Roma: Antonio Barre, 1555. Small folio. Early half vellum with marbled boards. 1f. (recto title with large woodcut printer's device incorporating a figure playing a viol, verso bust-length woodcut portrait of the author at the age of 44),  (printed dedication to the Cardinal of Ferrara),  (letter to the reader), 3-146ff., 6ff. (table of contents). With typeset musical examples and fine decorative and historiated woodcut initials throughout.
The noted musicologist Henry Prunières (1886-1942), with his distinctive bookplate to front pastedown.
Binding slightly worn, rubbed, and bumped; joints partially split. Slightly worn and browned; occasional minor foxing and staining; first leaf partially detached; leaves 15 and 16 bound in reverse order; early reinforcement to verso of inner margin of final leaf. With the 6 folding plates illustrating the keyboard of the arcicembalo, here lacking as is the case in most recorded copies, supplied in photocopy.
A very good, crisp, well-margined copy overall.
First Edition, first issue. Cortot ,p. 196. Hirsch I, 591. Eitner X, 76. Wolffheim I, 1093. Gregory-Bartlett I, 281. Cowden 22. RISM BVI, p. 861.
"Vicentino’s... fame... rests on the treatise L’antica musica ridotta alla moderna prattica. The work as a whole is divided into two main parts. The first, a single book ‘della theorica musicale’, is based chiefly on Boethius but with an emphasis on those elements that support Vicentino’s own ideas. The other part contains five books ‘della prattica musicale’, the first of which concentrates chiefly on a discussion of various intervals in their melodic functions, extended to encompass the possibilities of the three genera. The second concentrates on vertical function of intervals in contrapuntal practice. The third deals chiefly with the eight diatonic modes and their extension into chromatic and enharmonic forms. The bulk of the fourth applies all of these concepts to the actual construction of musical work and serves as a manual of composition. The fifth submits the principles and theories of the previous books to the definitive test of performance on an instrument, the arcicembalo, which was so constructed that any type of microtonal composition could be played on it..."
"... Vicentino’s novel and visionary concepts remain a witness to the battle of those musicians of 16th-century Italy who sought a new and contemporary art. From their innovations emerged the free chromatic style of the seconda pratica of the 17th century and the stabilization of tuning into the equal temperament of more modern times." Henry W. Kaufmann and Robert L. Kendrick in Grove Music Online.
One of the most influential music treatises of the 16th century. Item #31281
Price: $8,500.00 other currencies