The first edition contains an introduction by the distinguished musicologist and librarian Carl Dahlhaus. This introduction explains his reasons for writing a new edition and discusses the theories of Rameau and of Catel and the role of issues in the history of music.
Carl Dahlhaus, a musicologist, historian, and music publisher, wrote many books on music and music history. His The Classical Doctrine of Harmony, which he published in 1945, has become a standard work for teachers of harmony. Dahlhaus was born in Berlin and studied musicology, history, and philosophy at Berlin and Tübingen universities, publishing his doctoral thesis on Monteverdi in 1925. From 1929 to 1948 he was a professor at the University of Halle. He moved to Mainz as professor of musicology at the University of Mainz from 1948 to 1969, lecturing on music theory and history. He taught music theory at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland, from 1972 to 1974. Dahlhaus died in Frankfurt in 1984.
The Principles of Harmony was translated from the French by Carolyn Daly, under the general editorship of Steven Huebner and Linda G. Waugh. It was prepared with the assistance of Melanie Winn and a team of students and friends. The translation was checked against the original by Francois-Joseph Royer, who also added introductions to the Italian and French sections.
Carl Dahlhaus was without doubt the premier musicologist of the postwar generation, a giant whose recent death was mourned the world over. Translated here for the first time, this fundamental work on the development of tonality shows his complete mastery of the theory of harmony. In it Dahlhaus explains the modern concepts of harmony and tonality, reviewing in the process the important theories of Rameau, Sechter, Ftis, Riemann, and Schenker. He contrasts the familiar premises of chordal composition with the lesser known precepts of intervallic composition, the basis for polyphonic music in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Numerous quotations from theoretical treatises document how early music was driven forward not by progressions of chords but by simple progressions of intervals. Exactly when did composers transform intervallic composition into chordal composition? Modality into tonality? Dahlhaus provides extensive analyses of motets by Josquin, frottole by Cara and Tromboncino, and madrigals by Monteverdi to demonstrate how, and to what degree, such questions can be answered. In his bold speculations, in his magisterial summaries, in his command of eight centuries of music and writings on music, and in his deep understanding of European history and culture, Carl Dahlhaus sets a standard that will seldom be equalled. Originally published in 1990.
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