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2011 | 8 | 5-26

Article title

FROM MANUSCRIPT TO PRINT. MUSIC FACING THE CHANGE OF ITS MEDIUM (Od rekopisu do druku. Muzyka wobec zmiany medium.)

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The article deals with chosen aspects of the transformation of European musical culture caused by the invention of printing. On the one hand, the first printers followed the patterns of the manuscripts, but, on the other hand, they must have considered the technological and economic conditions in which musical printing was developing. This led in the XVIth century to the emergence of new forms of transmitting music which had important consequences for the character of musical culture at that time. The musical notation was standardised and simplified, making the flow of the repertoire easier and enlarging the number of purchasers. From the time of Petrucci, music started to be notated in the partbooks which strongly supported the development of the polychoral, as in Monteverdi, and of the vocal-instrumental music. The newly created models of musical editions were influenced by economic calculations and by market strategies. One of the elements of those strategies consisted in printing madrigals and chansons in multi-volume series, which contributed to the emergence of categorising the various works. The power of print was so substantial, that already in the second half of the XVIth century, we find manuscripts modelled on the printed versions. Whether we consider the changes caused by the typography to be revolutionary or evolutionary, there is no doubt that their influence was crucial. The consequences of this new medium spread over vast areas of culture of early modern times, including music, which still remains to be thoroughly investigated.






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  • Pawel Gancarczyk, Instytut Sztuki PAN, ul. Dluga ul. Dluga 26/28, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland


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Publication order reference


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