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Encyclopedia > Florentine Camerata

The Florentine Camerata was a group of humanists, musicians, poets and intellectuals in late Renaissance Florence who gathered under the patronage of Count Giovanni de' Bardi to discuss and guide trends in the arts, especially music and drama. They met mainly from about 1573 until the late 1580s, at the house of Bardi, and their gatherings had the reputation of having all the most famous men of Florence as frequent guests. Known members of the group besides Bardi included Giulio Caccini, Pietro Strozzi, and Vincenzo Galilei (the father of the astronomer Galileo Galilei). Humanism is a system of thought that defines a socio-political doctrine (-ism) whose bounds exceed those of locally developed cultures, to include all of humanity and all issues common to human beings. ... A musician is a person who plays or composes music. ... A poet is some one who writes poetry. ... An intellectual is a person who uses his or her intellect to study, reflect, speculate on, or ask and answer questions with regard to a variety of different ideas. ... Raphael was famous for depicting illustrious figures of the Classical past with the features of his Renaissance contemporaries. ... Country Italy Region Tuscany Province Florence (FI) Mayor Leonardo Domenici Elevation 50 m Area 102 km² Population  - Total (as of 2006-06-02) 366,488  - Density 3,593/km² Time zone CET, UTC+1 Coordinates Gentilic Fiorentini Dialing code 055 Postal code 50100 Frazioni Galluzzo, Settignano Patron St. ... Giovanni de Bardi (February 5, 1534 – September 1612), Count of Vernio, was an Italian literary critic, writer, composer and soldier. ... Events January - articles of Warsaw Confederation signed, sanctioning religious freedom in Poland. ... Caccini, Le Nuove musiche, 1601, title page Giulio Caccini (c. ... Pietro Strozzi (fl. ... Vincenzo Galilei (1520 – July 2, 1591) was an Italian lutenist, composer, and music theorist, and the father of the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei. ... Galileo Galilei (February 15, 1564 – January 8, 1642) was an Italian physicist, astronomer, and philosopher who is closely associated with the scientific revolution. ...


Unifying them was the belief that music had become corrupt, and by returning to the forms and style of the ancient Greeks, the art of music could be improved, and thereby society could be improved as well. They were influenced by Girolamo Mei, the foremost scholar of ancient Greece at the time, who held—among other things—that ancient Greek drama was predominantly sung rather than spoken. While he may have been mistaken, the result was an efflorescence of musical activity unlike anything else at the time, mostly in an attempt to recover the ancient methods. The ancient Greek world circa 550 BC Ancient Greece is the period in Greek history which lasted for around one thousand years and ended with the rise of Christianity. ... Girolamo Mei (May 27, 1519 - July,1594) was an Italian historian and humanist, famous in music history for providing the intellectual impetus to the Florentine Camerata, which attempted to revive ancient Greek music drama. ...


The criticism of contemporary music by the Camerata centered on the overuse of polyphony, at the expense of intelligibility of the sung text. Paradoxically, this was the same criticism levelled at polyphony by the Council of Trent which had met in the immediately preceding decades, although the world-view of the two groups could not have been more different. Intrigued by ancient descriptions of the emotional and moral effect of ancient Greek tragedy and comedy, which they presumed to be sung as a single line to a simple instrumental accompaniment, the Camerata proposed creating a new kind of music. Polyphony is a musical texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony). ... The Council of Trent is the Nineteenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. ... In general usage, a tragedy or tragoedy is a drama, movie or sometimes a real world event with a sad outcome. ... Comedy has a classical meaning (comical theatre) and a popular one (the use of humour with an intent to provoke laughter in general). ...


In 1582 Vincenzo Galilei performed a setting, which he composed himself, of Ugolino's lament from Dante's Inferno; it was a frank imitation of what he thought to be an ancient Greek type of music (unfortunately, the music for this is lost). Caccini also is known to have performed several of his own songs which were more or less chanted melodically over a simple chordal accompaniment. The musical style which developed from these early experiments was called monody; it developed, in the 1590s, through the work of composers such as Jacopo Peri, working in conjunction with poet Ottavio Rinuccini, into a vehicle capable of extended dramatic expression. In 1598, Peri and Rinuccini produced Dafne, an entire drama sung in monodic style: this was the first creation of a new form called "opera." Other composers quickly followed suit, and by the first decade of the seventeenth century the new "music drama" was being widely composed, performed and disseminated. It should be noted that the new form of opera also borrowed from an existing pastoral poetic form called the intermedio, especially for the librettos: it was mainly the musical style that was new. Events January 15 - Russia cedes Livonia and Estonia to Poland February 24 - Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian Calendar. ... The Pisan Cannibal Count Ugolino Gherardesca was a historical personage best known from Dantes fictional depiction of him in Inferno. ... Durante degli Alighieri, better known as Dante Alighieri or simply Dante, (c. ... Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, in Michelinos fresco. ... Caccini, Le Nuove musiche, 1601, title page In poetry, monody is a poem in which one person laments anothers death. ... Jacopo Peri (August 20, 1561 – August 12, 1633) was an Italian composer and singer, often called the inventor of opera. ... Ottavio Rinuccini (1562-1621) was an Italian Baroque composer and librettist. ... Events January 7 - Boris Godunov seizes the throne of Russia following the death of his brother-in-law, Tsar Feodor I. April 13 - Edict of Nantes - Henry IV of France grants French Huguenots equal rights with Catholics. ... The Teatro alla Scala in Milan is one of the worlds most famous opera houses. ... The intermedio, in Italian Renaissance music, is a kind of music which was performed between acts of a play. ... A libretto is the complete body of words used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, sacred or secular oratorio and cantata, musical, and ballet. ...


Of all revolutions in music history, this one was perhaps the most carefully premeditated: it is one of few examples in music, before the twentieth century, of theory preceding practice.


Both Bardi and Galilei left writings expounding their ideas. Bardi wrote the Discorso (1578), a long letter to Giulio Caccini, and Galilei published the Dialogo della musica antica et della moderna (1581-1582). Events January 31 - Battle of Gemblours - Spanish forces under Don John of Austria and Alexander Farnese defeat the Dutch. ... Events January 16 - English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism April 4 - Francis Drake completes a circumnavigation of the world and is knighted by Elizabeth I. July 26 - The Northern Netherlands proclaim their independence from Spain in the Oath of Abjuration. ... Events January 15 - Russia cedes Livonia and Estonia to Poland February 24 - Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian Calendar. ...

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Sources

  • Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance. New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1954. ISBN 0-393-09530-4
  • The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, ed. Don Randel. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-674-61525-5
  • Article Camerata, in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1-56159-174-2

  Results from FactBites:
 
Florentine Camerata (540 words)
The Florentine Camerata was a group of humanists, musicians, poets and intellectuals in late Renaissance Florence that gathered under the patronage of Count Giovanni de Bardi to discuss and guide trends in the arts, especially music and drama.
The criticism of contemporary music by the Camerata centered on the overuse of polyphony, at the expense of intelligibility of the sung text.
Intrigued by ancient descriptions of the emotional and moral effect of ancient Greek tragedy and comedy, which they presumed to be sung as a single line to a simple instrumental accompaniment, they proposed creating a new kind of music.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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