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Grant number: RQ-50080-04

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RQ-50080-04

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL 60208-0001)
Robert Gjerdingen (Project Director: 11/05/2003 to present)

Monuments of Partimenti

Preparation for electronic publication on the world wide web of both the scores and musical sound files of three volumes of partimenti, or instructional basses, written by the Neapolitan maestro Durante, the Greco brothers, and Staneslao Mattei of Bologna.

A new series of electronically published collections of partimenti, also called "instructional basses"--musical manuscripts of bass lines of music used for the instruction of court musicians and composers in the 18th century. The first volume will contain the never-before-published complete partimenti collection of the great Neapolitan maestro Durante, described by the great French compendiest Choron (1808) as the "most highly esteemed in Italy." At almost 190 folios, this vast work was the source for many later collections. The second volume will be a collection by the Greco brothers of Naples. The third will be by Staneslao Mattei, of the later Bolognese school of Padre Martini (c1780). Subsequent volumes will present other unpublished collections by the great maestros of the Neapolitan conservatories--Leo Cotumacci, Valente, Tritto, Cafaro, Sala, Paisiello, and Zingarelli. The goal of this new electronic edition is to make it possible once again to hear partimenti as sounding music. In electronic form it is possible for the reader/listener to 1. read the partimenti with figures; 2. read the partimenti without figures; 3. hear the bass alone; or 4. hear the bass with a polyphonic realization of what would likely have been intended for the other voice parts. In other words, any musician or scholar can hear the partimenti as full musical textures. These texts, previously almost inaccessible as part of a lost tradition of instruction, can now be opened up for general inspection and study. This is a new project and we are seeking matching funds for the first three volumes, with further volumes to be funded with local resources. We have already assembled at Northwestern Univ. an outstanding collection of partimenti microfilms, copies, and prints. A sample electronic text is available at http://geocities.com/figured_bass/ .

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism

Program:
Scholarly Editions and Translations

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 12/31/2008