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Curious and Modern InventionsInstrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo's Italy$
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Rebecca Cypess

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226319445

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226319582.001.0001

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The stile moderno and the Art of History

The stile moderno and the Art of History

Artisanship and Historical Consciousness in the Works of Dario Castello

(p.187) Chapter 6 The stile moderno and the Art of History
Curious and Modern Inventions

Rebecca Cypess

University of Chicago Press

Early modern composers distinguished themselves from their predecessors by referring to their work as “modern”; these assertions of modernity reflect a growing historical consciousness—a desire to distinguish the present moment from the past. The clearest manifestation of such historical sense outside of music was in the ars historica of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Music, too, had its ars historica—the work of theorists and composers who sought to separate themselves from earlier traditions. Monteverdi’s seconda prattica (“second practice”) represents one example, but another lies in the purely instrumental works by Dario Castello, which he called Sonate concertate in stil moderno (Concerted sonatas in the modern style). Castello’s sonatas use the older genre of the canzona as a template, but depart from that genre in their application of distinctly modern techniques. These techniques are governed above all by the habitus of the performer, and Castello’s sonatas thus bring the performer’s physical, bodily sense to bear on the articulation of the modern style. These sonatas thus constitute an artisanal contribution to the ars historica.

Keywords:   Dario Castello, sonata, Canzona, Ars historica, art of history, artisan, Seconda prattica, Stile moderno

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