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Giovanni Padovani

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Giovanni Padovani (or Paduani) (b. c. 1512) was an Italian mathematician and astronomer. He lived in Verona and was a student of Pietro Pitati. He published a number of esteemed treatises on various astronomical and mathematical subjects, the most well-known of which was a treatise on the sundial called Opus de compositione et usu multiformium horologiorum solarium, pro diversis mundi regionibus, idq(ue) ubique locorum tam in superficie plana horizontali quam murali quoruscumqu(ue) exposita sit, pertractans (Venice, 1570). An expanded and re-written version came out in 1582.

This manual includes instructions for the manufacture and laying out of mural (vertical) and horizontal sundials; contains extensive tables of declinations for various latitudes with both occidental and oriental examples; and provides instructions for the calculation of latitudes. This last section includes a description of a sundial calibrated for the measurement of unequal hours, such as those used in the ecclesiastic calendar, which foresaw twelve hours of light and twelve of dark, which was subject to severe seasonal variations.

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  • Durum and Molle / Hard and soft in the music of the Renaissance


Hello and welcome to early music my name is Elam Rotem and today we'll talk about the dichotomy of durum and molle hard and soft in the music of the Renaissance When setting text to music in the late Renaissance, composers head sets of tools and conventions that guided them in the process for example, when the text is happy the music is high and quick, and when the texts is sad the music is often low and slow these means are part of a big group of compositional tools we nowadays call word painting some of these means might seem expected or obvious to us but there is yet another important tool which is not so known today the musical power of the durum and molle the terminology of durum and molle is known today mostly from the context of solmization and hexachords solmization is the way musician learned and read music since the middle Ages and depending on the country through the Baroque era In this system there are six notes or syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la since they are six, this group is called a hexaccord but as there is a need for more than only six notes there are in total three hexachords one that starts on C, the natural hexachord one that starts on G, the hard hexachord and a one that starts on f, the soft hexachord it is called soft or Molle because it includes the B flat - B-Molle this categorization of hard and soft however is not only relevant to hexachords in fact, as you will see, it can be assigned to many musical and music related aspects from words and emotions, "affetti" up to intervals and modes several renaissance theorists explained that the text should be musically treated according to its nature. The division of hard and soft is quickly evident they write that words and emotions like harshness, hardness, cruelty, bitterness, etc. should be set to music that will sound hard and harsh and words and emotions like weeping, sorrow, grief, sighs, tears, etc. should be set to music that will be soft and full of sadness a few writers like the famous Zarlino for example went on and explained exactly what makes music sound hard and what makes it sound soft. If you want the music to be hard you should use major intervals: major 2nd, major 3rd, major 6th, and major 10th if however you want the music to be soft you should use minor intervals minor 2nd, minor 3rd, etc. Zarlino says that the major intervals are harsh and the minor ones are soft by nature well, everyone apparently have their own version of nature nowadays major harmonies are considered happy and the major 6th interval is considered to be a symbol of sweetness this is a complete contrast to how it was perceived in the Rannaissance in addition to intervals, the usage of "mi" notes and sharp accidentals was considered to be hard and harsh and the usage of "fa" notes and flat accidentals to be soft and sad some modes are also considered either hard or soft for example, Johanne Herbst writes that the Phrygian mode, the 3rd mode, which is on the note "mi" is angry and bitter by nature and therefore bitter and hard words are suited to it Giovanni Padovani writes that sad text should be composed with soft harmonies in the fourth and sixth modes And that words of fury and disapproval however should be set to hard music in the 3rd and 7th modes ok, there is hard and soft music why should we care? by looking at 16th century music through the hard and soft glasses we can understand better how the composers interpreted their texts and by that, hopefully, we can perform their music better the dichotomy of hard and soft is finer than our usual happy and sad one for example, one could cry in a harsh way but also in a soft and melancholic way and one could call for help hysterically but also hopelessly let's see how these things appear in real music a great example is the madrigal "Zefiro rotna e il bel tempo rimena" by Claudio Monteverdi describing the return of Zefiro, the southern wind with the nice weather, flowers and all these sweet things Monteverdi uses the B flat, melodies with minor 3rds harmonical minor 6ths everything is soft and sweet however, two stanzas later, there is a dramatic change while everything is so nice "per me, lasso, tornano i piu gravi sospiri" "for me, alas, return those heaviest of sighs" we see immediately that the flat disappears and in no less than four bars we find ourselves in an E-major harmony and then even worse, a B-major harmony with all these sharps the music becomes very hard and harsh, very durum at the end of the madrigal, with the text "desert and savage desperate beasts" we see one of the hardest musical moments ever written sharps and dissonances all over the place leave the listener completely shocked thus, a piece this started off in a soft key with wind and flowers ended up in another one with very hard and harsh music Monteverdi of course did not invent these things we see them already half a century earlier for example, in Cipriano de Rore's "Mia benigna fortuna" we have a soft beginning with the good fortune the happy life, and the tranquil nights which then rather quickly turns into a durum feast of the hardest affects all the good things "suddenly changed into "pain and tears which cause me to hate life and long for death" we immediately see the cancellation of the flats as well as some horrifying melodic major 6ths which in fact are officially forbidden in the treatises from that time at the end of the phrase, on the word "morte" (death) we see a quick shift back to the flat world introducing even an a-flat The second part of the madrigal starts again very harshly with major 6ths but rather quickly the flats return, and from the point that the text is talking about spending "tutta mia vita in pianto" (all my life in tears) there is no turning back from the molle and the madrigal concludes very sadly, and softly while these are rather extreme examples the hard and the soft can be seen to a certain degree in almost every good composition from the 16th century it should be remembered though that not every piece will include such extremes just like the natural hexachord, many of the texts and affetti are natural not on this or that extreme. It also depends very much on the interpretation of the composer and his own personal style one composer might only go up to a restraint point of hardness and softness while another will choose to go all the way to the extremes now, let's check some more examples of hard and soft but now in the context of the dramatic monodies of the early baroque in Monteverdi's "Orfeo" for example the happy wedding festivities of the second act abruptly end when the messaggiera arrives and tell the horrible news of the death of Euridice for the first time in the piece we are flooded with E-major harmonies and many sharps there is even one authentic cadence on e a very harsh move that requires a d sharp and happens in the whole opera only once more when in the fourth act Euridice is sent again and forever back to the underworld in contrast, all the lamentable moments throughout the opera and there are many of them are all composed softly with flats and minor intervals before finishing up we should mention what happens when one quickly jumps from hard to soft or soft to hard this kind of chromaticism is preserved for a situation with something is really crazy, sick, or unstable. commonly it is used for texts like "anima liquefacta est" (my soul was melted) or "quia amore langueo" (because I'm sick with love) so this was a show about durum and molle we hope you enjoyed it don't forget to check the special page on our website with all the footnotes and other extra information feel free to comment, share, and like see you next time at early music


This page was last edited on 8 January 2018, at 20:08
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