Tinctoris's Reading Practice: De inventione et usu musice and his Greek Authorities

Jeffrey Dean

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Johannes Tinctoris famously cited actual musical works in order to interrogate them as witnesses of compositional and notational practice. But his citations of literary works were less critical; he treated them as authorities, to be invoked, not questioned. There was a major qualitative change in the range of works he drew upon, which coincided with the final phase of his work on De arte contrapuncti (completed 11 October 1477). He began to cite many more ancient writings, especially Greek ones. He nearly always quoted exactly enough to identify precisely which printed Latin translations of Greek writings he used. His use of Eusebius? Praeparatio evangelica (Venice: Nicolaus Jenson, 1470) proves that the manuscript excerpts of his De inventione et usu musice cannot have been written earlier, and must be coeval with the printed excerpts of 1482�3. He did not employ the humanistic periodization of history into antiquity, the middle ages, and rebirth, but articulated history sociologically in a characteristically medieval fashion.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJohannes Tinctoris and Music Theory in the Late Fifteenth Century
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 18 Dec 2020


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