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Megan Kaes Long
Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH 44074-1057)
Modality and Tonality in English, French, German, and Italian Vernacular Songs, 1590-1620

Preparation of a book on western European music and the transition from the church modes to the major and minor system, 17th-19th centuries.

The transition from the modal system of pitch organization that governed Western art music through the late Renaissance (ca. 1600) to the tonal system that defines music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has been a vexing problem for music scholars for the past fifty years or more. My in-progress monograph explores the role of an often overlooked repertoire of secular partsongs in this transition. I argue that popular, widely circulated vernacular song of Italy, England, Germany and France contributed substantially to musical change from the late 1590s through the 1620s. Completion of the manuscript requires that I see many of the musical sources in person; many critical sources are housed in the British Library in London, the Staats und Universit├Ątsbibliothek Hamburg, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. I seek NEH support for travel to these collections, transcription and analysis of the sources, and incorporation of new findings into the monograph.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 7/31/2016