Beautiful music he could never write excepting when inspired

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Essays on the Origins of Western Music
David Whitwell

Essay Nr. 29: On Composition
Music Mozart always made, but beautiful music

he could never write excepting when inspired.

Richard Wagner, “Opera and Drama”

We have placed this essay together with those dealing with early definitions of music primarily because of early discussion regarding the role of inspiration in the act of composition. Genuine inspiration seems to us a form of truth.

The earliest references to the composer’s inspiration are found in the fragments of the poets of the 7th and 6th centuries BC who were known as lyric poets reflecting the fact that this poetry was sung. In Pindar, for example, we find reference to his inspiration coming from heaven,

...Pisa too enjoins

My speech, for from her bidding come to men

The songs inspired of heaven....1
while in Bacchylides the inspiration is attributed to the Muses.

...for the inspired prophet of the violet-eyed Muses is ready to sing....2
In the 5th century BC play, The Frogs, Aristophanes presents Euripides attempting to prove how bad the choral music of Aeschylus was -- to which the Chorus wonders how he can find fault in such a “master of inspiration.”

Songs? Yes, I have materials to show

How bad his are, and always all alike.
Chorus (singing)

What in the world shall we look for next?

Aeschylus’ music! I feel perplexed

How he can want it mended.

I have always held that never a man

Had written or sung since the world began

Melodies half so splendid!

(Can he really find a mistake

In the master of Inspiration?
Plato (427 – 347 BC) speaks of the importance of inspiration in the composer in his remarkable book, Ion, which is a very rare character study of the ancient Rhapsodist.

All good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not by art, but because they are inspired and possessed.3
In the Apology, he makes the point again.

I learnt that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration.4
A question might be raised regarding the role the actual words used by the early poets played in inspiring the resultant music. Certainly there are innumerable references by early critics to the effect that the music must follow the emotions of the words. But one must remember that in the highest art music the composer is not inspired by words, but by the thoughts behind the words. Roger North (1653 – 1734) made this very point when he wrote,

For the sounds are not to represent the things commonly signified by words, but the thoughts of the person that uses them.5
It is in the spirit of this thought that the great William Byrd, writing in his Gradualia (1605), speaks of power of sacred words as the point of origin for his inspiration.

There is a certain hidden power, as I learned by experience, in the thoughts underlying the words themselves; so that, as one meditates upon the sacred words and constantly and seriously considers them, the right notes, in some inexplicable manner, suggest themselves quite spontaneously.6
In descriptions of early poets, the accounts often describe their work under inspiration as being a kind of “divine frenzy.” The English music theorist, Charles Butler, wrote in 1636, that good composition is impossible unless the composer,

at the time of Composing, be transported as it were with some Musical fury; so that himself scarce knoweth what he doth, nor can presently give a reason for his doing.7
The German theorist, Adrian Coclico, in his Compendium Musices of 1552, had made this very point. Composing, he wrote, must be an inspired compulsion, not simply the next step after learning the necessary rules.

[The Student] should be led to composing by a great desire, and by a certain natural impulse he will be driven to composition, so that he will not taste food nor drink until his piece is finished, for, since this natural impulse so drives him, he accomplishes more in one hour than others in a whole month. Composers to whom these unusual motivations are absent are useless.
Similarly, Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683 – 1764) noted,

While composing music is not the time to recall the rules which might hold our genius in bondage.8
This, in turn, reminds us of an observation by Schumann on academic rules of composition. Mozart, he suggests, never seemed to even be aware of them; Hummel steered his way through them; Schubert was unable to escape them and Beethoven laughed at them.9

During the 17th century Marin Mersenne (1588 – 1648) agrees that the “rules” are not the source of great composition. Composers blessed by God may write their own rules.

Whatever rules we could give for composing fine and beautiful melodies on all kinds of subjects and texts, it appears that they cannot bring this to pass until we are induced by the favorable genius and natural inclination of those who write excellent ones without having learned or established any other rules than those which their imagination furnishes....

I shall be of the opinion of those who say that the genius of music is like that of the poet, the painter, the orator, and of several other craftsmen, to whom nature, or rather the Master of Nature, has dispensed certain gifts to which art cannot attain.10
The reference by Mersenne to the role of God in inspiring great compositions is joined by some of the great 19th century composers. Mendelssohn, for example, once suggested that ideas which come from God must be used as they come for they cannot be improved upon.

Ideas cannot be either more highly finished or sharpened, but must be taken and made use of as they come, and as a kind Providence sends them….11
Schumann once similarly wrote of the “divine first inspiration.”12 And in a personal reflection on Chopin, Liszt described his act of composition as being something like prayer itself.

[Chopin] unburdened his soul in compositions as others do in prayer, pouring out those effusions of the heart, those unexpressed sorrows, those indescribable griefs that devout souls spill in their talks with God. 13
Regarding these “sorrows and indescribable griefs,” Liszt also recalled hearing a lady who was moved by the playing of Chopin ask him a question regarding the source of his emotions. According to Liszt, Chopin answered,

that regardless of his transient joys, he was never free of a feeling of melancholy which somehow formed the base of his heart.14
The implication here by Chopin that his music came from his heart was an answer often given by 19th century composers. Notably, when Beethoven finished his Missa Solemnis, he wrote on the score, “From the heart, may it go to the heart.” Robert Schumann wrote his mother, on May 8, 1832, “Music is to me the perfect expression of the soul,” and he wrote to Clara Wieck on April 13, 1838, that his music “comes straight from the heart.” Indeed, in a letter to another correspondent, Schumann suggests that any other source of musical ideas was, for him, impossible.

it seems as if I can only assimilate ideas I evolve for myself, so strongly does my whole nature resent any outside stimulus.15

Mendelssohn wrote on several occasions of the importance of composing from the heart.

I feel that in every [new composition that] I succeed better in learning to write exactly what is in my heart, and, after all, that is the only right rule I know.16


If a composition is not inspired creation, it will never speak from heart to heart.17


Music composed with a purpose will never reach the heart, because it does not come from the heart.18


I consider it quite inadmissible to compose anything that I do not thoroughly feel. It is just as if I were to utter a falsehood; for notes have as distinct a meaning as words, perhaps even a more definite sense.19
Here are three more testimonials to composer’s finding their music within themselves:


A long time ago I decided that my universe will be the soul and heart of man.20

I should compose with utter confidence a subject that set my blood going, even though it were condemned by all other artists as anti-musical.21
Frederick Delius:

Music is an outburst of the soul.22
But there is a price to pay for such intense concentration into one’s “heart,” that is to say the deepest level of personal feeling, for it requires at the same time a withdrawal from the rational concerns of normal men. In a demonstration of “left – right” brain function, Robert Schumann found that in periods of intense introspection in his feeling (right hemisphere) during composition he found himself forgetting the German language (left hemisphere), even how to form the letters of the alphabet.23 St. Augustine (4th century) relates a similar concern for a friend, a composer of verse and music, who withdrew from his friends and did not want to be disturbed when composing. Augustine worried that his friend might lose his ability for intellectual communication.24

There is one natural danger which is of concern to all composers. Because of the fact that the basic emotions are genetically shared by all men and because the major-minor tonal system consists of only seven tones, there is a constant possibility that one may feel and thus write, perhaps even unconsciously, a melody which an earlier composer has already used. Thus there are familiar examples such as Mahler, who immediately upon finishing his Fourth Symphony, was astonished to notice reminiscences from one of the Brahms’s symphonies and from one of the Beethoven piano concertos.25 And it is for this reason that we read in 1711 a warning by Johann Heinichen,

Respectable and wise composers, however, shun opportunities to listen to great music shortly before they are going to compose, fearing that as it usually happens something of it will remain in their memory and that they might include it in their own work, innocently thinking it was their own thought and bringing suspicion of injudicious censors upon them.26
Mendelssohn once observed that when one wrote from the heart he found that the first involuntary thought would be the right one. If it turned out that idea recalled Sebastian Bach, well, if it did, then “it was a sign that so it was to have been.”27

Marco Vida, in his De Arte Poetica of 1561 actually approves borrowing from an earlier writer, providing one can improve it.

Nor would I scruple, with a due regard,

To read sometimes a rude unpolished bard,

Among whose labors I may find a line,

Which from unsightly rust I may refine,

And, with a better grace, adopt it into mine.28
In the prologue to his The Pretenders [I Suppositi], the playwright Ludovico Ariosto (1474 – 1533) admits that he has taken his plots in part from Plautus and Terence, but he says he has done this to so little degree, that,

if either Terence or Plautus knew, they would not be offended and would call it poetic imitation rather than plagiarism.29
Robert Schumann observed in his diary of 1833 that even if one decided to copy an earlier work,

The misfortune of the imitator is that he can only appropriate the salient points of his original; an involuntary awe disables him from copying its peculiar beauties.
In the earliest literature one finds descriptions of the art of composition which would be familiar to composers today. First, it seems that composition has always been considered a difficult art. Bacchylides, 7th century BC specifically points out that composing an original song is not easy,

for sooth ‘tis no light task to find the gates of virgin song.30

Plato (427 – 347 BC) also speaks of some instrumental preludes which were composed with “wondrous care.”31 He also stipulates that the best music must be inspired, as we have quoted above, and he defines the purpose of art music as “the love of beauty.”32 Plato also strongly argues that it is not enough that music be pleasant, but that it have virtue, that it be engaged in for the sake of good.33 He is thinking of education, of course, and the arguments, and warnings, he makes were taken seriously for the next 2,500 years until the mid-20th century when music educators, in an extraordinary display of vanity, decided to place themselves above 25 centuries of experience and wisdom and declare all kinds of music to be equally suited for education. History will treat these music educators mercilessly.

The secular literature of the 12th and 13th centuries which heralded the coming of the Renaissance also testifies to the difficulty in composing good music. We find one comment by Vogelweide referring to his composition as “toil,”34 and Ulrich von Liechtenstein has a minnesinger tell a messenger, who was taking a song to a lady, that he had worked a long time on the song and “with all my skill.”35

The texts of the troubadour songs (most of the music is lost) also reveal considerable toil in their composition. A well-crafted song was an important goal to these poets and one song by Borneil clearly suggests a period of drafting.

I must set to work on a song with which I have only toyed till now, and make it good enough to rank with the best; for, with the time and the gentle season in my favor, I shall receive no honor or renown unless I compose it in such a way as to win more praise than any other.36
In composing another song he mentions, “my progress is slow,” but that he has everything in his heart necessary for “value and esteem” in a song.37

Some songs speak of a strong level of concentration in the creative process. Ventadorn, for example, states,

Now I fear neither rain nor wind, so preoccupied am I with composing this song....38
The trouvere Blondel de Nesle found his “writer’s block” not in a lack of concentration, but in maintaining originality.

It would be best to stop singing altogether,

for when one sings nowadays, one doesn’t know what to say.

There’s not a word or verse one can think up any more,

no matter how much one picks and chooses,

that hasn’t been said and said again.39
It is interesting that sometimes we find a troubadour worrying about his own ability in composition. Ventadorn, for example, notes, “I always need to make my song better than it is, although it is good.”40

With the arrival of the Renaissance we find a new generation of love songs and the composer who was most proud of his accomplishment in this field was Guillaume de Machaut (1300 – 1377), of whom, ironically, traditional music history discusses only a hand-full of his church works. In the texts of his poetry, Machaut provides a rather extensive description of his compositional process. In his famous Prologue, Machaut first meets the allegorical figure of Nature. Here he is not only associating his art with Nature in the Greek sense, but he is making the point that Nature supplied his inspiration.

I, Nature, by whom all things take form,

All that there is above and on earth and in the sea,

Have come to you, Guillaume, a man I have formed

For my part, in order for you to create

Some new and pleasant love poems.41
With regard to inspiration, in Machaut’s Voir Dit, his “true story,” he speaks of this subject in several of his letters to his lover, Peronnelle. He tells her his work is often interrupted by the demands of his noble patrons, but more important if he does not hear from her, he stops working for lack of inspiration.42 But if he is inspired he says he can write one hundred lines a day.43

But composition requires more than inspiration, it also requires skill. Therefore Nature loans Machaut her three children, Reason [sense], who will make him clever; Rhetoric, who will instruct him in meter and rhyme; and Music, which will give him many, various and pleasing songs.44

Thus,” Nature says, “you cannot fail at all.”45 Here, in part, is a reference to having skill sufficient for “correctness,” clearly another virtue of aesthetics in music. Nature promises, “your works will be more renowned that those of any other because there will be nothing in them to criticize, and thus they will be loved by everyone.”46 We can see how important the aspect of his technique was to Machaut in a remark he makes in “The Remede de Fortune” regarding a poet and his work.

I dared not refuse her, but rather read it from beginning to end, with trembling heart and bowed head, fearing there might be some mistake, since I had composed it.47
Before leaving the subject of Nature, we should mention that Machaut attributes the power of music in part to the fact that all musical instruments are formed according to her laws, and her works are more perfectly proportioned than any others.

Tous ses fais plus a point mesure

Que ne fait nulle autre measure.48
But in addition to inspiration and skill, experience is also necessary to art. This is provided to Machaut by another allegorical figure, Love, who offers her three children, Sweet Thought, Pleasure, and Hope. It should also not escape our attention that Love (experience) is not introduced to Machaut by Nature (skill), but rather she comes independently. Love promises that from her children “you can derive great assistance, and this will help you invent and compose many a pretty poem about them.”49 Machaut responds that Love and her children have “greatly clarified for me the themes I have to treat.”50

Thus it is with the combination of skill and experience that Machaut is promised the necessary ability to compose “tales and songs, double hoquets, pleasant lais, motets, rondeaux and virelais, complaints, ballades, in honor and praise of all ladies.”51

But there is another requirement for composition which was clearly of the greatest importance to Machaut. The composer’s work must come from the most genuine, heart-felt feelings. In a letter to Peronnelle, he explains, “There is nothing so just and true as experience.... He who does not create out of real feeling, counterfeits his words and songs.”

Qui de sentement ne fait, Son dit et son chant contrefait.52
Machaut returns to this stipulation again in his poem “Remede de Fortune.”

And since I was not always in one mood, I learned to compose chansons and lais, ballades, rondeaux, virelais, and songs, according to my feelings, about love and nothing else; because he who does not compose according to his feelings falsifies his work and his song.53
At the end of the song, Machaut once again returns to feeling.

But I composed it to her praise in accord with the skill I possessed, and as near to my feelings as I well could.54
Finally, in another letter to Peronnelle, Machaut reveals one more important vital characteristic of the good composer -- one must always double-check one’s work!

My sweetheart, I have composed the rondel which contains your name and I would have sent it by this messenger; but by my soul, I have never listened to it and I am not accustomed to sending off anything I compose before I have listened to it.55
The arrival of the Baroque brings us to the beginning of the long period when composers were employed by courts. Now composers were often expected to produce a constant stream of new compositions, as other court employees regularly produced new boots or pies. The numerous compositions which resulted were only possible in an environment where the players “finished” the score, in particular through improvisation. Thus one often hears modern performances of Baroque music in which one hears long streches where “nothing is happening,” because the players do not understand their responsibility to create the music. In any case, one finds remarkable testimonials to the speed with which some composers worked.

It is generally understood that a great deal of Vivaldi’s music, in particular the concerti, was composed for his students. This is clearly suggested in the duties outlined in his contract of 1735.

The same maestro will have to provide for our girls concertos and other compositions for all sorts of instruments, and he will have to come with the assiduousness necessary for instructing the girls and making them well able to perform them....56
Pincherle finds proof of the “extreme rapidity of composition, as evidenced by the autographs.”57 This facility in composition is evidenced by Vivaldi himself, as recalled by Charles de Brosses in 1739.

Vivaldi has become one of my intimate friends, so as to sell me some very expensive concertos. He has in part succeeded, and I too in that which I desired, namely to hear him and have frequent good musical recreation: he is a vecchio with a prodigious fury for composition. I have heard him boast that he has composed a concerto, with all its parts, faster than a copyist could write it out.58
Another extraordinary testimonial to the speed with which Vivaldi composed is found in the diary of J. F. von Uffenbach. On March 6, 1715, he writes,

After the meal, Vivaldi, the famous composer and violinist came to my lodging, since I had sent to his house several times to invite him. I spoke to him of some concerti grossi that I would have liked to have from him, and ordered them from him. Since he belonged to the circle of the Cantores I had some bottles of wine brought, and he played some very difficult improvisations for me on the violin, quite inimitable. Close to I admired his art even more, and I realized from the evidence that he played extraordinarily difficult and varied things, but in a manner that was neither pleasant nor cantabile.59
Then, only three days later, we find this entry:

In the afternoon Vivaldi came to my lodging and brought, as I had ordered from him, ten concerti grossi which he said he had composed specially for me.
Ten concerto grossi in three days? It almost sounds like Vivaldi had a system of shorthand. While we are confident this was not true, it does remind us of a system described by Athanasius Kircher (1601 – 1680). In his great encyclopedia of music, the Musurgia Universalis (Rome, 1650), in Book Eight, “Miraculous Musicology,” he offers “a system by which the unskilled in music can attain a perfect knowledge of composing in a short time.” If there were a “system” for composing, the one we should most like to learn is one mentioned by Voltaire. He claimed that he knew a young priest who not only wrote sermons in his sleep, but also music “notating it with precision, and after preparing his paper with his ruler, placed the words under the notes without the least mistake.”60

One of the most important sources for the understanding of music in Baroque society are the books of Johann Mattheson. In his famous Der vollkommene Capellmeister (1739)61 Mattheson focuses specifically on the education and skills needed by the Kapellmeister and composer. Without education, he says, a musician can exercise his trade, but he cannot be an artist. This education need not be found at a university, but can be gained at home under “clever leadership.”

The specific requirements of this education begin with languages: Greek, Latin, French and Italian, the language of the theater. Without these languages, how can the Kapellmeister ever be a galant homme? He must also have considerable knowledge in poetry and, in an emergency, be able to write good verse himself.

Mattheson considered music to be a “substantial part of erudition and one of the disciplines which is closest to theology.” Perhaps this explains his following statement that “whoever advances in music and goes backwards in morals walks like a crab and misses the proper goal.”

For the composer, in addition to the usual studies in the klavier, counterpoint and harmony, Mattheson gives the highest priority to being able to sing, which he clearly believed was an essential key to understanding the emotions in a composition.

If the stirring of the affections and passions of the soul depends on something quite different, namely upon the skillful composition of an intelligible, clear, and expressive melody; then no one who is not well experienced in the art of singing can reach this goal.62
But, for composition, not everything can be learned, in particular “a good natural ability or innate instinct and spirit.” To find if he has this, Mattheson recommends his looking into his own heart to see,

whether he would be satisfied with mere patchwork and pieces from diverse sources, which were toilsomely collected by begging?
It is not necessary, when one composes a dirge or lamentation, to begin to cry, “yet it is absolutely necessary that he open his mind and heart to the affection at hand.” For how, Mattheson asks, will he be able to excite a passion in other people’s feelings if he has not experienced it himself?63 Here Mattheson, remarkably, adds a precise comment on the nature of the communication of emotions in music, that they are both universal and personal at the same time.

He must also study the affective disposition of his listeners as much as possible. For although it is true: Each head has its own mind; still a certain propensity, a certain taste, usually predominates with wise and attentive listeners.64
Mattheson would have probably acknowledged that composers are “made, not born,” for he found that in some cases Nature has left the requisite qualities incomplete.

One sometimes encounters fine minds without true desire and love for it; thus one encounters nothing more seldom than the required diligence and necessary, untiring industry, joined together with these two things, natural ability and real desire: because commonly not a little laziness and idleness, lasciviousness, comfortableness, and the like, tend to go side by side with innate gifts and inclinations.

A so-called natural disposition without ambition or love is like a buried treasure.... Desire and diligence without natural ability is really the worst of all....65
To this Rameau, in 1744, adds advice on the development stages of young composers,

It would be necessary, before undertaking so great a work, to have written small compositions, cantatas, divertissements, and a thousand trifles of the kind that nourish the spirit, fire its imagination, and make one imperceptibly capable of greater things. I have followed the theater since the age of twelve; I did not work for the Opera before I was fifty years old, even then doubting my capacity to do so....66
But it was not the direct result of the education recommended by Mattheson or the practical discipline recommended by Rameau for which we identify a great composer. It is rather his ability to reach our heart, as well as the hearts of those who have no musical education at all. And in which composition department of which music school does the composition professor address this problem with his students today? Since we don’t attempt to teach this (in the field of oratory they do!) we simply label this “genius.” This is what Voltaire had in mind when he observed that one can speak of painters, sculptors and instrumentalists as being “able,” but in the case of a composer,

a composer must be more than able; he must have genius.67
Wagner, in his essay, “On Poetry and Composition,” discusses the composer who is merely “able,” but does not stand in the ranks of those with “genius.” He quotes a remark by the gracious Mendelssohn, “Every man composes as well as he can.” The only problem, says Wagner, is when one wants to compose better than he can “gives himself the air of having done so.” But why should we be concerned about the “falsification of artistic judgment or musical taste.” After all, says Wagner, this is not so important,

compared with all the other things we falsify, wares, sciences, victuals, public opinions, State culture-tendencies, religious dogmas, clover seed and what not?
Are we to grow virtuous all of a sudden in Music?,” Wagner asks facetiously. He concludes his discussion with an area where the “falsification of musical taste” does matter, music education.

The acceptance of the empty for the sound is cretinising everything we possess in the way of schools, tuition, academies and so on, by ruining the most natural feelings and misguiding the faculties of the rising generation….
What in God’s name would Wagner say if he could hear the empty music we declare “sound” for use in music education today?

1 Ode to Theron of Acragas, Winner of the Chariot Race.

2 Ode for Automedes of Philius, Victor in the Pentathlon at Nemea.

3 Ion, 534.

4 Apology, 22c.

5 Quoted in John Wilson, Roger North on Music (London: Novello, 1959), 112ff.

6 Robert Donnington, The Interpretation of Early Music (New York, 1964), 112.

7 Charles Butler, The Principles of Musik in Singing and Setting [1636] (New York: Da Capo Press, 1970), 92.

8 Rameau, Le Nouveau Systeme de musique theorique (1726), quoted in Sam Morgenstern, Composers on Music (New York: Pantheon, 1956), 41.

9 Letter to Friedrich Wieck, Leipzig, January 11, 1832.

10 Harmonie universelle, IV, vi 9. The music theorist Johannes Tinctoris (1435 – 1511) in his Proportionale Musices critizes both Dufay and Okeghem for their errors relative to the official rules of counterpoint, but he does not provide much specific information. As he admired Dufay, he observes in one place that he “most wonderfully erred.”

11 Letter to Julius Rietz, Leipzig, April 23, 1841.

12 Robert Schumann, “Sixth Quartet Morning,” Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, 1838.

13 Franz Liszt, Frederic Chopin (Paris: Escudier, 1852).

14 Ibid.

15 Letter to Heinrich Dorn, Leipzig, April 25, 1832.

16 Letter to Ferdinand David, Berlin, July 30, 1838.

17 Letter to Carl Zelter, Rome, December 18, 1830.

18 Letter to his family, Wallenstadt, September 2, 1831.

19 Letter to Frau von Pereira, Genoa, July, 1831.

20 Letter to Delphine Potocka.

21 Letter of 1854.

22 Quoted in Nat Shapiro, An Encyclopedia of Quotations About Music (New York: Da Capo, 1978), 11.

23 Letter to Julius Schumann, Leipzig, July 18, 1832.

24 Answer to Skeptics, trans., Ludwig Schopp (New York: CIMA Publishing Co.), IV, 7.

25 Henry-Louis de la Grange, Gustav Mahler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), II, 276.

26 Johann David Heinichen, General-Bass Treatise [1711], quoted in George Buelow, Thorough-Bass Accompaniment according to Johann David Heinichen (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1986), 331.

27 Recalled in Eduard Devrient, My Recollections of Felix Mendelssohn (London: Gentley, 1869), 275.

28 Vida, The Art of Poetry, trans., Pitt, in Albert Cook, The Poetical Treatises of Horace, Vida, and Boileau (Boston: Ginn, 1892), III, 196ff.

29 Beame, Op. cit., 53.

30 Fragment 4, quoted in Richard C. Jebb, Bacchylides (Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1967), 413.

31 Laws, 722d.

32 Republic, III, 403c.

33 Laws, 668b and Gorgias, 501b – 506d.

34 “I sang her praise,” W. Alison Phillips, trans., Selected Poems of Walter von der Vogelweide (London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1896), 47.

35 Ulrich von Liechtenstein In Service of Ladies, trans., J. W. Thomas (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1969), lines 110ff.

36 “Ben coven,” in. in Ruth Sharman, The Cansos and Sirventes of the Troubadour Giraut de Borneil (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 128.

37 “Tostemps mi sol,” in Ibid., 138.

38 “Lonc tems,” in in Stephen Nichols, The Songs of Bernart de Ventadorn (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1965), 119.

39 “Mout se feist,” quoted in Frederick Goldin, Lyrics of the Troubadours and Trouvres (Garden City: Anchor Books, 1973), 371. Raimbaut d’Orange, in “Escotatz, mas no say,” satirizes poets who claim their works are original.

40 “Ja mos chantars,” in Nichols, Op. cit., 102.

41 Prologue, I, 1ff.

42 Quoted in Le Livre du Voir-Dit de Guillaume de Machaut (Paris: Paulin Paris, 1875), 262 and 342.

43 Ibid., 202.

44 Prologue., I, 10ff.

45 Ibid., I, 17.

46 Ibid., I, 19ff.

47 Guillaume de Machaut, “Remede de Fortune,” trans., James Wimsatt and William Kibler (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1988), 206.

48 Prologue, I, 99ff.

49 Ibid., III, 17ff.

50 Ibid., IV, 13ff.

51 Ibid., II, 12ff.

52 “Le Livre du Voir-Dit,” Op. cit., 61.

53 “Remede de Fortune,” Op. cit., 188.

54 Ibid., 206.

55 “Le Livre du Voir-Dit,” Op. cit., 258.

56 Archivio di Stato, Venice, Ospitali, busta 692, Notatorio Q, fol. 113r.

57 Quoted in Denis Arnold, “Music at the Scuola de San Rocco,” in Music and Letters (July, 1959), 310.

58 Charles de Brosses, “Lettres familieres Žcrites en Italie en 1739,” quoted in Carol MacClintock, Readings in the History of Music in Performance (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979), I, 237ff.

59 Quoted in Kendall, Vivaldi (London: Granada Publishing, 1979),100.

60 Philosophical Dictionary, “Somnambulists,” in Ibid., XIII, 249ff.

61 Johann Mattheson, Der vollkommene Capellmeister (1739), trans., Ernest Harriss (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1981), II, iiff.

62 Ibid., II, ii, 40, 44.

63 Ibid., II, ii, 64ff.

64 Ibid., II, ii, 66.

65 Ibid., II, ii, 59ff.

66 Jean-Philippe Rameau, letter to Mongeot, 1744, quoted in Piero Weiss, Letters of Composers Through Six Centuries (Philadelphia: Chilton, 1967), 81.

67 Philosophical Dictionary, “Able.” He adds, that to say “an able courtier,” implies blame rather than praise, since it too often means an able flatterer.

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