active as a writer until 1575. For some time, Cropatius was the preceptor (tutor; teacher) of Balthasar, son of the vice-chancellor of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Jiri Mehl of Strelice. It seems that he left no particular mark on the Czech lands, where we lose any trace of him. He appears again in 1578: in Italy and on his way to the Holy Land.

Cropatius in Italy and On His Way to the Holy Land

Before setting off on his pilgrimage, Cropatius allegedly studied in Padua. Claims that he stayed in this city are supported by a piece of literary evidence. A manuscript by the eminent Italian humanist Bernardino Baldi of Urbino (1553-1617) includes a transcription of a Greek poem written in Sapphic stanza signed by Cropatius. Beginning in 1573, Baldi studied Greek in Padua, having already mastered Hebrew and Chaldean. It is possible that it was during his studies in Padua that Baldi met Cropatius and received his poem. Baldi included it in a section of his manuscript which grouped together Greek and Italian poems dedicated to Gioseffo Zarlino (1517-1590), an important Italian composer and music theorist. In the style of the humanist eulogy, Cropatius' poem celebrates music as a great gift from the heavens, addressing its beneficial effect on people and acknowledging Zarlino's contributions to music in general and to the art of singing in particular. We know of Cropatius' journey to Jerusalem thanks to the surviving travel diaries of the aristocratic adventurers, mercenaries, and travellers Leopold von Wedel (1544-1615) and Jost Fogelli (1554-1607). Both mention Jiri Cropatius as a Czech student and musician. He probably joined the expedition in May 1578 in Venice. The Dutch doctor Bernardus Paludanus (1550-1633) also took part in the expedition. His diary survives, giving us precise information on the course of the journey. The travellers set off from Venice by ship on the 22nd of July 1578, headed for Cyprus, and then on via Tripolis to Jaffa, where they landed on the 4th of August. Forty-eight days after setting off from Venice, on the 8th of August 1578, they arrived in Jerusalem, where they undertook a week-long tour of the holy sites, the usual programme for all visitors and pilgrims.

On the 16th of August, the nobles and their guides then continued in their journey, while Cropatius (along with three Jesuits) remained in Jerusalem in order to apply himself to music and compose for the brothers in the monastery of Saint Saviour. Twenty years later, Krystof Harant of Polzice and Bezdruzice (1564-1621), a Czech Protestant nobleman, humanist, and composer, also stayed at--and composed in--this monastery. It is of interest that travel notices from Jerusalem describe Cropatius as a Catholic who did not refuse confession in a Franciscan church. The other members of the group, who were Lutherans, understandably denied confession. We can thus assume that Cropatius converted during his stay in Italy. In Jerusalem, he met Meletius Pegas, later the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria, who celebrated him in a Latin poem as an excellent musician and a connoisseur of languages.

From this point on, our knowledge of Cropatius' fate runs thin. We do not when and how he returned to Europe (or whether he ever returned to Bohemia). It remains uncertain whether we can identify him with a student of the same name who was expelled from the seminary in Olomouc in 1580.

Cropatius as a Poet

In literature, Cropatius presented himself as a poet. In addition to the standard Latin, he wrote poems in Greek since he was a student, and he is also important for being the first Bohemian pre-White-Mountain humanist to publish his own poems written in Hebrew. His surviving poems are all in the genres of occasional and religious poetry. As for the Latin works, we can note a highly developed craft of verse technique and a mastery of the basic rules of the genres. He used virtually only two metric devices: the elegiac couplet and the Sapphic stanza. Cropatius' Greek and Hebrew verse is still awaiting its appraisal. Though both these languages appear as variants in his publications, Greek was often prioritised and the poet was appreciated throughout Europe for his knowledge of the Hellenic language.

Cropatius' Wittenberg education is apparent in his choice of subject matter and form--after all, their Wittenberg education had already marked an older generation of Czech humanists including Matous Collinus and Tomas Mitis. Here, music was often a close companion of poetry. It is highly likely that Cropatius himself did not consider the composition of poetry his principal talent, and we must thus consider his poetic experiments in the context of his life as minor works which served to support his search for positions and new friends. For our exploration of his contacts abroad, we have the remarkable source of occasional poems found in manuscripts throughout Europe--and there's nothing to say that more will not be discovered in time.

Cropatius and Music

The volume of polyphonic masses that Cropatius--entirely out of style for Czech intellectuals of the time--published in Venice with Angelo Gardano in 1501 has not survived. We thus have very little information on Cropatius' compositional activities. The only notation that survives from this period is a manuscript originally written in Wroclaw at the close of the 16th century, now stored in Berlin.

This manuscript includes one mass for five voices attributed to Jiri Cropatius. The entire volume is proof to the closeness and connectedness of musical life in Wroclaw and Bohemian cities at the end of the 16th century. It includes pieces by composers who lived and worked in Prague, particularly at the imperial court, and also by a distinctive generation of composers from northern Bohemia. Cropatius' mass is the last to be included. It is listed simply as "Missa", without a reference to a model, as is the case in most of the other settings of the mass ordinary included in the edition. This leads us to conclude that this was not a parodic mass.

In a notation of the singing voice in the Quinta vox collection, the mass is listed a Missa a 5 Georgio Cropatio Authore, Cantus Secundus. As is made apparent by notes appended to the mass, it was generally written for five voices, though the Pleni sunt coeli was set for only three voices and the Agnus Dei added a sixth. Although only two of the five voices survive, making it difficult for us to assess the true compositional qualities of the piece, we can use the extant voices to determine the mode of Cropatius' mass. It is written in the Dorian mode, i.e. the very same that was used to compose one of the masses of the Venetian print.

Cropatius' mass in the Wroclaw manuscript does not include a Credo. We do not know why this part of the ordinary was left out, but it is nothing too far from the norm in this source. The copying was done meticulously, as attested to by the fact that the mass includes a number of signs which unambiguously connect the text with the notated segments. This was not all that common in the practice of central-European collections of the repertoire of vocal polyphony. It is often a sign that the original was printed rather than copied out by hand. Whatever model was used by the scribe who penned the Wroclaw manuscript, it is provable that Cropatius' mass was used (or at least known) in Silesia around the year 1600.

The Venetian Publication of Masses by Jiri Cropatius

Seeing as Cropatius' Venetian volume has not survived, we have to limit ourselves to hypotheses when discussing its creation, form, and content, just as when discussing the entire oeuvre of this composer. The title was probably Missarum tonus primus quinque vocum iuxta dodecachordi modos, dorii scilicet, hypodorii et lydii accurate compositus, recensque in luce editus (The First Volume of Masses for Five Voices in Modes Following the Dodecachordon, Composed Carefully in the Dorian, Hypodorian, and Lyrian Modes and Recently Brought to Light). We can infer from this that it formed the first part of five-voice settings of the mass ordinary following what was known as the Dodecachordon, a classification of twelve modes newly defined in the third volume of the Dodecachordon ([DELTA][OMEGA][DELTA]EKAXOP[DELTA]ON) by Heinrich Glareanus (1488-1563), published in 1547. Cropatius' publication contained masses in the Dorian, Hypodorian, and Lydian modes.

We know not whether Cropatius had composed masses in the other modes or if he had merely made plans to. But even given this bare minimum, we must appreciate the suggested modernity of his thinking. Glarean's conception of the twelve modes was only slowly establishing itself in Europe in the second half of the 16th century, and we have no references to its theoretical acceptance or practical use in the Czech lands in the 1580s. Cropatius' "new" modal thinking, based on a humanist conception of music, is also unique when compared to the greatest compositional authority figures of the 1580s: Orlande de Lassus and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, both of whom still used the traditional system of eight modes. Even in Italian musical culture, where Glareanus' concept was adapted and developed primarily by Gioseffo Zarlino, the new modal system was only adopted gradually.

However, we must be realistic when considering the Venetian publication of Cropatius' masses. Gardano did not print Cropatius' masses because the latter was an exceptional composer, but doubtless because Cropatius came to him and paid for the printing. We can thus assume the print run was not too large and neither was the expenditure on preparations. Publication was not followed by a clearly conceived plan for distribution and dissemination. This explains why it is absent among the surviving European collections of music published in the 16th century. Its author was probably also its principal distributor.

Even so, Jiri Cropatius was a composer. This is attested to not only by mentions of his Gardano volume and by the copied-out extracts from his mass in the Wroclaw manuscript but also by the testimony of his fellow travellers to the Holy Land and his decision to remain and compose in the monastery of Saint Saviour in Jerusalem. It remains unclear where he learned to compose. It was probably during his studies abroad, as if he had followed the path of Czech composers working in the context of literary brotherhoods and preparatory Latin schools, we would now be able to find his compositions in the surviving repertoire of these institutions.

This topic will be discussed in more detail in the study "Musicus et poeta trilinguis. New Findings on the Life and Work of Jiri Cropatius of Teplice", which will be published in Musicalia 30 so, the periodical of the Czech Museum of Music, published by the National Museum in Prague.

Johannes Campanus (1572-1629).

The Composer Who Composed Nothing

At the beginning of the 17th century, Latin versions of psalms were among the best known (and best selling) works of Jan Campanus of Vodnany, poet and professor at the university in Prague. The first volume of his odes, which contained poetic psalm translations, was published in Prague in 1611 with the printer Jonata Bohutsky. The second volume followed two years later and included songs for all the holy days and Sundays in a year, and the third volume was published in 1616: a paraphrase of the Song of Songs.

The popular edition was soon published abroad: the first volume came out in 1613 in Amberg, printed by Johann Schonfeld. All three volumes were collected into a single tome and published in Frankfurt in 1618 in an edition that remains the most famous today, which included a notated appendix. It was on the basis of this edition that Campanus was long considered a composer--even today, pieces from the Frankfurt edition are presented at concerts and on recordings under his name.

How Jan Campanus Became a Composer

Perhaps the first to introduce Campanus to the fellowship of composers and musicians was Robert Eitner, who included the entry Campanus Johannes in his 19th-century lexicon. In addition to a short description of the author, Eitner also included a reference to the Frankfurt edition of Campanus' odes. The popular interwar volume, Pazdirek's Musical Dictionary, picks up where Eitner left off, providing an entry on Campanus of considerable length but without labelling him a composer, merely stating that "in addition to many humanist volumes, he also made metro-rhythmic translations of the psalms (...) and published the Sacrarum odarum libri duo (Frankfurt, 1618)".

The breaking point in the general perception of Campanus as a composer came with Jan Branberger's Kampanovy harmonic poeticke (The Poetic Harmonies of Campanus), written to accompany a bibliophile edition of a translation of Campanus' psalms and odes published in 1942. As it was written during the war, Branberger's text betrays a certain nationalist pathos. Its aim was to display another of the remarkable artistic skills possessed by the well-known pre-White-Mountain man of letters. In the conclusion of his text, Branberger writes that he discovered Campanus as a composer as early as the spring of 1937, after which he handed the music over to musicians. Branberger thus created Campanus the composer, and the times, defined by a need to discover the glorious past of Czech culture, accepted his proposition without a shadow of a doubt.

It was Jitka Snizkova who picked up the baton of Branberger's suggestive text, publishing an anthology--highly inspirational in its time--of Czech Polyphonic Musk: A Selection of Polyphonic Works of Czech Origin of the 16th and 17th Centuries, Prague 1958. She describes Campanus directly as a poet and composer and includes transcriptions of three pieces attributed to him. Rorando coeli from Campanus' Frankfurt collection was also included in the popular and widely used anthology of Czech music published by Jaroslav Pohanka that same year.

A few years later, the Czechoslovak Musical Dictionary of People and Institutions was published, in which Campanus was described as a Czech humanist and composer, his musical oeuvre characterised by "being grounded in the old Renaissance style, but through a propensity towards homophony arriving at the outer edges of early Baroque monody". This description was worked out in detail in Milan Postolka's analytical study, published in 1970, which was written in German and published in the renowned university anthology Miscellanea musicologica.

Campanus the composer was thus grounded in international musicology, particularly through a comparative study of his relation to the important central European Lutheran poet and hymnographer Jiri Tranovsky (Georgius Tranoscius, 1592-1637). Jitka Snizkova returned to editing Campanus' collection of odes and notations once again at the close of the 1970s, when she published a transcription of all the melodies contained in the Frankfurt publication within the Musica Antiqua Bohemica edition. This edition fortified the general conviction in Campanus' original compositional activities.

Milan Postolka is also the author and editor of the Campanus entry in the latest edition of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, the seminal German musical dictionary. Here too, he assumes that Campanus is not only the author of the poetry in the 1618 Frankfurt edition but also the composer of the appended musical settings. However, in the final sentence of his text, he admits that this cannot be definitively confirmed. The latest edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians was also published around this time, where the Campanus entry was prepared by Jan Kouba, who also describes Campanus as a composer. He has revised his opinion over time, however, and in the recently published Dictionary of Old Czech Hymnographers (2017), he casts doubt on Campanus' authorship.

What We Can Learn from the Prologue to the Amberg Edition (1618)

The legitimacy of these doubts was confirmed by the recent discovery of the collected edition of the Odarum sacrarum libri duo, printed by Schonfeld in Amberg in the same year as the famous Frankfurt edition--1618. It survives in two specimens, one held in the State Library in Regensburg, the other in the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbiittel. The Amberg edition is identical to the Frankfurt edition in the texts of all three collections of poetry, but it differs in the number of accompanying poems and, most importantly, in that it contains a foreword by the author.

The content of the foreword to the 1618 Amberg edition differs considerably from those found in older editions, helping us specify our ideas about Campanus as a poet and about how his odes were set to music. The author casts his mind back to the first edition, published by Jonata Bohutsky, and his initial fears about how it would be received, partly due to the fact that he dared set the psalms using a form popular in the Middle Ages. Campanus then evokes his Czech forebears in the genre (namely Matous Collin and Vaclav Nicolaides Vodnansky) and names all the supporters and friends who helped him with his work (teachers Lukas Ezechiel, Jochaim Golzius, Mikulas Novasky, and Vaclav Nizenius; supporters Adam Rosacius and his brother Sofonias, Jan Benicius, and Jan Kralovicky).

Towards the end of the foreword, the author moves from rhetoric back to the circumstances of the publication. He writes that after two years, he was told by numerous individuals to publish both parts of the odes in a single volume. He also added a paraphrase of the Song of Songs. Apparently, when he tried to rework the original odes, he discovered he was only deforming them, which is why he decided it would be better to write new ones.

The foreword concludes with the following passage: "My advisor wished me also to add Czech melodies, that is (as he himself explained) sweet ones; I hoped that I would acquire these melodies from the gentlemen Jan Strejc and Pavel Spongopeus, composers of practical music. However, both were too busy with their activities in the municipal council in Kutna Hora and elsewhere and could not help me. This is why I appended those that had already been sent to me by the school inspector in Koufim, Tobias Adalbert, relying on another's ears. The rest, dear reader, I leave (so that I might finally stop providing arguments in my defence) to your kind judgement."

What the Newly Discovered Foreword Tells Us

The final words of Campanus' foreword make it clear that the Frankfurt edition contains a collection of pieces most likely written by various authors of diverse origin, which were then collected (and perhaps partly composed) by Tobias Adalbert. This practice is not all that surprising. We find a similar approach in the Wittenberg publication Harmonic univocae in odas Horatianas, prepared by Matous Collinus following a commission by Jan Hodejovsky. Collinus probably composed some of the monophonic melodies intended for the singing of odes by Horace, but his work mostly consisted of collecting these from various sources. The third edition of Matous Collins' school book follows in this tradition, published in 1569 by Jan Nicolaides Brnensky as Libellus elementarius and printed in Prague by Jan Jicinsky. In this edition, we find twenty-nine notated melodies which are taken from the German tradition of setting humanist odes, and from anonymous, indigenous, and archaic polyphony. And we must also add that in 1618, Prague saw the publication of a new version, in a costly edition printed by Daniel Karolides' press, of the four-voice metrical psalm settings by Claude Goudimel (known as the Genevan Psalter), popular throughout Europe, here provided with Czech rhymed translations by Jin Strejc, who proceeded from the German version by Andreas Lobwasser. This edition is further proof of the period's propensity for settings of psalmic poetry.

Who Was Tobias Adalbert?

Tobias Adalbert, who provided Campanus with the melodies for his odes, was a native of Vodnany (like Campanus himself). It was under the tutelage of Campanus that Adalbert graduated from the university in Prague. He was active as a rector at schools in Prague and elsewhere. In 1617, he became the pastor at St Clement's Church in the New Town of Prague, and was later exiled to Pirna in Saxony. His bachelor's thesis focused on the question of whether human beings were given anything more pleasant than music.

We know little of the specifics of Adalbert's compositional activities. From a mention by another of Campanus' pupils and successors in the tradition of metro-rhythmic spiritual poetry, Tobias Hauschkonius, we know that Tobias Adalbert wanted to provide Campanus' songs with new melodies for four voices. Hauschkonius and Campanus had a good relationship and the former also wrote the introductory poem for a published version of Adalbert's bachelor's thesis, and in 1618, Campanus dedicated his elegy on the birth of the Lord to Adalbert and several other non-Catholic clergymen.

However, the Amberg edition, in whose foreword Campanus mentions the melodies appended to the odes, contains no notation. We can perhaps assume that the foreword was originally intended for the Frankfurt edition, ultimately rejected due to its controversial nature. The most likely situation is that the Amberg printer chose to omit the notation due to technical or financial reasons.

Maintaining Our Respect for Jan Campanus

The discovery that Jan Campanus is not the author of the melodies printed in the Frankfurt edition of his Odes is no loss for Czech musical culture, nor does it call into question his extraordinary literary qualities or significance of Campanus himself. It remains a question where Tobias Adalbert found the melodies he used. No definite source has been found and it is most likely that it was a selection of anonymous music which was used in Czech schools to teach metre, singing, and, presumably, composition.

In most of these four-part pieces, we can hardly speak of originality or authorship. They are generally short sections of homorhythmic counterpoint that could have been composed by a musically educated man of letters or university graduate. It is thus highly likely that for every metre used by the humanists, several monophonic and polyphonic melodies were available and could be paired with texts of the same metre.

These melodies probably did not have a single author. They were contrafacts of a kind, transmitted anonymously through the culture of the time. As in the case of Campanus' Frankfurt edition, these were minor compositions in the form of mensural songs with the melody in the descant or tenor voice, or else humanist odes. In order to determine their origin, we would have to scour the extensive and generally anonymous repertoire of European secular music: canzonas, instrumental music, humanist ode, and song.

by Marta Vaculinova (1) and Petr Danek (2)

(1) Centre for Classical Studies at the Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences

(2) Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences

This theme was treated extensively in the study "Amicus Immusicus. A Study on the Tradition of the Idea of Jan Campanus as a Composer", published in Hudebni veda LVI-2/2019, pp. 165-185.
COPYRIGHT 2020 Czech Music Information
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2020 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:czech music / history
Author:Vaculinova, Marta; Danek, Petr
Publication:Czech Music
Geographic Code:4EUGR
Date:Apr 1, 2020
Words:5225
Previous Article:Andreas Hammerschmidt and His Sacred Concertos.
Next Article:Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 5.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |