An microtonal Renaissance

Nicola Vicentino was an influential composer and music theorist active during the renaissance, he was particularly interested in alternative tuning systems and the chromatic possibilities they brought about. Check out this video of a reconstruction of his archicembalo, a keyboard instrument he designed to play his tuning system.

Nicola Vicentino

Nicola Vicentino

Vincentino taught the composer Luzzasco Luzzaschi, who became a virtuoso on the archicembalo. Luzzaschi went on to teach Frescobaldi and the lesser known composer Gesualdo, the latter of which wrote particularly chromatic music compared to his contemporaries. The documentary Death for Five Voices, by Werner Herzog, is a really interesting account of Gesualdo’s tortured life, he killed his wife and her lover after finding them together in bed, and later killed their child by starvation. His music reflects his chaotic life for sure, check out Moro Lasso from his last complete book of madrigals; this is by far one of his most dissonant and chromatically interesting pieces in my opinion.

Carlo Gesualdo

Carlo Gesualdo

Lastly I wanted to add some contemporary music by the composer Julian Carrillo, who also worked with different tuning systems. I have only recently been turned on to his music, but from what I’ve heard I’m very impressed!

Enjoy,

ppp

Advertisements

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s