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By Dorothea Baumann

This ebook explores a paradox: how can a musical paintings that was once written in particular for a definite architectural house «survive» dramatic alterations in functionality stipulations, as relating to Handel’s Messiah? From the chamber song corridor in Dublin the place it used to be first played in 1742, small baroque theaters, and the chapel of London’s Foundling medical institution, performances of Messiah after Handel’s demise moved to cathedrals, to new and big 19th-century live performance halls, and eventually to the sizeable Crystal Palace in Sydenham. Are there obstacles picking out an enough functionality? How do we outline the standard of room acoustics and the way does this caliber impact the functionality as genuine sonorous presentation of a musical paintings? in brief, how do assorted acoustical stipulations have an effect on easy aesthetic premises?
There are not any uncomplicated solutions to those complicated questions, which elicit diversified responses in response to various issues of view. This point of cultural heritage unavoidably demands an research according to systematic, historic, and mental tools. within the first a part of this booklet, which pulls from an intensive database of records on halls, theatres, and church buildings, crucial suggestions from the most disciplines concerned are brought so one can outline caliber of room acoustics in terms of various functionality events. This history then serves as framework to enquire the functionality background of Handel’s Messiah within the moment half.

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Additional info for Music and Space: A systematic and historical investigation into the impact of architectural acoustics on performance practice followed by a study of ... Et Les Arts/Nature, Science and the Arts)

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While chant and improvised polyphony were sung by the canons of the Basilica, polyphony was performed by the professional singers of the Cappella Marciana. ”5 Laura Moretti’s research and the documents presented by Iain Fenlon reveal the following main positions for musicians in San Marco (figure 1 and 2):6 a) the pulpitum magnum cantorum or bigonzo (dating from the first half of the thirteenth century), an octagonal 5 6 8 I. Fenlon, “The Performance of cori spezzati in San Marco” (2006), 94–5.

Aristotle, Problemata, XI, 23, 901/b, cf. Boyer (1945), 93. Vitruvius, De architectura libri X, ed. and translated by M. H. ; on the transmission of general acoustic knowledge of the ancient Greeks in Arabic and Greek translations, see D. Baumann, “Musical Acoustics in the Middle Ages” (1990), 199–210. An adequate critical edition of Vitruvius’ treatise is still lacking. 4 These remarkable definitions must have been based on a long tradition of exact observation. ), ground plan; b) Greek theater showing direct sound and reflected wavefronts from the orchestra floor and the back wall.

Musicians knew that the elevated positions in the crossing and in the choir helped cope with acoustic difficulties in this complex space with its five domes and large pillars separating the main nave, side naves and transept. 30 meters above the singers’ heads. The pergoli provide excellent acoustic conditions for the interplay of two four-voice choirs with one or two singers in each voice and for listeners within the central sacred area, especially for the doge, who sat in the choir, his back to the iconostasis, on a new throne made by Jacopo Sansovino.

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