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 Resource Type: Book
 Collection: Virtual Music Rare Book Room
Le istitutioni harmoniche

Le istitutioni harmoniche

Date: 1562
Creator: Zarlino, Gioseffo, 1517-1590.
Description: This is a 1562 copy of "Le istitutioni harmoniche," one of the most influential music theory treatises written by Gioseffo Zarlino. The first edition appeared in Venice in 1558. The treatise, divided in four parts, includes theoretical and practical elements of music. The first two parts discuss philosophical, cosmological and mathematical aspects of music, Greek tonal system and tuning. The third and fourth parts cover the rules of counterpoint and modes, respectively. This copy bears a dedication to Vicenzo Diedo. It contains a table of contents per chapter and list of corrections. Several handwritten annotations appear on the t.p. ink: "coll: cochi nuoi soc: Jesù;" "exdono Joannis Jerary;" and "Inscriptet catalog."
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Jeannot et Colin

Jeannot et Colin

Date: 1857
Creator: Etienne, Charles Guillaume, 1777-1845.
Description: This is a ca. 1857 copy of the libretto of Jeannot et Colin, an opera by Charles Etienne with music by Nicolo Isouard. The opera premiered in Paris at the theater of the Opéra-Comique on 17 October 1814. The expressive melodies of the opera as well as its performers ensured its success. The opera was staged again on 14 October 1857. The first page of the library's copy contain the names of the performers that participated in both productions.
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Momie

Momie

Date: 1778?
Creator: Despréaux, Jean Étienne, 1748-1820.
Description: This is a ca. 1778 libretto for the burlesque opera in three acts "Momie" by a Jean Étiennethat Despréaux. The opera is a parody based on Leblanc du Roullet's libretto of "Iphigénie en Aulide," an opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The libretto includes the titles of the tunes at the opening of each scene. Page 6 of the library's copy is incorrectly numbered as page 9.
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The Padlock

The Padlock

Date: 1768
Creator: Bickerstaff, Isaac, 1735-1812.
Description: This is a copy of a ca. 1768 edition of Isaac Bickerstaff libretto for the two-act English comic opera "The Paddlock" by Charles Dibdin. The plot is an adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes's "El celoso extremeño" (translated as, The Jealous Estremaduran). The t.p. features a vignette signed by IJ Taylor [possibly by the London engraver Isaac Taylor (1730-1807)] with four infants. The one at the center is holding several keys and is playing horse riding with a walking stick that has a padlock attached to it. In the story, Don Diego, a rich old man, hopes to marry the young Leonora and locks her inside his house using a large padlock on the front door. After bribing the servants, the younger suitor, Leander, climbs over the garden wall to court Leonora. Don Diego returns unexpectedly and catches the lovers, but allows the young couple to wed acknowledging that he is too old for Leonora.
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Phaeton

Phaeton

Date: 1683
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Phaeton," by Philippe Quinolt. The plot is based on an episode in Ovid's Metamorphoses. In the plot, Phaethon, son of Climène and Soleil [the Sun], is filled with excessive ambition and pride. He abandons his beloved, Théone, and requests to the King of Egypt the hand of his daughter Libie. Climène, who after consulting the sea god Proteus knows of the demise that her son's avarice will bring upon himself, tries in vain to discourage his ambition for the throne of Egypt and urges him to renew his love for Theona. However, Phaeton goaded by the taunts of his rival, Epaphus, rides recklessly across the sky in his father's chariot. The spectacular ending includes Jupiter's thunderbolts aimed at stopping Phaethon's wild ride, and Phaethon crashing onto earth where he dies. An ensemble and chorus provide a sorrowful denouement. On the title page for this opera, there is a lithograph illustration of the god Apollo holding a lyre and the goddess Euterpe playing a stringed instrument that resembles a guitar. It also depicts the fleur de lis, and on the background, an allegorical image Louis XIV, the Sun King. It also includes an engraved frontispiece titled, "Le ...
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Le piacevoli poesie

Le piacevoli poesie

Date: 1750
Creator: Baretti, Giuseppe Marco Antonio, 1719-1789.
Description: This is a ca. 1750 copy of "Le piacevoli poesie di Giuseppe Baretti" (The Pleasing Poetry of Giuseppe Baretti). Although Baretti is primarily remembered for his frequent travels throughout Italy, England, France, and Portugal, which he recounted in his "Lettere familiari ai suoi tre fratelli," he was also a scholar, linguist, poet, translator, and journalist. He wrote "Le piacevoli poesie di Giuseppe Baretti" in 1750. The poetry imitated the style of Fancesco Berni, a 16th-century Italian poet who wrote parodies and burlesque letters-much of it obscene in nature. The introduction of this work was written by the Venetian Count Gasparo Gozzi, himself a poet, prose writer, journalist, critic, and also the brother of Baretti's friend, Carlo Gozzi. The library's copy of "Le piacevoli poesie" is bound with the following librettos: "Ifigenia in Aulide" by Vittorio Amedeo Cigna-Santi; “Catone in Utica,” by Pietro Metastasio; "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi; and "Arianne e Teseo" by Pietro Pariati.
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Pigmalion

Pigmalion

Date: 1773
Creator: Panard, Charles-François, d. 1765.
Description: This is the 1773 edition of the libretto to the comic opera and vaudeville, "Pigmalion" by Charles-François Panard and Thomas Laffichard. The opera premiered at the Paris Opéra Comique in 1735 . The plot is an adaptation of Ovid's story of Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue that he carved. Operatic and ballet representation of the subject of Pigmalion (or Pygmalion) became famous after Antoine Houdar de la Motte's entrée "La sculpture" for the ballet "Le triomphe des arts," which staged in 1700 at Académie Royale de Musique with music by Michel de la Barre. Page 16 of this edition was incorrectly numbered as number 10.
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Plain and easy introduction to practical music

Plain and easy introduction to practical music

Date: 1771
Creator: Morley, Thomas, 1557-1603?
Description: In 1597, while Morley was negotiating for the patent, he wrote his musical treatise, A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke. Although his preface contains the statement that he had “nothing better to do,” Morley probably knew publishing a treatise on the science of music would boost public interest in purchasing musical works. In addition, by publishing such a work, the English audience would view Morley as an authority in music (and he would become more likely to obtain the patent) (Smith, “Print Culture and the Elizabethan Composer,” 163). The work is practical, and is organized into three sections: teaching to sing simple song, teaching to sing two parts over a plainsong or ground, and teaching counterpoint.
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Prattica di musica, utile et necessaria si al compositore per comporre i canti suoi regolatamente, si anco al cantore per assicurarsi in tutte le cose cantabili

Prattica di musica, utile et necessaria si al compositore per comporre i canti suoi regolatamente, si anco al cantore per assicurarsi in tutte le cose cantabili

Date: 1596
Creator: Zacconi, Lodovico, 1555-1627.
Description: This book is the first part of Lodovico Zacconi's "Prattica di musica," published in 1596. The contents of this book are divided in four parts covering: the history of music, definition of musical terms, introduction to musical notation, modes, time and prolation, rules of counterpoint, musica ficta, classification of musical instruments, and proper manner of singing polyphonic works and musical ornaments. A second part, "Prattica di musica seconda parte," was published in Venice in 1622. The library's copy contains the following pagination errors: leaves 30, 67, 124, 130, 134, 188 were numbered incorrectly as 29, 140, 130, 122, 130, 194, respectively. There are two leaves numbered 50, each containing the parts for the alto, bass and tenor with underlaid text "Beatus author seculi" and "Residuo." Each leaf is preceded by another leaf that contains the singing parts for the cantus, quintus and tenor. These are two versions of a polyphonic setting, in duple time and triple mensuration, respectively. In the second example, the words Gloria tibi domine" appear under the cantus and quintus.
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Proserpine

Proserpine

Date: 1680
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Proserpine," by Philippe Quinolt; the plot is based on the story of the abduction of Proserpine and her descent into Hades, and also on Ovid's Metamorphoses, its original source. In the plot, Cerés, the goddess of the earth, summons the nymph Aréthuse to guard her daughter Proserpine. Aréthuse protests, and tells Cerés of her love for Alphée, the river god, but the anxious mother warns her she should not let her own feelings interfere with the assigned task. Alphée assumes that Aréthuse abandoned him to look after Proserpine. Taking advantage of the situation, Ascalaphe, Pluto's envoy, encourages Alphée's belief in Aréthuse's supposed infidelity; then, persuades both Alphée and Aréthuse into letting Pluto watch over Proserpine. Alphée and Aréthuse agree and as the lovers' attention wanders, Pluto seizes Proserpine and abducts her. Cerés learns of her daughter's abduction and in despair decides to withhold her gifts that give earth prosperity. When Alphée and Aréthuse finally reach Proserpine, they find that she has already eaten of the grain and tasted the fruit of the underworld, which condemned her to Pluto's control. Proserpine begs Pluto for mercy, but the love-stricken god refuses to free her. Pluto summons his judges ...
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Roland

Roland

Date: 1685
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Roland" by Philippe Quinault; he based the plot of Roland on medieval legends of chivalry, setting episodes from Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem "Orlando furioso." Roland centers on the conflict between duty and love and the intervention of goddesses. This copy includes includes handwritten annotations of performers' names, and a frontispiece engraving undersigned by Jean Dolivar (i.e., Juan Dolivar) that illustrates one of the scenes from the opera. Jean-Baptiste Lully composed the music of the opera which premiered on January 8, 1685.
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Sofonisba

Sofonisba

Date: 1764
Creator: Verazi, Mattia.
Description: This is a ca. 1764 copy of the libretto of the opera seria "Sofonisba" by Mattia Verazi. Baldassare Galuppi set this libretto to music for the 1764 carnival season in Turin. Mattia Verazi became a court poet at Mannheim and Stuttgart in 1756. Duke Carl Eugen favored operas with French influence, and Verazi catered to his tastes by providing libretti that deviated from Metastasian opera conventions. In 1762, Verazi and Tommaso Traeta collaborated to create operas following French models. Sofonisba was the result of such collaboration. Sofonisba and Siface, king of Numidia, are married and have a child. When Siface fails to return from battle against the Romans, Massinissa, Sofonisba’s former suitor, renews his advances. Siface appears among the captives and rejoins his wife but fail in their attempt to escape from their Roman captors. Afraid that she will be marched in chains through the streets of Rome, Sofonisba poisons herself and is dying when the news arrives that all has been resolved. Baldassare Galuppi composed the music of the opera for the 1764 Turin carnival season. The opening scene includes a programmatic sinfonia that accompanies a pantomimed battle, and later, another pantomime that depicts gladiatorial games. Verazi included detailed ...
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Storia della musica

Storia della musica

Date: 1770
Creator: Martini, Giovanni Battista, 1706-1784.
Description: This is a copy of the second of three volumes of "Storia della musica" (Music History) by Giovanni Batista Martini. Each volume bears a different dedicatee: v.1: alla Sacra reale cattolica Maestà Maria Barbara; v.2: All'Altezza serenissima elettorale di Carlo Teodoro; v.3: a sua Altezza reale Don Ferdinando di Borbone. The t.p. of this volume is printed in red and black ink and decorated with a border that depicts various musical instruments. It also features an illustration of a minotaur and a young boy (presumably, the god Apollo) holding a lyre. This volume is divided in nine chapters and three dissertations. The start of each chapter and each dissertation features, within an ornamented oval-shaped frame, the notated music of a canon in a five-line staff with underlaid text taken from works by Hesiod, Homer, Anacreon, and Sophocles. The book contains maps of Greece and Asia Minor, as well as a table that summarizes the divisions of the breve and prolations translated to 18th century musical notation practice. Chapter 1 discusses the origins of music according to precepts passed down from antiquity and Greece as well as the theory of musical intervals. Chapter 2 discusses several Greek mythological figures and a ...
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Storia della musica

Storia della musica

Date: 1757
Creator: Martini, Giovanni Battista, 1706-1784.
Description: This is a copy of the first of three volumes of "Storia della musica" (Music History) by Giovanni Batista Martini. Each volume bears a different dedicatee: v.1: alla Sacra reale cattolica Maestà Maria Barbara; v.2: All'Altezza serenissima elettorale di Carlo Teodoro; v.3: a sua Altezza reale Don Ferdinando di Borbone. The t.p. of this volume is printed in red and black ink and decorated with a border that depicts various musical instruments and includes a pastoral scene depicting Euterpe, the muse of music, holding a lyre and a horn as allegory of a scepter, and accompanied by various putti singing or playing musical instruments. Each page of the book is decorated with an ornamented border. The volume is divided in eleven chapters and three dissertations. The start of each chapter and each dissertation features, within an ornamented oval-shaped frame, the notated music of a canon in a five-line staff with underlaid text taken from passages in the book of Psalms and other books of the Old Testament. This volume includes an engraved portrait of Martini by an unknown engraver and one illustration by Nicolaus Valleta depicting Queen Maria Barbara of Portugal in the company of several mythology figures, such as ...
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Storia della musica

Storia della musica

Date: 1781
Creator: Martini, Giovanni Battista, 1706-1784.
Description: This is a copy of the third of three volumes of "Storia della musica" (Music History) by Giovanni Batista Martini. The t.p. of this volume is printed in red and black ink and each page is decorated with an ornamented border. It contains numerous figures, musical examples demonstrating theoretical concepts of Greek music, and footnotes. Each one of the volume bears a different dedicatee: V.1: alla Sacra reale cattolica Maestà Maria Barbara; v.2: All'Altezza serenissima elettorale di Carlo Teodoro; v.3: a sua Altezza reale Don Ferdinando di Borbone. The present vol. 3 is divided as follows: ch.1 - Greek music (pp. 1-24); ch.2 - Poetics, music and drama (pp. 25-90); ch.3 Dramatic poetry (pp. 91-148); ch.4 - Medieval and new dramatic poetry (pp.149-169); ch.5 - Music in Greek tragedy and drama (pp. 170-197); ch. 6 - Illustrious Greek music teachers (pp.198-268); ch.7 Greek philosophers on music (pp.269-369); ch.8 - Greek music theory practice (pp.370-440); Dissertation on the prodigious effect produced by antique Greek music (pp.[419]-440); Index of people mentioned in the volume (pp.441-445); Index of authors with short biography, in alphabetical order (pp445-458); Errata (p. 459).
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Thetis et Pelée

Thetis et Pelée

Date: 1689
Creator: Fontenelle, M. de (Bernard Le Bovier), 1657-1757.
Description: Libretto of the opera "Thetis et Pelée" by Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle. In the plot, the Nereid Thetis is wooed by Jupiter and Neptune, as well as by a mortal, Pelée (Peleus). When a storm caused by Neptune disrupts a celebration Jupiter gave in honor of Thetis, an oracle is consulted, which foretells that Thetis's husband will one day be less powerful than his son. Neptune and Jupiter withdraw their claims, and Thetis marries Pelée. Pascal Collasse composed the music of the opera which premiered at the Paris Opéra on January 11, 1689. This copy includes an engraved frontispiece titled, "Thetis et Pelée" by Juan Dolivar (undersigned as J. Dolivart).
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Tractatus de musica

Tractatus de musica

Date: 1875
Creator: Tinctoris, Johannes, d. 1511.
Description: The present volume is a 1875 compendium of various Latin music treatises by Johannes Tinctoris gathered from manuscript sources from Brussels, Bologna and Gand. The present edition, edited by Charles Coussemaker, comprises ten of the twelve surviving manuscripts of Tinctoris's theoretical works. According to Oxford Music, these were written in the first few years of his employment at Ferrante's court and demonstrate Tinctoris's intellectual and pedagogical mastery of music theory. They also demonstrate his acquaintance with contemporaneous composers of the early Renaissance Burgundian composers like Antoine Busnoys, as well as with the music of Franco-Flemish composers such as Johannes Ockeghem. Below is a table of content listing the titles of each treatise and a brief description of the concepts they treat. Treatises and Description: "Expositio manus" - this treatise is divided in 10 chapters consisting of: definitions, places, clefs, voicing, properties, deductions, mutations, conjunctions, conclusion; "Liber de natura et proprietate tonorum" - this treatise is divided in 51 chapters containing: definitions and name of tones, concerning the species diatessaron and diapente, formation of first throughout the eighth tone, authentic and plagal modes, ascending and descending perfect/imperfect tones; "Tractatius de notis et pausi" - this treatise is divided in two books. ...
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Le triomphe de l'amour

Le triomphe de l'amour

Date: 1681
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.
Description: Libretto of the ballet "Le triomphe de l'amour" written by Philippe Quinault in collaboration with Isaac de Benserade. It is divided in two parts. The first, contais the prologue and the ballet entrances (i.e., entrées); the second part contains flattering comments and instructions directed to the noble people participating in the ballet. Each of the entrées that comprise "Le Triomphe de l'Amour" reveal aspects of love triumphant. The theater represents a magnificently ornate place where a crowd receives Amour (i.e., the god Love), the son of Venus. The latter presides over the crowd and sings of the virtues of the king who has restored peace to his kingdom. Venus entreats everyone to pay homage to her victorious son. The first performance took place at Saint-Germain-en-Laye on January 21, 1681. The twenty entrées of this 'ballet de cour' (i.e., court ballet) were choreographed by Pierre Beauchamp with music by Jean-Baptiste Lully. Carlo Vigarani designed the stage décor and Jean Berain provided designs for costumes and decorations of this royal festivity. This copy includes a frontispiece engraving that depicts a stage setting by Daniel Marot.
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Zephire et Flore

Zephire et Flore

Date: 1688
Creator: Duboullay, Michel
Description: This is a digital reproduction of the 1688 libretto of the opera "Zephire et Flore" by Michel Du Boullay. The music of the opera is attributed to Louis and Jean-Louis Lully, sons of Jean-Baptiste Lully. It was performed for the first time on March 22, 1688 at the Palais Royale in Paris.
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