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The Solfeggio TraditionA Forgotten Art of Melody in the Long Eighteenth Century$
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Nicholas Baragwanath

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197514085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197514085.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Singing Solfeggio

Singing Solfeggio

(p.128) 7 Singing Solfeggio
The Solfeggio Tradition

Nicholas Baragwanath

Oxford University Press

The chapter discusses how, once the solfeggio syllables were ingrained through spoken solfeggio, apprentices would be taught hundreds of different ways to sing them. The real business of learning to sing and make music thus begins in this chapter with the sung realization of fundamental syllable-notes. It takes the oft-told story of how Porpora confined all his singing exercises to one piece of paper to represent a poetically condensed but fundamentally accurate description of the eighteenth-century Neapolitan method of solfeggio training. Fundamental to this were “traits of vocalization,” short lines added above the melody in manuscripts to indicate changes of syllable. They were realized in one of two ways: either the first syllable was prolonged through the vocalized diminutions (according to the Amen rule) or the last syllable was anticipated by the diminutions (according to the Appoggiatura rule).

Keywords:   embellishment, diminution, ornamentation, musical form, traits of vocalization, sung solfeggio

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