ORA Thesis: "Harpsichord and lute music in seventeenth-century France" - uuid:525956f0-fd49-4649-94e5-c52ad46221cb




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Reference: Ledbetter, David., (1985). Harpsichord and lute music in seventeenth-century France. DPhil. University of Oxford.

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Title: Harpsichord and lute music in seventeenth-century France
Subtitle: An assessment of the influence of lute on keyboard repertoire


The view that the lute exercised an important influence on the formation of French harpsichord style in the seventeenth century is a commonplace of musicology which has not until now been thoroughly investigated. This thesis is an attempt to determine the nature of that influence taking into account as much of the available relevant material as possible. The first chapter outlines the status and function of stringed keyboard instruments, particularly in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, using a wide variety of non-musical sources whether literary, archival, or documentary. It also charts the relative standing of the two instruments and the interrelationship of their repertoires as viewed by contemporaries throughout the seventeenth century. The second chapter provides a survey of the evolution of French lute style based on a detailed study of most of the French lute sources from the period cl600-cl670 and including the more important sources from cl670-cl700. The third chapter presents detailed comparisons of individual works existing in versions for both lute and keyboard. These are based on numerous parallel transcriptions presented in the second volume. The material for this section is provided by a concordance file for virtually all French seventeenth-century lute sources designed to be usable in conjunction with Gustafson's keyboard catalogue. The final chapter is an attempt to define the degree of affinity existing between particular features of the central harpsichord style and that of the lute on the basis of principles established in the previous discussions. This thesis contains the first detailed discussion of the works of the principal seventeenth-century French lutenists in the context of a survey of the general development of the lute style. Numerous illustrative examples of hitherto unpublished lute music are included in the second volume. The final chapter also discusses some new sources of French harpsichord music dating from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, with transcriptions. Also discussed for the first time is the Premier Livre (1687) of Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, and a transcription of a suite supposedly written in imitation of the lute is given. A comprehensive concordance of pieces existing in versions for both lute and harpsichord is given in Volume II.

Type of Award:DPhil
Level of Award:Doctoral
Awarding Institution: University of Oxford
Notes:The digital copy of this thesis has been made available thanks to the generosity of Dr Leonard Polonsky
About The Authors
institutionUniversity of Oxford
facultyFaculty of Music
Bibliographic Details
Issue Date: 1985
Urn: uuid:525956f0-fd49-4649-94e5-c52ad46221cb
Source identifier: 602344974
Source identifier: 602344975
Item Description
Member of collection : ora:thesis
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  • Dr Leonard Polonsky thesis digitisation
Copyright Holder: Ledbetter, David John
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