On Wednesday, October 13 at 6PM CEST (5 PM BST/12 Noon EDT), music scholar Maurice van Lieshout joins the forum to discuss “The influence of language on rhythm in 18th century music”
Maurice writes: "In Molières ‘Le Bourgeois gentilhomme', the music master says: ‘il faut, Monsieur, que l’air soit accomodé aux paroles’ ('It is necessary, Sir, that the tune be suited to the words'). Taken at face value the mentioned words of the music master seem trivial. But there just might be considerably more to it:
While focusing on the early 18th century dance, the Sarabande, I will show a large number of extracts and examples from contemporaneous sources to discuss the influence of spoken language on musical rhythm. Looking at the French, Italian and German examples of the Sarabande, we can note the regional differences in the understanding of its rhythm and trace it to the native languages of the composers. Of special interest are the mutations that occur when these rhythms cross regional borders.
Rather than aiming at a full understanding of these resources, I try to convey the opportunities this method, which is central to historical performance practice, offers for artistic decision making and attentive listening."
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