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Renaissance Music Theory as Literature: On Reading the Proportionale Musices of Iohannes Tinctoris

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A reluctance to consider the literary context in which early Renaissance music theory was conceived and written has led to a disregard for the intellectual and educational background of writers on music. Tinctoris's theoretical writings, specifically the prohemium of his Proportionale musices (c. 1473), are better appreciated when placed in the context of his stylistic preoccupations and the influence of Cicero's De oratore; here, for the first time, Tinctoris offers public display of his belief in the necessity of eloquence, in the persuasive power of the written word and of the writer himself.

Keywords: Literature; Music (theory); Renaissance; Tinctoris, Iohannes (Proportionale musices)

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 1987

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