Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Modal Theory, Church Keys, and the Sonata at the End of the Seventeenth Century

Gregory Barnett
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Summer, 1998), pp. 245-281
DOI: 10.2307/831978
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/831978
Page Count: 37
  • Download ($22.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Modal Theory, Church Keys, and the Sonata at the End of the Seventeenth Century
Preview not available

Abstract

In the latter half of the seventeenth century, two composers, Giovanni Maria Bononcini and Giulio Cesare Arresti, published collections of sonatas arranged according to modal criteria. Although their conceptions of a modal system differ markedly from one another and from other modal theories of the period, Bononcini's and Arresti's common use of a particular set of eight tonalities concurs with a widespread practice among seicento sonata composers that was also widely attested by theorists. In their music, composers extended these eight tonalities to greater numbers through transpositions. This practice thus reflects an a priori conception of a tonal system based on a core set of tonalities plus transpositions of that set. This core set derives, not from the modes, but from tonalities originating in the eight psalm tones used in the Catholic offices. The significance of these psalm tone tonalities-otherwise known as church keys-cannot be underestimated: they provide a crucial link between seventeenth-century modal theory and the musical practice of that period; moreover, the particular characteristics of the psalm tones themselves explain features found in late seicento tonalities.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[245]
    [245]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
246
    246
  • Thumbnail: Page 
247
    247
  • Thumbnail: Page 
248
    248
  • Thumbnail: Page 
249
    249
  • Thumbnail: Page 
250
    250
  • Thumbnail: Page 
251
    251
  • Thumbnail: Page 
252
    252
  • Thumbnail: Page 
253
    253
  • Thumbnail: Page 
[254]
    [254]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
255
    255
  • Thumbnail: Page 
256
    256
  • Thumbnail: Page 
257
    257
  • Thumbnail: Page 
258
    258
  • Thumbnail: Page 
259
    259
  • Thumbnail: Page 
260
    260
  • Thumbnail: Page 
261
    261
  • Thumbnail: Page 
262
    262
  • Thumbnail: Page 
263
    263
  • Thumbnail: Page 
264
    264
  • Thumbnail: Page 
265
    265
  • Thumbnail: Page 
266
    266
  • Thumbnail: Page 
267
    267
  • Thumbnail: Page 
268
    268
  • Thumbnail: Page 
269
    269
  • Thumbnail: Page 
270
    270
  • Thumbnail: Page 
271
    271
  • Thumbnail: Page 
272
    272
  • Thumbnail: Page 
273
    273
  • Thumbnail: Page 
274
    274
  • Thumbnail: Page 
275
    275
  • Thumbnail: Page 
276
    276
  • Thumbnail: Page 
277
    277
  • Thumbnail: Page 
278
    278
  • Thumbnail: Page 
279
    279
  • Thumbnail: Page 
280
    280
  • Thumbnail: Page 
281
    281