Approaches to accompaniment on the baroque guitar c.1590-c.1730

Miles, Natasha Frances (2014). Approaches to accompaniment on the baroque guitar c.1590-c.1730. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The five-course guitar was used as an instrument of accompaniment from the mid-sixteenth to the late-eighteenth century, yet its importance in this role has largely been overlooked in scholarship to date. While there are some isolated studies of individual sources, this is the first comprehensive study of the substantial body of extant guidelines with a view to understanding the styles of accompaniment on the instrument and how their practices developed during this period. This thesis documents the chronological development of the performance practices in such a way that parallels may be drawn between these sources and treatises for other instruments of accompaniment. Guitar accompaniments were, however, also strongly influenced by the performance practices associated with alfabeto chord symbols. Thus, to enable an understanding of the more idiomatic characteristics of guitar accompaniment stemming from alfabeto practices, a detailed evaluation of the true sophistication of the language of alfabeto is provided for the first time. This study provides a complete re-evaluation of the five-course guitar as an instrument of accompaniment; it challenges the past relegation of the instrument to ‘light’ or ‘frivolous’ musical repertoires; and it highlights the various approaches that were adopted in diverse performance contexts.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Music
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study


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