Cadential Syntax and Tonal Expectation in Late Sixteenth-Century Homophony

Cadential Syntax and Tonal Expectation in Late Sixteenth-Century Homophony Abstract This article explores the emergence of tonal languages in late-sixteenth-century homophony by considering the ways in which phrase structure, meter, and cadential rhetoric produce trajectories of expectation. Focusing on the English ballett and the French air de cour, two homophonic, secular, vernacular genres produced according to wildly different aesthetic criteria, it demonstrates how composers’ regulation of harmony and syntax transformed contrapuntal languages into tonal ones. Early tonal languages are thus defined here by the trajectories of expectation that such regulation establishes. The multifaceted process through which tonality emerged in the early modern period is one of the most discussed yet most elusive phenomena in contemporary music scholarship. Many studies have focused on how pitch content transforms modal counterpoint into tonal harmony,1 either on the organizational level (how modal collections relate to major and minor scales) or on the musical surface (how triads and harmonic syntax shift from being emergent properties of counterpoint to being actively deployed as compositional resources).2 Yet the structures that regulate pitch content—meter, phrase structure, cadence, and form—play at least as crucial a role in reshaping musical languages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.3 This article will examine these structures in two homophonic, vernacular repertories, the English ballett and the French air de cour, which reflect different degrees of regulation: the ballett is metrically regular, while the air de cour is metrically flexible. I will argue that the regulatory structures of these repertories produce trajectories of tonal expectation. That is, meter, phrase structure, cadence, and form allow composers to articulate significant harmonies on multiple levels of musical structure at predictable periodicities, thereby establishing a stylistic norm that encourages large-scale articulation of dominant–tonic relationships. Tonality is generally understood as a pitch-centric phenomenon, to the near exclusion of other parameters. Two examples—meant to describe music of the Classical period—illustrate this point. Joseph Straus (2005, 130) defines tonality according to six parameters that all pertain to pitch content: key, key relations, diatonic scales, triads, functional harmony, and voice leading. Tymoczko (2011, 4) develops a similar list that mostly overlaps with Straus’s: conjunct melodic motion, acoustic consonance, harmonic consistency, limited macroharmony, and centricity.4 I have maintained elsewhere (Long 2015b) that some sixteenth- and seventeenth-century homophonic repertories share these features under the guise of “characteristic” manifestations of tonality. However, many of the parameters listed by Straus and Tymoczko as harbingers of tonality are also characteristic of modal music, calling into question their definitional sufficiency.5 Consequently, scholars of early music have begun to turn away from pitch content and have instead looked to the role of meter, phrase structure, cadence, and form in articulating tonality. Addressing the innovations of Monteverdi’s new style, Eric Chafe identifies the composer’s “fondness for patterns” manifested in, among other things, “regularity of meter and phrase” and “a hierarchical organization of chord progressions and cadences” (1992, 2). Chafe argues that these parameters, which he treats as musical manifestations of the turn toward human rationality in the early seventeenth century, contribute to a new kind of composing and listening based on a perceived separation of surface and background features.6 He relies on this hierarchical model of composing and hearing to account for Monteverdi’s infamous dissonance treatment, stating that “tonality provided the necessary context in which dissonances . . . became features of a new musical logic and hence no longer irrational-sounding” (1992, 3). But, as I will demonstrate, the tonal context that Chafe invokes is actually less evident in Monteverdi’s mature explorations of a changing musical system than in the less prestigious secular songs that circulated widely around the turn of the seventeenth century—the music that Chafe suggests formed the background for Monteverdi’s innovations. Anthony Newcomb initially seeks to describe what he perceives as the tonal sound of Marenzio’s secular music in terms of its triadic content (2007). However, he finds harmonic progression to be a red herring and instead identifies a series of chordal patterns (including circle of fifths progressions and the familiar bass patterns of the romanesca and passamezzo antico) that contribute to a slower harmonic rhythm in secular song of the late sixteenth century.7 Like Chafe, Newcomb suggests that such patterns encouraged a distinctly tonal mode of structural hearing: “This slowing down and clarifying of chordal change is the basis for any nascent concept (or practice) of tonality, enabling the listener to grasp a longer section of music as the decoration and prolongation of a single chord or of a basic chordal progression” (120). Both Chafe and Newcomb indicate that pitch-centric models provide only a partial picture of tonal procedures in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century music; they instead attribute early tonality to the regulatory structures that allowed composers and listeners alike to organize musical patterns hierarchically. Drawing on Chafe’s and Newcomb’s insights, I will demonstrate how composers’ regulation of pitch content with rhythm, meter, phrase structure, and form plays a more prominent role than harmony in the development of tonal styles in the early modern period.8 The power of these procedures lies in their capacity to produce expectation on the level of the phrase, phrase group, and form. Expectation accumulates: as composers exploit increasingly deep hierarchical levels, they create trajectories of expectation that encourage associations of structural dominant and tonic harmonies with rhetorical gestures and formal boundaries across significant time spans. Both Chafe and Newcomb look to (albeit secular) art music genres for their evidence of this conceptual transformation. But, as I will argue, the trajectories of expectation developing around the turn of the seventeenth century in fact have their roots in the mechanical text setting and periodic phrase structure of light homophonic partsong. The notion of a trajectory of expectation captures the goal-directed harmonic motion of a musical phrase.9 As it is used here, the term expectation draws on models from literary theory, cognitive music theory, and speculative music theory. Expectation describes the listener’s understanding of the generic context for a work, gained through statistical learning, that leads the listener to predict and ultimately find satisfaction in the occurrence of statistically likely events. The work of Hans Robert Jauss (1982), Alastair Fowler (1982), and others explore how readers or listeners interpret artworks by comparing them against generic norms. A central tenet of this work—a branch of genre theory rooted in reader-response theory—is that genres are inherently communicative. As such, genres teach listeners, through repeated exposure, the rules by which they should be interpreted, a process that Alastair Fowler (1982, 45) describes as the “acquisition of generic competence.” These rules constitute, in Jauss’s formulation, the horizon of expectations for the work, which changes over time according to the experiences of its audience.10 This horizon of expectations is both internal to a literary (or musical) repertory and historically situated, and thus provides a compelling model for approaching the seemingly unknowable expectations of contemporary listeners.11 The argument that expectations arise from repeated exposure to contextually similar stimuli also motivates strands of cognitive music theory devoted to psychological expectation. As I use the term in this article, expectation emerges from statistical learning. That is, listeners remember and respond to regularities in a repertory, thereby forming expectations that unfamiliar musical works will follow familiar patterns. Leonard Meyer (1956, 43) first articulated the role of statistical learning; he defines expectation as the listener’s tacit understanding of event probabilities based on learning and experience. Huron (2006) uses experimental music psychology as well as empirical corpus studies to build on Meyer’s work. Huron (59–72) demonstrates how auditory learning draws on the statistical properties of repertories to create robust mental frameworks that structure a listener’s understanding of a musical stimulus.12 Brian Hyer (2002, 728) appeals to expectation as the central tenet of tonality: It [tonality] gives rise . . . to abstract relations that control melodic motion and harmonic succession over long expanses of musical time. In its power to form musical goals and regulate the progress of the music toward these moments of arrival, tonality has become the principal musical means in Western culture by which to manage expectation and structure desire. For Hyer, tonal music is characterized by its orientation toward “musical goals”—“moments of arrival” on the tonic. According to this model, motion away from the central tonic produces a desire to return to it. Critically, the process of “manag[ing] expectation” is a temporal one: tonality “control[s]” musical materials over “long expanses of musical time” and “regulate[s]” music’s “progress.” In the late-sixteenth-century repertories discussed below, motion away from the tonic leads overwhelmingly toward the dominant, while metrical, phrase structural, and formal cues create ideal contexts for composers, performers, and listeners to engage with the relationship between tonic and dominant on increasingly large scales. In sum, the language of music theory provides a vocabulary for understanding not only the trajectory of a tonal phrase from I to V and back to I, but also the history of this trajectory in genres of centric modal music that emphasize fifth relationships and exploit the power of the leading tone.13 Cognitive music theory suggests that the repetition of these tonal patterns at salient formal and phrase structural boundaries created the necessary conditions for contemporary listeners and performers to develop generic expectations. And genre theory, by situating artworks as participating in a dialogue with an imagined generic norm, helps us to understand how listeners and performers develop flexible mental schemas that allow them to comprehend a variety of different metrical, phrase structural, and formal cues in the context of a normative model. This article will use the English ballett and the French air de cour as case studies to explore the tonal characteristics of seventeenth-century homophony. Homophonic secular partsongs were among the best-selling music books in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Although their light, vernacular character has long overshadowed their musical importance, their prominent characteristics—including a limited triadic vocabulary, predictable repeat structures, and strophic texts that encourage regular, repetitive text setting—contribute to their articulation of tonal relationships. Furthermore, homophonic partsongs are closely related to early monodic repertories that are more commonly cited as vessels for early experimentation with tonal procedures.14 The ballett and air de cour fall at opposite ends of a regulatory spectrum. The English ballett has a high degree of metrical regularity, periodic phrase structure, and formal organization; by contrast, the air de cour is often completely unmetrical or quasi-metrical.15 As such, they represent distinct phases in the development of tonal languages based on their capacity to create expectation. In France, this practice is emerging, but is complicated by the ametrical character of some airs, while in England, it is more completely incorporated into the ballett genre. These differences result in part from the aesthetic prioritization of music in England and poetry in France. At the same time, musical meter is closely associated with and at times dependent upon poetic meter. Differences between English and French poetry magnify distinctions in the musical styles of the two countries’ vernacular song.16 THE ENGLISH BALLETT English balletts owe their tonal effect not only to their strikingly modern harmonic syntax, but also to their metrical periodicity and their statement-response phrase structure. Example 1, Thomas Morley’s well-known ballett Now is the month of Maying is typical.17 Nearly ninety balletts were published in England between 1595 and 1627, principally in publications by Morley, Thomas Weelkes, and John Hilton, and secondarily in collections by Anthony Holborne, Thomas Greaves, Henry Youll, and Thomas Vautor.18 English composers adopted and developed the Italian balletto genre, introduced in the madrigal comedies of Orazio Vecchi and Adriano Banchieri and popularized by Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi in the early 1590s. Though Italian balletti (or popular German imitations of them) also could be fruitfully compared to the air de cour, this article will focus on the English movement. English composers produced the largest number of balletts, and their balletts are more unified in style than those of their Italian and German contemporaries. Furthermore, as I have demonstrated elsewhere (Long 2015b), the English ballett features a greater degree of metrical regularity than similar partsongs by Gastoldi and Hans Leo Hassler. Consequently, it provides the clearest contrast to the French airs discussed below.19 The English ballett is characterized by its limited triadic vocabulary, regular harmonic arrivals, and structural use of tonic and dominant cadences.20 These harmonic events are governed by melodic parallelism and a predictable refrain structure. The combined effect of these features is a tonal one, though the ballett’s tonal language is simultaneously familiar and foreign to contemporary listeners (Long 2015b). In Now is the month of Maying (Ex. 1), Morley incorporates some now-forbidden sonorities characteristic of English writing at this time, such as the v chord in m. 5, which results from his flexible treatment of F♯ and F♮.21 However, the surface harmonic syntax features many progressions that we teach in theory classes today: Morley uses T–PD–D–T syntax; his consecutive predominant harmonies feature root descent by third (mm. 2 and 6); he introduces an applied dominant to produce a tonicized half cadence; and he uses sonorities we could label as seventh chords.22 Moreover, the tonal effect of this passage is enhanced by Morley’s phrase structure. The four-measure verse establishes tonic and then tonicizes dominant; the refrain responds with motion from V back to I. The resulting phrase is a statement-response structure that builds and subsequently fulfills expectation by moving to V and returning to I.23 Morley’s melodic rhetoric reinforces this expectation: the verse stages an ascent from 1^ to 5^, and the refrain descends from 5^ back to 1^. These harmonic and melodic cues combine with the ballett’s formal conventions, such as its rhetorical pairing of an open-ended verse with a harmonically closed refrain. EXAMPLE 1. View largeDownload slide Thomas Morley, Now is the month of Maying (1595, no. 3), first verse and refrain (A section). (Bar lines in measured examples are mine. Notably, in both England and France, printers are careful to notate upbeats. For example, Now is the month of Maying begins with three beats of rest in every partbook.) EXAMPLE 1. View largeDownload slide Thomas Morley, Now is the month of Maying (1595, no. 3), first verse and refrain (A section). (Bar lines in measured examples are mine. Notably, in both England and France, printers are careful to notate upbeats. For example, Now is the month of Maying begins with three beats of rest in every partbook.) The harmonic and tonal processes at work in Now is the month of Maying echo across deeper formal levels. Example 2 schematizes an idealized ballett form based on Now is the month of Maying. Many of Morley’s balletts are strictly periodic (that is, major harmonic, metrical, and rhetorical events occur at predictable two-measure intervals), and, even in those balletts that deviate from the regularized norm, a periodic underlying structure is often implied. Morley’s texts, which consist primarily of couplets of quinari or settenari (Italianate five- and seven-syllable lines), encourage four-measure settings, and he often balances these verses with four-measure refrains. Following Gastoldi’s (1591 [1968]) model, Morley usually sets quinari in triple time and settenari in duple time; in both instances a single line yields a two-measure setting, and, by extension, a couplet yields four measures. Harmonic arrivals occur every two measures with stronger cadences every four measures. Each verse and refrain, then, is embedded within the larger, strophic ballett framework.24 Of course, many balletts do not conform exactly to the metrical pattern outlined in Example 2—some expand the verse or refrain, and others lack metrical regularity. Nonetheless, as Example 3 illustrates, the majority of these pieces cadence on V and I at formally significant moments, and English composers’ strict adherence to the basic formal model for the ballett permitted them some metrical flexibility at the phrase level.25 EXAMPLE 2. View largeDownload slide Schematic diagram of nested hierarchy in idealized ballett forms. Roman numerals refer to harmonic arrivals; they represent first-level defaults for ballett harmony (see Ex. 3). (Note that the ballett form is strophic, and the entire complex is repeated for each verse.) EXAMPLE 2. View largeDownload slide Schematic diagram of nested hierarchy in idealized ballett forms. Roman numerals refer to harmonic arrivals; they represent first-level defaults for ballett harmony (see Ex. 3). (Note that the ballett form is strophic, and the entire complex is repeated for each verse.) EXAMPLE 3. View largeDownload slide Harmony at the end of each section in Morley’s balletts, which appear in two collections (fifteen pieces in the 1595 collection and an additional four pieces in the 1606 edition of his 1593 collection). Shaded boxes indicate verses of three or more lines rather than a standard couplet or (rare) single line verse. EXAMPLE 3. View largeDownload slide Harmony at the end of each section in Morley’s balletts, which appear in two collections (fifteen pieces in the 1595 collection and an additional four pieces in the 1606 edition of his 1593 collection). Shaded boxes indicate verses of three or more lines rather than a standard couplet or (rare) single line verse. Example 4 situates Morley’s balletts within a broader English compositional practice. At first glance he demonstrates a stronger preference for closing A and B sections on V, III, or V/V than his contemporaries. However, many of the verses that end on I (especially in Weelkes’s collection) are longer than a couplet; since the longer verses permit greater harmonic motion, composers often introduce a medial cadence on V or III and return to tonic prior to the refrain. While Morley’s preference for ending his verses on V does not change when long verses are eliminated, the other composers shift to align more closely with Morley’s practice. Example 5 illustrates that Morley’s use of meter, while somewhat more regular than that of other English composers, is consistent with a broader English practice. This consistency in metrical style results in large part from the composers’ adherence to a metrical framework that sets two measures per five- or seven-syllable line of text (Long 2015a). Furthermore, each of these English composers owed a debt to Morley’s 1595 collection. Weelkes expanded upon Morley’s basic frameworks in his balletts, experimenting with imitation, phrase elision, and metrical schemes; less talented composers mimicked (sometimes poorly) Morley’s style. EXAMPLE 4. View largeDownload slide Harmony at the end of each section in all English balletts. Shaded boxes indicate verses of three or more lines rather than a standard couplet or (rare) single line verse. EXAMPLE 4. View largeDownload slide Harmony at the end of each section in all English balletts. Shaded boxes indicate verses of three or more lines rather than a standard couplet or (rare) single line verse. EXAMPLE 5. View largeDownload slide View largeDownload slide Summary of phrase lengths in English balletts. Settings that are primarily or exclusively imitative have been removed, including all of Tomkins’s balletts. Generally, verses are more regular than refrains, and A sections are more regular than B sections. Morley uses metrical regularity the most, followed by Weelkes; Hilton and the other composers are less likely to compose regular settings. EXAMPLE 5. View largeDownload slide View largeDownload slide Summary of phrase lengths in English balletts. Settings that are primarily or exclusively imitative have been removed, including all of Tomkins’s balletts. Generally, verses are more regular than refrains, and A sections are more regular than B sections. Morley uses metrical regularity the most, followed by Weelkes; Hilton and the other composers are less likely to compose regular settings. Morley combines regular metrical periodicity with statement-response phrase structure; these regulatory techniques enable his balletts to articulate formally significant dominant-tonic relationships. Such relationships, presented with metrical regularity at multiple levels of formal hierarchy, may have encouraged contemporary listeners to hear—and ultimately expect—pairs of tonally open and closed musical gestures at the level of the phrase segment, phrase, phrase group, and form.26Example 1 demonstrates this process on the eight-measure level (the phrase segment and phrase); the repetition of the opening verse creates this effect on the sixteen-measure level as well (phrase group). Examples 2 and 3 illustrate that the ballett’s B section has similar harmonic and rhythmic characteristics that continue this expectation at the thirty-two-measure formal level. TEXT SETTING IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE If English balletts sit at the “relentlessly periodic” end of a continuum, French airs de cour often fall at the opposite extreme. The aesthetic priorities that governed syllabic text setting in England and France were diametrically opposed: English composers prioritized musical concerns while French composers prioritized textual ones. Their different emphases were manifested in French and English treatments of musical meter, which plays a crucial role in the articulation of tonal relationships. Consequently, English homophony projects tonal structure more strongly than its French counterpart. To understand the differences between French and English secular song around the turn of the seventeenth century, it is helpful to see the air de cour through English eyes. In 1629 Englishman Edward Filmer translated a collection of airs de cour into English. Like editors of similar translated anthologies of Italian music before him, Filmer hoped to expose English music consumers to a repertory they might not otherwise have been able to access due to a language barrier.27 In the preface to French Court-Aires with their Ditties Englished, Filmer documents the struggles of reconciling French song and English verse. Though he is fluent in French, the shift from the syllabic French verse to the accentual-syllabic English verse poses problems for setting the translated text to the extant music: The French syllables, as well in Verse as Prose, are pronounced with a more Continu’d Equalitie of sound, then ours. For that Tongue admits seldome of any Tones or Intentions of the Voice (by Grammarians called Accents) unlesse at the End of the Clause, or in the penultims of words ending in their feminine (1629, sig. A3v). That is, French verse is end-accented, and all syllables prior to the end of a line are treated flexibly. Consequently, the natural rhythms of the English translation—based on the accentual-syllabic patterning of metrical feet—map awkwardly onto the irregular rhythms of the original French music, regardless of the skill of the translator. Filmer’s frustrated exposition reveals both the difficulties of translating a musical idiom that is closely tied to a linguistic one and his aesthetic priorities: the friendly relationship between text and music should supersede a faithful translation. He opts “to tolerate a little roughnesse in the Fluencie of some of the Verses” to “please the Judicious Hearer of the Tunes” (sig. A3v), favoring natural declamation over accurate translation. Indeed, Filmer’s assertion that he was “more taken with the Musicall part then the Poeticall” (sig. A3r) in his project reflects several key aesthetic differences between French and English approaches to text setting in this period. Whereas the air de cour sets texts of high literary merit and treats the music as a vehicle for text declamation, the English madrigal sets generally poor poesia per musica (Burney called it “wretched trash”28) with fastidious attention to text setting, generally at the level of the individual word. For English composers, simple poems provided opportunities for crafting clever musical settings; for French composers, simple music heightened the effect of great poems. France’s finest poets supplied the texts for airs de cour.29 Many of the texts describe courtly life and its associated virtues; others appropriate rustic imagery (Brooks 2000, 34–41, 47–48). In either case, the poetic text was primary and the musical text secondary. In his preface to the first collection bearing the designation “air de cour,” Adrian Le Roy apologizes that “the musical harmonies are not equal to those” of his previous works, but “at least the texts have come from good forges such as those of Seigneurs [Pierre de] Ronsard, [Philippe] Desportes, and others of the most noble poets of our century.”30 Le Roy implies that he has simplified the harmonies and musical texture not only to provide “lighter” and easier songs for his patroness, but also to prevent distraction from his fine texts. Le Roy’s emphasis on text over music is perhaps a response to earlier writings by Pléiade poets Pierre de Ronsard and Pontus de Tyard.31 Writing in 1555, Tyard suggests that “the intention of music seems to be to give a tune to words, so that anyone hearing it will have his passions roused and will himself be drawn to the poet’s affection.”32Brown (1994) demonstrates that a similar preference for clear articulation of poetry underlies the more ambiguous writings of Ronsard (1565 [1949], 1572 [1982]). English composers, on the other hand, did not draw on their native poetic tradition, which they perceived as wanting relative to foreign models. Instead, they imitated Italian musical and poetic traditions, though the English madrigalists did not adopt the literary pretensions that characterized the Italian madrigal. Most English madrigalists adapted poetry from lighter Italian sources, often translating—poorly—Italian texts themselves (Kerman 1962, 27–29). For English composers, the mediocre texts simply provided opportunities for text painting. The disparity in textual quality between the English madrigal and the French air had a reciprocal relationship with contemporary attitudes about text setting. It is telling that some of our best primary sources for text-music relations have such different origins: in France, Pierre de Ronsard, a poet, articulates most clearly how text and music ought to relate, whereas in England, Thomas Morley, a composer, gives voice to these ideas.33 Of course, this is by no means an absolute binary—Philip Sidney, for example, expressed strong opinions about music and text (Alexander 2003)—but it reflects the critical difference in priority between these repertories. Ronsard addresses his suggestions for good text setting not to composers, but rather to poets. His proposals range from practical to aesthetic: on the one hand, strophes of a poem should be identical to accommodate repeated music, on the other, single and double rhymes (Ronsard calls these masculine and feminine) should alternate to support varied cadences (Ronsard [1565] 1949, 8–9; Brown 1994, 7–8).34 If Ronsard’s instructions provide a good starting point for poets hoping to accumulate musical settings of their works, they leave much to be desired from the perspective of composers. By comparison, Morley supplies composers with a detailed rubric for text setting, but says nothing that might aid a poet. Morley (paraphrasing Zarlino 1558 [1983], 94–97 without attribution) addresses affect, harmony, melody, rhythm and meter, and text painting. He provides thorough instructions for declamation, reminding novice composers to emphasize long syllables with long notes and to avoid placing rests in the middle of words or phrases (Morley 1597, 197–98). Ultimately, Morley and Ronsard are united in their central aim, here articulated by Morley: “you shall be perfectly understood of the auditor what you sing” (178). But this goal manifested in dramatically different ways in the two countries. The French text-centric aesthetic found its ideal expression in musique mesurée à l’antique.35 The Pléiade poets devised a system of vers mesurés based on accented and unaccented syllables, which simulated the quantitative verse of Greek and Latin using the syllabic French language—unfortunately, their confusion of quantity with stress made this a rather complicated endeavor (Brooks 2000, 294–95). Musique mesurée set these verses according to a strict policy of long notes for accented syllables and short notes for unaccented ones in a 2:1 ratio. The musique mesurée tradition encouraged excellent text declamation at the expense of musical meter. The resulting musical settings had freely alternating duple and triple groupings that agglutinated into phrases of uneven, often odd, lengths. The air de cour emerged as the popularity of musique mesurée was waning, but it was still heavily influenced by the tradition. The air de cour repertory consists of two types of works: pieces en mesure d’air, the additive rhythms descended from musique mesurée, and pieces en musique légère with metrically regular dance rhythms descended from the voix de ville, a simple, strophic courtly genre from the early sixteenth century. The air de cour repertory included thousands of partsongs, lute songs, and solo songs published over a hundred-year period (1570–1670).36 The genre is difficult to define as it overlaps with the chanson, and composers rarely designated genres in their titles. This study focuses on polyphonic airs published from the late 1580s through about 1620, contemporary with the English ballett. Of the approximately fifty collections of polyphonic airs published during this period, just over thirty survive complete. Few of these sources exist in modern or facsimile edition, though the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles has recently edited the airs of Pierre Guédron; editions of Étienne Mouliné and Antoine Boësset are in progress. For reasons of scope, this article has focused on three single-composer collections spanning a twenty-five-year period (Planson 1587; Tessier 1597; Guédron 1612), and Le Roy and Ballard’s 1597 anthology. I have contextualized these sources with two additional single-composer collections (Tessier 1604 [2006]; Guédron 1608), and a second anthology (Ballard 1606), yielding a total sample of 277 airs.37 The distinction between French works en mesure d’air and en musique légère was first articulated by French theorists in the 1630s.38 (Notably, this categorization is not made by air composers, and works within collections are not labeled; furthermore, some partsongs are difficult to categorize.) Works in the former category are characterized by their additive rhythms in a 2:1 ratio, which freely alternate according to syllable accent.39 Each line is a different length, and lines often have odd numbers of beats. Le Roy and Ballard—the printers of most airs de cour—distinguish unmeasured phrases by placing a bar line at the end of each line; this makes airs en mesure d’air easy to spot in later printed sources.40 By contrast, the measured airs en musique légère use dance meters (Le Cocq 2000, 6–14). They are often in triple time and feature a wider variety of rhythmic values than their unmeasured cousins; printers did not demarcate their metrically regular phrases with bar lines. MUSIQUE EN MESURE D’AIR In spite of their lack of metrical regularity, many French partsongs en mesure d’air incorporate formal cues that encourage tonal expectation. These airs help to shed light on the relative roles of meter and phrase structure in creating a sense of tonality. Nonetheless, the lack of metrical regularity compromises a listener’s ability to interpret trajectories of expectation that are otherwise clearly articulated in an air. Jehan Planson’s setting of Amour ne voyant pas enclose is a typical example of mesure d’air. The poem features six eight-syllable lines with both single and double rhymes; the final two lines are repeated as a refrain.41 counted syllables sung syllables Amour ne voyant pas enclos(e), 8 9 Entre les replis d’une ros(e), 8 9 Une mouche à miel qui soudain, 8 8 En un de ses doigs le vint poin(dre). 8 9 Le mignon commence à se plain(dre), 8 9 Voyant enfler sa blanche main. 8 8 counted syllables sung syllables Amour ne voyant pas enclos(e), 8 9 Entre les replis d’une ros(e), 8 9 Une mouche à miel qui soudain, 8 8 En un de ses doigs le vint poin(dre). 8 9 Le mignon commence à se plain(dre), 8 9 Voyant enfler sa blanche main. 8 8 View Large counted syllables sung syllables Amour ne voyant pas enclos(e), 8 9 Entre les replis d’une ros(e), 8 9 Une mouche à miel qui soudain, 8 8 En un de ses doigs le vint poin(dre). 8 9 Le mignon commence à se plain(dre), 8 9 Voyant enfler sa blanche main. 8 8 counted syllables sung syllables Amour ne voyant pas enclos(e), 8 9 Entre les replis d’une ros(e), 8 9 Une mouche à miel qui soudain, 8 8 En un de ses doigs le vint poin(dre). 8 9 Le mignon commence à se plain(dre), 8 9 Voyant enfler sa blanche main. 8 8 View Large Le Roy and Ballard’s setting is reproduced as Example 6(a); they place a bar line at the end of each phrase of this unmeasured air, and the phrases vary in length from eleven to nineteen beats. The syllables are set in a 2:1 ratio, and notated rhythmic variety is limited to simple melismas, which are clearly marked with slurs. Planson demarcates the end of each line with one long note for single r hymes and two long notes for double rhymes. Otherwise, Planson’s setting is free, and he sets anywhere from zero to four syllables prior to the end of the line as long notes. EXAMPLE 6(a). View largeDownload slide Jehan Planson, Amour ne voyant pas enclose (1587, no. 1). This facsimile is from the superius partbook, from the 1593 edition of Planson’s Airs mis en musique à quatre parties (sig. Aiiv). The sign of congruence above the penultimate phrase indicates a repeat; it is reinforced by the final custos, which indicates a return to the pitch D. Reproduced with the permission of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. EXAMPLE 6(a). View largeDownload slide Jehan Planson, Amour ne voyant pas enclose (1587, no. 1). This facsimile is from the superius partbook, from the 1593 edition of Planson’s Airs mis en musique à quatre parties (sig. Aiiv). The sign of congruence above the penultimate phrase indicates a repeat; it is reinforced by the final custos, which indicates a return to the pitch D. Reproduced with the permission of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Planson’s air, provided in score as Example 6(b), does not strongly project the expectation so crucial to Morley’s balletts. The melody has an improvisational character, though the descent in the fourth phrase (here defined as a line of text) creates a sense of temporary closure. Harmonically, Planson delays the air’s final (♭–G), reserving a cadence on G for the end of the refrain.42 However, he prepares the refrain with an authentic cadence on the dominant (fourth phrase) and sets up an opposition between a half cadence and an authentic cadence in the refrain. Planson’s primary vehicle for projecting expectation is formal: he uses the refrain to produce harmonic closure and uses harmonic and textural cues—the preceding dominant and the loose imitation in the final phrase, respectively—to differentiate the refrain from the preceding texture. EXAMPLE 6(b). View largeDownload slide Planson, Amour ne voyant pas enclose (1587, no. 1) EXAMPLE 6(b). View largeDownload slide Planson, Amour ne voyant pas enclose (1587, no. 1) Some ametrical airs impart a certain amount of regularity, as in Example 7, Planson’s Reveillez vous belle Catin. Planson’s source poem, attributed to Héliette de Vivonne,43 provides a uniform framework for the air. sung and counted syllables Reveillez vous belle Catin, 8 Et allons cueillir ce matin, 8 La rose que pour vostre amour, 8 Vous me promistes l’autre jour. 8 sung and counted syllables Reveillez vous belle Catin, 8 Et allons cueillir ce matin, 8 La rose que pour vostre amour, 8 Vous me promistes l’autre jour. 8 View Large sung and counted syllables Reveillez vous belle Catin, 8 Et allons cueillir ce matin, 8 La rose que pour vostre amour, 8 Vous me promistes l’autre jour. 8 sung and counted syllables Reveillez vous belle Catin, 8 Et allons cueillir ce matin, 8 La rose que pour vostre amour, 8 Vous me promistes l’autre jour. 8 View Large Vive l’amour, vive ses feux, 8 final couplet repeats C’est mourir de vivre sans eux. 8 Vive l’amour, vive ses feux, 8 final couplet repeats C’est mourir de vivre sans eux. 8 View Large Vive l’amour, vive ses feux, 8 final couplet repeats C’est mourir de vivre sans eux. 8 Vive l’amour, vive ses feux, 8 final couplet repeats C’est mourir de vivre sans eux. 8 View Large Whereas Planson treated each eight-syllable line flexibly in Amour ne voyant pas enclose, he consistently uses exactly three long note values and five short ones in Reveillez vous belle Catin. As a result, each line of Reveillez vous has eleven beats (until the refrain).44 EXAMPLE 7. View largeDownload slide Planson, Reveillez vous belle Catin (1587, no. 11) EXAMPLE 7. View largeDownload slide Planson, Reveillez vous belle Catin (1587, no. 11) Planson’s air features several of the phrase structural and formal characteristics that we saw in Morley’s balletts. Planson’s first two phrases establish the final (♭–G), then tonicize III; the melodic repetition calls attention to the rhyming couplet. Planson sets the second couplet as a statement and response with a HC–PAC pair. He supplements the harmonic expectation that these cadences engender with melodic expectation: the superius descends from B♭ in phrases 1 and 2 to A in phrase 3, and finally to G in phrase 4. The first authentic cadence on the final signals the end of the verse and prepares the refrain. Planson marks the onset of the refrain with a new dotted rhythmic pattern. The melody recalls that of the opening phrase but is redirected—rather than landing on B♭ (“Catin”/“matin”) it descends to A (“feux”). However, Planson does not use a half cadence here despite the slowed harmonic rhythm and the descent to 2^. Instead, he elides the two phrases: the A-major sonority acts as a dominant of the following D minor and propels the lower voices into the final line of text. The refrain’s final phrase is identical to the response phrase from the verse (phrase 4); the refrain condenses the verse with an implied statement-response structure that is compromised by the elision. The air establishes tonic, departs, and returns; a single, thrice-repeated cadential formula generates much of the air’s tonal structure (phrases 4, 6, and 8). Despite its underlying periodicity, Planson’s setting of Réveillez vous belle Catin lacks the metrical regularity so crucial to the English ballett.45 But even without metrical regularity the air has a number of signals that encourage expectation. Its melody features repetition that helps to articulate the form as well as descents from 3^ to 1^, with arrivals on 2^ preceding the final phrase of each section. Planson experiments with the same features that Morley uses in his balletts—melodic parallelism, pairs of weak and strong cadences, statement-response phrase structure, consistent phrase lengths, and formal repetition—though the metrical flexibility of Planson’s air weakens the rhetorical salience of the paired dominant and tonic arrivals and the expectation they encourage. EMERGENT PERIODICITY IN THE AIR DE COUR The complicated rules for text setting in the air de cour and the genre’s roots in musique mesurée suggest that metrical periodicity—so crucial to the ballett’s tonal sound—would be absent from the air de cour. But French composers found ways to incorporate metrical regularity even within the context of musique mesurée, a phenomenon I call emergent periodicity. In some cases the regularity resulted from the structure of the poetic text; in others it resulted from composers’ deviating from text setting conventions, suggesting that periodicity had an aesthetic function that crossed national borders. Two airs, discussed below, are illustrative of this trend: Charles Tessier’s L’amour de ces courtisans and an anonymous setting from Le Roy and Ballard’s 1597 anthology, Il est vray je le confesse. Works en mesure d’air and those en musique légère cannot always be clearly delimited (Le Cocq 2000, 4). Tessier’s L’amour de ces courtisans (1597) (Ex. 8) is not easily categorized: the air is metrically regular despite bearing markers of the unmeasured style. Tessier’s air consists of two four-measure phrases that divide into two-measure sub-phrases, each of which sets one line of the poem. Each line ends with slower rhythmic values, yielding harmonic arrivals every two measures. But this periodicity, generally a feature of airs en musique légère, has its roots in the unmeasured style. It does not stem from a dance meter, nor do we see the variety of rhythmic values characteristic of airs en musique légère. EXAMPLE 8. View largeDownload slide Charles Tessier, L’amour de ces courtisans (1597, no. 17). (This collection is a rare example of French airs de cour published in London, by Thomas East. East places a bar line after faintise and prise only. Notational cues are less helpful here, as East had not developed notational conventions for bar lines in airs de cour to the extent that Le Roy and Ballard had. See also Dobbins 2006, xxiii–xxiv.) EXAMPLE 8. View largeDownload slide Charles Tessier, L’amour de ces courtisans (1597, no. 17). (This collection is a rare example of French airs de cour published in London, by Thomas East. East places a bar line after faintise and prise only. Notational cues are less helpful here, as East had not developed notational conventions for bar lines in airs de cour to the extent that Le Roy and Ballard had. See also Dobbins 2006, xxiii–xxiv.) Instead, the air’s metrical regularity results from Tessier’s formulaic text setting. counted syllables sung syllables L’amour de ces courtisans 7 7 Est pure faintis(e). 5 6 Plus ilz sont les languissans 7 7 Tant moins je les pris(e). 5 6 counted syllables sung syllables L’amour de ces courtisans 7 7 Est pure faintis(e). 5 6 Plus ilz sont les languissans 7 7 Tant moins je les pris(e). 5 6 View Large counted syllables sung syllables L’amour de ces courtisans 7 7 Est pure faintis(e). 5 6 Plus ilz sont les languissans 7 7 Tant moins je les pris(e). 5 6 counted syllables sung syllables L’amour de ces courtisans 7 7 Est pure faintis(e). 5 6 Plus ilz sont les languissans 7 7 Tant moins je les pris(e). 5 6 View Large In deference to musique mesurée, Tessier limits his setting to quarter notes and half notes, reserving the longer values for the final one or two syllables of each line, according to the rhyme.46 His air illustrates Ronsard’s rule that poets should alternate single and double rhymes to encourage varied cadential rhetoric. The alternating rhyme types correspond with a phrase hierarchy: the first and third lines, which end with single rhymes, are syntactically dependent on those that follow, are in weaker positions in the metric hierarchy (in the middle of four-measure phrases), and feature weaker cadences (for instance, the undecorated I: PAC in m. 2 is rhetorically weaker than the tonicized HC in m. 4, which is decorated with a suspension and passing dissonance). The double rhymes yield slower harmonic articulation at the stronger phrase boundaries; Tessier highlights this shift in harmonic rhythm in m. 4 by introducing inner voice figuration to strengthen the tonicized half cadence. Tessier’s air has a statement-response skeleton mirroring that of Morley’s Now is the month of Maying. In both partsongs, the first two measures prolong the tonic, while the following two measures tonicize the dominant. In each setting, the four-measure opening is followed by a refrain (in Morley’s case, a “fa la” refrain, and in Tessier’s setting, a repeated couplet). Measures 5–6 destabilize the tonic but lead to a half cadence, and the final measures conclude with a PAC. Harmonic arrivals occur every two measures, corresponding with repeated rhythmic patterns and poetic and musical rhymes; the two arrivals on dominant (mm. 4 and 6) encourage expectation for the tonic in m. 8. The coordination of harmonic structure, phrase hierarchy, and rhyme scheme establishes a cycle of expectation for the air encouraged by metrical periodicity. Tessier’s air illustrates the principle of emergent periodicity, that is, regularity of phrase rhythm that results from the coordination of a rhythmic formula (defined by musique mesurée) and poetic structure (determined by Ronsard’s rules), rather than from pre-compositional metrical planning. Pieces that feature emergent periodicity occupy a gray area between airs en musique légère and en mesure d’air. As such, they suggest that, in the development of metrical periodicity in French composition and indeed in syllabic, homophonic text setting throughout Europe, regular musical meter often results directly from regular poetic meter.47 Emergent periodicity is a factor in a number of other airs de cour that fall into the same ambiguous space between measured and unmeasured, such as Example 9, an anonymous setting of Il est vray je le confesse (1597). As in L’amour de ces courtisans, the text of this air alternates between single and double rhymes in lines of uneven lengths. counted syllables sung syllables Il est vray, je le confess(e), 7 8 Je suis amoureux: 5 5 Mais le bel oeil qui me bless(e) 7 8 Me rend si heureux, 5 5 Qu’aux Dieux je ne porte en vi(e) 7 8 Servant sa beauté 5 5 Qui tient mon ame asservi(e) 7 8 Et ma liberté. 5 5 counted syllables sung syllables Il est vray, je le confess(e), 7 8 Je suis amoureux: 5 5 Mais le bel oeil qui me bless(e) 7 8 Me rend si heureux, 5 5 Qu’aux Dieux je ne porte en vi(e) 7 8 Servant sa beauté 5 5 Qui tient mon ame asservi(e) 7 8 Et ma liberté. 5 5 View Large counted syllables sung syllables Il est vray, je le confess(e), 7 8 Je suis amoureux: 5 5 Mais le bel oeil qui me bless(e) 7 8 Me rend si heureux, 5 5 Qu’aux Dieux je ne porte en vi(e) 7 8 Servant sa beauté 5 5 Qui tient mon ame asservi(e) 7 8 Et ma liberté. 5 5 counted syllables sung syllables Il est vray, je le confess(e), 7 8 Je suis amoureux: 5 5 Mais le bel oeil qui me bless(e) 7 8 Me rend si heureux, 5 5 Qu’aux Dieux je ne porte en vi(e) 7 8 Servant sa beauté 5 5 Qui tient mon ame asservi(e) 7 8 Et ma liberté. 5 5 View Large The composer creates metrical regularity despite the uneven line lengths by setting the longer lines with quarter notes and the shorter lines with a mix of quarter and half notes. By this scheme, each line is allotted eight quarter-note beats, and the air adheres to this rhythmic pattern with some ornamentation throughout. EXAMPLE 9. View largeDownload slide Anonymous, Il est vray je le confesse (1597, no. 9). Le Roy and Ballard notate bar lines after mm. 4, 8, 12, and 16. EXAMPLE 9. View largeDownload slide Anonymous, Il est vray je le confesse (1597, no. 9). Le Roy and Ballard notate bar lines after mm. 4, 8, 12, and 16. The anonymous composer complements the metrical periodicity with melodic and harmonic parallelism that was not a feature of L’amour de ces courtisans. The first half of the air consists of two identical four-measure phrases, each of which prolongs G (the final, ♭–G) before an authentic cadence on D. The second half also employs a repeated four-measure melody. But, in contrast to mm. 1–8, the composer re-harmonizes the second line of the couplet to produce a statement-response structure. Measures 9–12 emphasize B♭ and lead to a strongly articulated authentic cadence on this degree, while the responding music (mm. 13–16) returns to G, replacing the previous phrase’s bass ascent with a dramatic descent. Notably, this air lacks the repeated final section characteristic of most airs and chansons; its melodic parallelism and statement-response phrase structure provides an alternative model for the articulation of formal and tonal structure. The full air enacts a trajectory of exposition (mm. 1–8), departure (mm. 9–12), and return (mm. 12–16), all within a carefully circumscribed periodic framework. These airs illustrate two models of emergent periodicity. Whereas Tessier, with L’amour de ces courtisans, strictly observes traditional musique mesurée text-setting rules, the anonymous composer deviates from text-setting conventions to accommodate the unbalanced line lengths. This deviation is evident in the two composers’ rhetorical treatment of their single and double rhymes. The anonymous composer speeds through the double rhymes, sometimes avoiding a cadential effect (mm. 2 and 6), and sometimes creating a phrase elision (mm. 10 and 14). For the single rhymes, the rhythm slows, yielding stronger cadences on beat three of mm. 4, 8, 12, and 16. As a result, the composer establishes a hierarchy of phrases that corresponds with the poem’s syntax and rhyme scheme as well as the hypermetric and cadential hierarchy. Airs de cour fall along a spectrum from the additive, irregular meter of musique mesurée to the preordained periodicity of dance music. Emergent periodicity provides a vocabulary for understanding how composers mediated between these two extremes. Example 10 illustrates the relative concentration of airs en mesure d’air, those featuring emergent periodicity, and those en musique légère in seven air de cour collections from the late 1580s through the early 1610s. French composers strongly prefer the mesurée-influenced style; however, nearly every collection includes at least a few examples of both airs en musique légère and unmeasured airs featuring emergent periodicity. This suggests that emergent periodicity had at least an equal role to musique légère in encouraging metrical periodicity in this repertory, in spite of the prevailing preference for the unmeasured style. Further research made possible by the increased availability of sources could investigate the extent to which a trend toward regularity emerges in partsong and lute airs from the late 1610 s through the later seventeenth century. Durosoir (2009, xlix) documents such a stylistic shift in Guédron’s airs in the period between his 1608 and 1612 collections. Certainly, emergent periodicity served as a valuable middle ground as composers eventually transitioned from musique mesurée and mensural practice more generally toward a modern metrical system. But the distinction between the mechanical text setting of L’amour de ces courtisans and the more composer-manipulated Il est vray je le confesse suggests that the relative role of the poet and the composer in producing periodicity varies from air to air. EXAMPLE 10. View largeDownload slide Distribution of air de cour types in a sample of collections. Categorization was determined by the author based on metrical and notational cues. Generally, French composers demonstrate a strong preference for mesure d’air; works en musique légère and those featuring emergent periodicity are equally prevalent across these representative collections. EXAMPLE 10. View largeDownload slide Distribution of air de cour types in a sample of collections. Categorization was determined by the author based on metrical and notational cues. Generally, French composers demonstrate a strong preference for mesure d’air; works en musique légère and those featuring emergent periodicity are equally prevalent across these representative collections. The reciprocal relationship between poetic meter and musical meter facilitated an increase in metrical periodicity across Europe in the early modern period—especially in repertories with syllabic text-setting like the ballett and air de cour. The complicating factor of musique mesurée foregrounds the compositional priority that French composers variously did and did not give to musical meter. Most importantly, these airs demonstrate that French composers found ways to incorporate periodicity within the rubric of musique mesurée text setting rules, even in a genre where the deck was stacked against metrical periodicity. AIRS EN MUSIQUE LÉGÈRE This is not to say that metrically regular airs de cour were exclusively the work of chance combinations of musical and poetic meter. Many dance-based airs en musique légère feature the same metrical regularity, formal repetition, and phrase structures that characterize English balletts. At the same time, other measured airs lack periodicity, foregrounding the priority that French composers placed on poetry over musical meter. In either case, the interaction between parameters such as harmony, cadential rhetoric, and phrase structure on the one hand and meter on the other encourages tonal expectation. Many airs en musique légère derive their rhythmic character from dance music.48 Some airs survive in both measured and unmeasured forms, including Révéillés vous belle Cattin; Example 11 provides Tessier’s measured setting of this text, which makes for an instructive comparison with Planson’s (Ex. 7). Tessier’s courante setting features triple meter, hemiola, and emphatic forward drive; he essentially adds one beat per line to Planson’s unmeasured framework and replaces the Ŵ mensuration sign with šʼn. The settings correspond until the refrain: as Example 12 illustrates, while Planson continues the metrical pattern of the rest of the air for the first line of the refrain couplet, Tessier changes the refrain’s metrical emphasis. Tessier abandons the syncopation characteristic of the courante in favor of a refrain that places stronger emphasis on the six-beat hypermeasure; he reintroduces the hemiola for the second line of the refrain couplet. EXAMPLE 11. View largeDownload slide Tessier, Réveillés vous belle Cattin (1597, no. 8) EXAMPLE 11. View largeDownload slide Tessier, Réveillés vous belle Cattin (1597, no. 8) EXAMPLE 12. View largeDownload slide Comparison of Tessier and Planson’s settings of Réveillés vous belle Cattin EXAMPLE 12. View largeDownload slide Comparison of Tessier and Planson’s settings of Réveillés vous belle Cattin Harmonically, Planson’s and Tessier’s settings are similar. Aside from ornamental gestures, the two composers treat the opening couplet identically. The two refrains resemble one another harmonically, except for the critical internal cadence point (“vive ses feux”). Here, Planson elides the phrases rather than cadencing (phrase 5). Tessier, by contrast, writes a contrapuntal cadence on F (m. 20), which acts as a dominant of the following B♭ sonority. Some of this discrepancy can be attributed to the rhythmic variance between the two settings of the refrain; the rest depends on the composers’ taste, their understanding of the norms for composing in the ♭ system with a G final, or their memory of a performance of this air. Tessier and Planson diverge more extensively in their treatment of the middle couplet (Tessier’s mm. 9–16, Planson’s phrases 3–4). The composers share two structural bass pitches for each phrase—the first long note (“que” and “-mis-” in the first verse) and the cadential bass—but they arrive at these landmarks by different routes. Tessier begins his second couplet by recalling the pitch of the opening in a gesture of re-initiation, while Planson speaks to the cadence on B♭ that has just occurred and begins with an F-major harmony. Critically, while the two settings’ rhythms divide easily into an ancient/modern binary, their harmonic structures do not map onto this binary at all. Both composers use harmonic syntax different from that of common practice tonality but not unfamiliar to modern listeners; they simply emphasize different harmonies and bass motion. A single air de cour framework interpreted and arranged by different composers can take on decidedly contrasting forms. But this pair raises an intriguing question: if we intuit Tessier’s setting as striding confidently toward tonality while Planson’s setting resides comfortably in the distant realm of the antique, what is it, exactly, that differentiates these two works? For the most part, it is neither their pitch content, nor their harmonies or cadences, that distinguishes them. Rather, rhythm and meter set these two works apart. Tessier’s metrically regular framework would become a norm in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while Planson’s experimentation with musique mesurée would fade to obscurity. Measured music—even music strongly influenced by dance meters—does not necessarily imply complete metrical periodicity. Example 13, the anonymous Dieu vous gard bergerette (1597), features the iambic rhythmic patterning and hemiola characteristic of the courante but lacks the periodicity that would make the work danceable. The melody references the courante’s form without adhering to it exactly: each half divides into two similar phrases with melodic parallelism and paired weak and strong cadences. In spite of these musical regularities the composer sets the first half of the melody in seven-measure phrases that subdivide into 4 + 3, rather than metrically regular 4 + 4 phrases (as in the second half of the air). The text accounts for this metrical anomaly: counted syllables sung syllables Dieu vous gard bergeret(te), 6 7 Et vos moutons aussi. 6 6 Ainsi toute seullet(te) 6 7 Que faites vous icy, 6 6 Auriez vous agreeab(le) 6 7 Un amant miserab(le). 6 7 counted syllables sung syllables Dieu vous gard bergeret(te), 6 7 Et vos moutons aussi. 6 6 Ainsi toute seullet(te) 6 7 Que faites vous icy, 6 6 Auriez vous agreeab(le) 6 7 Un amant miserab(le). 6 7 View Large counted syllables sung syllables Dieu vous gard bergeret(te), 6 7 Et vos moutons aussi. 6 6 Ainsi toute seullet(te) 6 7 Que faites vous icy, 6 6 Auriez vous agreeab(le) 6 7 Un amant miserab(le). 6 7 counted syllables sung syllables Dieu vous gard bergeret(te), 6 7 Et vos moutons aussi. 6 6 Ainsi toute seullet(te) 6 7 Que faites vous icy, 6 6 Auriez vous agreeab(le) 6 7 Un amant miserab(le). 6 7 View Large The source poem consists of lines of six counted syllables, and the opening quatrain alternates between double and single rhymes. Consequently, the first quatrain alternates between seven and six sung syllables; the composer sets each seven-syllable line in four measures and each six-syllable line in three, creating an elision into the following phrase. The same mechanical text setting that yields emergent periodicity in the airs addressed above here creates irregularity—the composer does not prioritize metrical periodicity in this setting, even though it is ostensibly meant to be danced. The air’s notation similarly compromises any sense of periodicity: the publishers do not notate any initial rests (though they do so in other triple time settings in the collection), and they place a bar line immediately following each line of text, drawing on the unmetrical nature of musique mesurée barring practices.49 Ultimately, the uneven phrase lengths weaken the carefully outlined cadential hierarchy by upsetting expectations of regularity. example 13. View largeDownload slide Anonymous, Dieu vous gard bergerette (1597, no. 2) example 13. View largeDownload slide Anonymous, Dieu vous gard bergerette (1597, no. 2) Another version of Dieu vous gard bergerette appeared in Pierre Guédron’s 1612 collection of airs de cour and is reproduced as Example 14; Guédron’s version erases the metrical irregularity by adding a measure of rest at the end of the second and fourth lines. Responding to the refrain-like final couplet, Guédron also repeats the final two phrases in his setting and changes the proportions of the air into a larger, more symmetrical structure. Durosoir (2009, liv) has suggested that, due to concordances between Guédron’s later airs and many earlier anonymous settings, Guédron may have composed the 1597 setting and modernized the meter fifteen years later. Or perhaps Guédron and the anonymous composer borrowed the same melody independently and represented it in musical notation differently, or Guédron copied and revised the work of the anonymous composer without attribution. In any case, the shift toward metrical regularity and formal repetition belies subtle changes in aesthetic priority in the early decades of the seventeenth century.50 example 14. View largeDownload slide Guédron, Dieu vous gard bergerette (1612, no. 29) example 14. View largeDownload slide Guédron, Dieu vous gard bergerette (1612, no. 29) Each of the airs analyzed above establishes trajectories of expectation using statement-response phrases, pairs of strong and weak (usually tonic and dominant) cadences, and melodic and harmonic parallelism. Four of the seven airs are metrically regular and feature hierarchical formal structures based on groupings of two-, four-, and eight-measure units. Planson’s unmeasured setting of Reveillez vous belle Catin is easily reinterpreted by Tessier to fall within a metrical framework, as is the case with Guédron’s later version of Dieu vous gard bergerette. Although metrical regularity is a more common feature of dance-type works, the aesthetic paradigm of metric hierarchy and dominant-tonic polarity infused some airs influenced more directly by musique mesurée. At the same time, the dance rhythms of musique légère do not necessarily translate to metrical periodicity. All of these pieces incorporate the same statement-response rhetoric that is critical to the English ballett’s tonal sound. FROM METRICAL REGULARITY TO TONAL EXPECTATION English composers demonstrated a stronger preference for metrical regularity than their French counterparts. Example 15(a) summarizes metrical regularity in English balletts and French airs de cour. The French pieces are more evenly distributed, as they reflect three distinct styles—mesure d’air, emergent periodicity, and musique légère. Nearly 20 percent of the French airs are completely regular or nearly so—these are the best examples of emergent periodicity and the most regular of the airs en musique légère. French composers’ preference for the unmeasured style (almost 60 percent of the airs sampled here) accounts for the larger number of pieces where fewer than half of the phrases can be understood according to a metrically regular framework. In England, Weelkes and Hilton account for the peak between 60 percent and 80 percent: Weelkes experimented with imitation and elision in his balletts, and Hilton compensated for the dogged regularity of his poetry by adding one-measure extensions to many of his balletts (cf. Ex. 5). Indeed, as Example 15(b) illustrates, Morley’s preference for regularity is even stronger than that of the other English composers. EXAMPLE 15(a). View largeDownload slide Metrical regularity in English (left) and French (right) partsongs. Only homophonic, texted phrases are included. The data represent 57 English balletts and 277 French airs de cour, and account for more than 1500 phrases. A “regular” phrase includes a number of beats divisible by four (that is, a whole number of semibreves), or, in triple time, a set of three-beat units divisible by four (a whole number of perfect semibreves). EXAMPLE 15(a). View largeDownload slide Metrical regularity in English (left) and French (right) partsongs. Only homophonic, texted phrases are included. The data represent 57 English balletts and 277 French airs de cour, and account for more than 1500 phrases. A “regular” phrase includes a number of beats divisible by four (that is, a whole number of semibreves), or, in triple time, a set of three-beat units divisible by four (a whole number of perfect semibreves). EXAMPLE 15(b). View largeDownload slide Metrical regularity in Morley’s partsongs (left), as well as those of all English composers, including Morley (center), and French composers (right) EXAMPLE 15(b). View largeDownload slide Metrical regularity in Morley’s partsongs (left), as well as those of all English composers, including Morley (center), and French composers (right) If the similarities between the ballett and the air de cour reveal which elements of sixteenth-century contrapuntal languages eventually played significant roles in tonal articulation, the differences between the repertories indicate how these changes were taking place on different time-scales and according to various aesthetic priorities in the two countries. While the air de cour reveals the extent to which metrical periodicity impacts a homophonic repertory’s tonal sound, it also illustrates the importance of other musical factors in creating the trajectories of expectation so central to a sense of tonality. Metrical regularity contributes little to a repertory’s tonal sound when it is not supported by melodic, cadential, and formal rhetoric that reinforces a metric hierarchy. The ballett is most obviously distinguished from the air de cour by its “fa la” refrain. The ballett’s refrain plays a critical role in the genre’s capacity to encourage tonal expectation. The “fa la” refrain is closely tied to the structure of the poem: balletts often divide the text into couplets, each of which becomes a verse that pairs with a “fa la.” Consequently, verses are circumscribed almost uniformly to four measures in duple time or eight measures in triple time—the syllabic treatment of quinari and settenari cannot sustain a longer setting. Because these four-measure units are so short, composers generally treat them as harmonically open antecedent phrases. The “fa la” refrain provides a natural consequent that often balances the verse in length and provides tonal closure. English composers create expectation even when confronted with longer poems that upset the normal 4 + 4 structure of ballett verse-refrain pairs (Ex. 5). Sometimes Morley reduces his “fa la” refrain to maintain metrical periodicity, as in Example 16, You that wont to my pipes sound. Morley’s verse has three lines; he uses a typical eight-measure statement-response phrase (with a long anacrusis in the inner voices), and shrinks the “fa la” refrain to accommodate the longer text.51 In other instances, when confronted with a longer poem, Morley treats the verse as an independent statement-response phrase. In Dainty fine sweet nymph (Ex. 17), Morley accommodates the extended, tripartite verse by moving through three harmonic areas, IV, V, and I, all before the refrain. He compensates for the irregularity of the six-measure verse by pairing a half cadence and an authentic cadence in mm. 4 and 6. The “fa la” refrain reinforces tonic. Morley eschews metrical regularity here, presumably because of the irregular verse length, but this does not prevent him from articulating a dominant-tonic relationship in a formally significant way. The ballett’s verse-refrain structure also allows for expansion of the “fa la” refrain without compromising the statement-response expectation, as in the eight-measure refrain of Weelkes’s To shorten winter’s sadness (Ex. 18). The verse-refrain pair is a closed structure that is expandable: the ballett form consists of two of these pairs, and any of their parts can expand without compromising the integrity of the form. EXAMPLE 16. View largeDownload slide Morley, You that wont to my pipes sound (1595, no. 13) EXAMPLE 16. View largeDownload slide Morley, You that wont to my pipes sound (1595, no. 13) example 17. View largeDownload slide Morley, Dainty fine sweet nymph (1595, no. 1) example 17. View largeDownload slide Morley, Dainty fine sweet nymph (1595, no. 1) EXAMPLE 18. View largeDownload slide Weelkes, To shorten winter’s sadness (1598, no. 2) EXAMPLE 18. View largeDownload slide Weelkes, To shorten winter’s sadness (1598, no. 2) Though many airs de cour also feature refrains, they differ substantively from the regular “fa la” interjections of the ballett. Most airs close with a repeated line or couplet as is typical of the chanson repertory more generally (such as L’amour de ces courtisans).52Air de cour refrains are often inspired by parallelisms or structural aspects of the text (for instance, in Réveillez vous belle Catin, the final two lines are repeated in each stanza of the poem). Yet, refrain structure differs substantially from collection to collection, and indeed from air to air, compromising their ability to encourage expectation. As Example 19 illustrates, Tessier uses eleven distinct refrain types for the thirty-three airs de cour included in his 1597 collection. The majority of his airs repeat one to three lines of text at the end of each verse, depending on the length of the poem and the lengths of individual lines. Occasionally the refrain text remains the same (or similar) for every verse, especially when the refrain sets a standalone couplet after a quatrain verse (as in nos. 4, 8, 11, 20, 24, and 25). For shorter poems, the refrain text changes with each verse (nos. 3, 5, and 6 supply three different variations on this model). Tessier’s refrains have a clear formal purpose: they signal the completion of a verse and give Tessier an extra opportunity to articulate tonal closure. But it is impossible for a listener to determine where the refrain begins until it is repeated for the first time; its role in the air’s form is more incidental than structural. EXAMPLE 19. View largeDownload slide Refrain structures in Tessier, Chansons et airs de court (1597). Each air ends with one or more repeated phrases, notated with a sign of congruence and indicated here with underlining. EXAMPLE 19. View largeDownload slide Refrain structures in Tessier, Chansons et airs de court (1597). Each air ends with one or more repeated phrases, notated with a sign of congruence and indicated here with underlining. Most airs de cour have refrains like those in Tessier’s collection; however, Le Roy and Ballard’s 1597 anthology, summarized in Example 20, includes thirty-eight airs, but only twenty-six use refrain-like repetition. Of the nine airs without refrains, three (including Il est vray je le confesse and Dieu vous gard bergerette) use other kinds of melodic repetition. The twenty-six remaining pieces exhibit a variety of refrain structures. Seven airs have repetition within each verse (similar to Tessier’s refrains), and eight have repetition between verses only (such as a final line that occurs once in each verse). The remaining eleven airs feature both types of repetition. In several of the airs from the 1597 anthology, the refrain is not aurally evident until the second verse—their repetitive function occurs only on a global level. EXAMPLE 20. View largeDownload slide View largeDownload slide Refrain structures in Airs de court mis en musique à 4 & 5 (1597). Refrain structure varies; refrains may be notated with repeat signs, signs of congruence, or may be written out. Refrain phrases are underlined in the table. EXAMPLE 20. View largeDownload slide View largeDownload slide Refrain structures in Airs de court mis en musique à 4 & 5 (1597). Refrain structure varies; refrains may be notated with repeat signs, signs of congruence, or may be written out. Refrain phrases are underlined in the table. Example 21 summarizes the variety of refrains in several air de cour collections. About half of the airs use internal repetition alone, and slightly fewer use both internal repetition and repetition from verse to verse. Refrains are a vital part of the air’s form—we have seen, for example, how the repetition of the final line of Réveillés vous belle Cattin contributes to its symmetry. But unlike the “fa la” refrain of the ballett, air refrains cannot be predicted. English composers, in dialogue with the norms of the ballett form, can use “fa la” refrains to conclude trajectories of expectation that they establish in their verses. The nonsense syllables immediately signify a formal location to the listener. And balletts repeat not refrains alone, but rather verse-refrain pairs, enhancing the listener’s ability to associate formal position with tonal function. Air de cour refrains are more ad hoc, and, since they consist of internally repeated material rather than responsive material, their formal purpose is often separate from their tonal function. EXAMPLE 21. View largeDownload slide Summary of refrain types in air de cour collections EXAMPLE 21. View largeDownload slide Summary of refrain types in air de cour collections The articulation of tonal function also depends on cadential rhetoric, which perhaps does the most to distinguish the air de cour from the English ballett. In English balletts, composers use tonic and dominant cadences unequivocally, structurally, predictively, and actively (terms which will be defined below). Although French composers sometimes align with English practice, they merely use tonic and dominant cadences consistently. When composers treat a cadence unequivocally, they prepare the cadence with increased harmonic rhythm, place the goal sonority on a strong beat, and follow the cadence with rests. Cadences are often prepared with T–PD–D–T syntax. This principle is illustrated by English and French treatments of double rhymes.53 In texts with double rhymes, a potential conflict arises between three different types of accent: poetic accent (on the penultimate syllable of the line), metrical accent (depending on how the composer has aligned the text with the mensural grid), and cadential arrival (which is flexible but often occurs on the final syllable). French text-setting precepts have tremendous implications for cadence-writing in the air de cour: composers were obligated to end a phrase with one or more long notes depending on the nature of the rhyme. Consequently, poetic phrase-ending conventions overrode metrical preferences for cadential placement. French composers had little opportunity (or interest) to place cadential arrivals on metrically accented beats, limited as they were by the rhythmic patterning of alternating single and double rhymes.54 The resulting cadential framework differs substantially from that of English ballett composers and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century composers: French phrase boundaries are demarcated by long notes rather than metrically regulated cadential rhetoric. French composers’ text-first approach bears implications for a host of other musical features that demarcate cadences, including rests, longer notes, and metrical periodicity. English composers, too, were beholden to texts and their rhyme schemes. Indeed, because many English madrigal texts are translations from Italian models, most balletts are laden with awkward double rhymes foreign to English verse (Kerman 1962, 27–29). However, English composers regularly adjust phrase rhythm to accommodate double rhymes and produce metrically accented cadences. In Now is the month of Maying, Morley cadences on the accented syllable (may- and play-) rather than the unaccented one (-ing), yielding strong-beat cadences. Many air composers, by contrast, cadence on the second, unaccented syllable of a double rhyme.55 French composers beholden to the rules of musique mesurée may find themselves forced to cadence on relatively weak beats throughout an air. Example 22 compares the metrical placement of cadences in Now is the month of Maying and Il est vray je le confesse. Morley’s parallel cadential rhetoric draws attention to the I–V cadential pairing that prepares his refrain; by contrast, the French composer’s cadences are rhetorically compromised because of their weak metrical position, and the pairing of I and V is less obvious. Unaccented cadences compromise expectation even in metrically regular works, and the two cadential styles reveal a conceptual divide between English and French text setting: the former seeks to fill out an appropriate number of beats in a phrase, while the latter seeks to set an appropriate number of syllables. Unsurprisingly, the English method produces a more tonal effect, with regularly deployed cadences and the possibility for weak-strong cadential pairing. By contrast, the latter approach may yield metrical periodicity as the result of textual periodicity, but this is an emergent property rather than a pre-compositional goal. EXAMPLE 22. View largeDownload slide Comparison of cadential rhetoric in Morley, Now is the month of Maying and Anonymous, Il est vray je le confesse EXAMPLE 22. View largeDownload slide Comparison of cadential rhetoric in Morley, Now is the month of Maying and Anonymous, Il est vray je le confesse Tonality, as it emerges in various forms in seventeenth-century Europe, features structural cadences, wherein cadences correspond with both formal and tonal structure. Morley and Weelkes use pairs of tonic and dominant cadences to articulate refrain structure in their balletts; these refrains provided English composers with particularly valuable fodder for experimenting with tonal relationships in formal ways. The air de cour does not present the same formal opportunities as the repetitive, regularized ballett form. Air composers frequently pair dominant and tonic cadences across large timespans. However, the correlation of formal and harmonic events is less consistent in French airs than English balletts. And, more importantly, air refrains do not encourage the same kinds of structural listening as ballett refrains because they are difficult to predict—often the listener does not even know the refrain has begun. English composers are particularly consistent in their predictive use of cadences. Their cadences participate in phrase structure processes that incorporate metrical periodicity and melodic parallelism. English composers use statement-response phrase structures to deploy cadences within trajectories of expectation on the level of phrase structure as well as form. Finally, and most critically, English composers deploy their cadential rhetoric actively. Their cadential rhetoric—which incorporates text setting, metrical placement of cadences, dissonance treatment, hierarchical relationships among cadences, et cetera—is not emergent from their counterpoint or text setting, but is purposefully orchestrated. The examples discussed above illustrate that French practice frequently aligns with English practice, but that these alignments are only occasionally active, that is, the result of compositional decisions. This is not to say that, for example, metrical periodicity arising from from textual periodicity did not play an important role in the emergence of a tonal language in France in the seventeenth century. However, emergent periodicity may have led to the rise of an actively periodic style that allowed composers to develop their harmonic language more effectively. I do not intend to argue that French composers wrote less effective or less tonal cadences than their English counterparts, but rather point out precisely how cadential rhetoric differed, metrically and harmonically, under the pens of English composers. French composers use hemiola to vivid effect in their triple-time pieces. This feature of Baroque cadential rhetoric was a lively aspect of French compositional practice but played only a small role in English writing in this period.56 French composers were experimenting with the metrical placement of cadences just as English composers were, but to dramatically different effects. Both of these metrical devices—strong beat cadences and hemiola—were ultimately adopted by eighteenth-century composers for their cadences. CONCLUSION Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century homophonic counterpoint has proved enticing to many scholars seeking the origins of harmonic thinking. However, too often these studies start and end with harmonic syntax and neglect larger metrical and structural cues. The complex and at times subtle differences between the ballett and the air de cour reveal that composers’ means of regulating consonant homophony are critical to transforming consonant counterpoint into successions of vertical harmonies. Though we often credit monody as the catalyst for tonal writing, homophonic repertories and their close relationship to monodic ones have been largely ignored.57 Homophony and monody interact in fascinating ways in the early modern period. For example, Morley’s 1597 partsong collection, Canzonets or Litle short aers to five and sixe voices, includes lute tablature, suggesting that its contents could be performed a cappella, as accompanied partsongs, or as lutesongs. Similarly, most airs de cour were published both as partsongs and lute songs, and it appears that both formats were based on circulating melody-bass frameworks that were subsequently arranged for different ensemble types.58 These examples reveal underlying conceptual similarities between monodic and homophonic writing. Indeed, many of the innovations attributed to monody—in particular, the prominence of the bass and the conception of triads as vertical structures—are also evident in homophonic compositions. But homophonic repertories vary, and their differences are productive for untangling how musical changes occurred in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The features that English and French music share illuminate how tonal languages emerge from consonant counterpoint regardless of when a shift took place in compositional thinking. If we can trace these features across several repertories and through the seventeenth century, we might be able to determine how tonal languages regulated themselves until their localized characteristics were effaced in favor of a more internationally consistent tonal language. The ballett and air de cour share a number of features, though the repertories sound quite different: both feature syntactically deployed triads at least some of the time as well as structural relationships between cadences on fifth-related scale degrees. But these features, triads and tonal hierarchy, are also characteristic of modal languages—and indeed, the air de cour is rooted more deeply in modal concepts than the ballett. This suggests that harmony, syntax, and centricity—oft-cited harbingers of tonality—are actually not the most crucial elements of a tonal language, since they are characteristic of many contrapuntal, modal languages of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Rather, the ballett and air de cour reveal that it is composers’ regulation of these features with phrase structure, meter, and cadential rhetoric that impart tonality to a contrapuntal language. As a result, I suggest that a tonal language is defined by the trajectories of expectation it establishes. Composers’ manipulation of rhythm, meter, phrase structure, and form allow tonic and dominant not merely to contrast, but to depend upon one another. English and French composers were both building tonal languages in their homophonic partsongs simply by experimenting with new ways of regulating homophonic counterpoint. Some of their experiments survive in tonal languages of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; others faded to obscurity as the seventeenth century wore on. The crux of their experimentation lay not in individual triads, harmonic syntax, or pitch collections, but in their play with meter, phrase structure, periodicity, hierarchy, and cadence. Some homophonic repertories, like the ballett with its regular refrain structures, lent themselves particularly well to this kind of experimentation. The air de cour played a different role in this history; its composers were interested in dance meters and hemiola, on the one hand, and in monody and lute performance on the other. But, viewed in tandem, these repertories and other homophonic musics from this period provide critical insight into processes of musical change in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I would like to express my gratitude to Daniel Harrison and Ian Quinn for their guidance in the nascent stages of this project, Andrew Pau and David Heetderks for their feedback on earlier drafts of this article, and to my anonymous readers, whose comments greatly improved the final version. Footnotes 1 Lester (1989) and Powers (1998) address this issue in Continental music theory; Owens (1998) and Bailey (1998) consider the unique situation in England. Barnett (2010) challenges such transitional models by considering theories of pitch organization in the Italian Baroque that do not distinguish between modal and tonal systems. 2 Scholars have drawn on varied repertories in support of this argument. Caldwell (1983) considers triadic harmony in assorted fifteenth- and sixteenth-century sacred and secular music, Newcomb (2002, 2007) traces the early history of harmonic syntax in Italian homophony with a particular focus on Marenzio (though, see Kang 2011 for an opposing interpretation of these patterns), and Christensen (1992) discusses the theory and practice of Spanish Baroque guitar performance. Tymoczko (2014) traces what he calls “functional harmony” back to early-fifteenth-century triadic repertories. 3 Chafe (1992, 2) and Newcomb (2007, 120) note this phenomenon in the music of Monteverdi and Marenzio respectively; Dahlhaus (1968 [1990]) also explores these features in Monteverdi’s madrigals. 4 For a recent meta-discussion on the value of such lists of tonal features, see Rings (2011, 3). 5 Identifying these features in early repertories is one of Tymoczko’s stated aims (2011, 195–211), but not part of Straus’s project. 6 “The principal features of the new style can be said to represent the analytical, measuring character of rational thought to an extent that is astonishing to the hearer accustomed to the subtler unfolding of Renaissance sonorities, on the one hand, and the disruptive, harmonic effects of the sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century ‘mannerist’ tendencies on the other… . Inevitably, therefore, this patterning leads to the perception of a difference between what we would call surface and structural aspects of the music” (Chafe 1992, 2). 7 “My investigations of a considerable quantity of Roman canzonette/villanelle of the 1570s, 1580s, and early 1590s do not bear out the idea that they tend to use a proto-functional harmonic vocabulary. Indeed, the harmonic successions of their short phrases are often quite wayward when judged by the criteria of subsequent functional tonality” (Newcomb 2007, 119). 8 The assumptions about meter, phrase structure, and tonal hierarchy that underlie this project are based on several hierarchical models of tonality (Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983), filtered through important foundational work in meter (Hasty 1997; London 2004) and phrase structure (Caplin 1998). 9 In more general terms, Chafe (1992, 2) identifies the “directed, dynamic character” of early-seventeenth-century music as an element of emerging tonality. 10 Jauss suggests that the horizon of expectations provides a viable model for developing a historically sensitive understanding of an artwork: to reconstruct such a horizon we “pose questions that the text gave an answer to … to discover how the contemporary reader could have viewed and understood the work” (28). The horizon of expectations undergirds many major studies of musical form and genre, including Hepokoski and Darcy (2006, 603–10) and Gjerdingen (2007). 11 Byros (2009) undertakes a similar project with an eighteenth-century frame of reference. 12 Huron’s argument draws on recent work in experimental music psychology as well as corpus analysis; for an extensive bibliography, see Huron (2006, 381–82n2). 13 McClary (2012, 8) treats expectation, which she attributes to the charged character of the leading tone, as central to an emerging tonal style. 14 Airs de cour were published variously as partsongs, lute songs, and solo songs. English balletts were less directly associated with monodic repertories, though several Italian balletto collections were printed with lute tablature, and Thomas Morley’s (1597 [1977]) collection of canzonets includes a lute part. 15 I have demonstrated elsewhere (Long, 2015b) that the English ballett has a higher degree of regulation than Italian and German balletti. 16 Rothstein (2008, 2011) has explored this phenomenon in later repertories. 17 The balletts in Morley’s (1595 [1965]) collection are imitations of Italian models. Now is the month of Maying is modeled on Vecchi’s (1590 [1983]),So ben mi c’ha bon tempo. On Morley’s re-compositional process, see Long (2015b); Kerman (1962, 136–44); Pike (2004, 39–119). 18 Morley (1595 [1965]), (1597 [1977]); Weelkes (1598 [1968]); Hilton (1627 [2004]); Holborne (1597 [1961]); Greaves (1604 [1961]); Youll (1608 [1968]); Vautor (1619 [1958]). 19 Two other collections of secular English partsong could be productively compared to the ballett—Richard Alison's partially homophonic consort song collection An Howres Recreation in Musicke (London, 1606) and the partsongs included in Thomas Ravenscroft’s A Briefe Discourse (London, 1614). Each repertory raises distinct metrical, phrase structural, and formal issues that lie outside of the scope of this article but merit careful consideration. 20 In response to the centric, homophonic nature of this repertory, and in support of my argument about the emergence of tonality from homophonic repertories, I use Roman numerals for analytical convenience. Here, they describe triadic structures as they relate to a local key note, and I reserve them for situations where triadic structures function in syntactical ways. Additionally, for simplicity and terminological consistency across multiple levels of formal hierarchy, all metrically strong, rhythmically emphasized harmonic arrivals are treated as cadences here, even at the level of the sub-phrase. In most cases, Morley’s discussion of cadences (1597, 128) confirms that sub-phrase arrivals had cadential status. 21 Long (2014, 244–68, 278–91, 319–37) addresses the flexible treatment of F♮ and F♯ in English music. 22 The apparent ii7 in m. 1 results from the alto suspension; Morley (1597, 143) explicitly permits ii 56 at cadences. The apparent V7 in m. 7 results from passing motion in the quinto and reflects this harmony’s contrapuntal origin. 23 My use of the term “statement-response” is loosely based on Caplin (1998, 10) and describes related sub-phrases combined into larger phrases that generally feature motion from I to V and back to I (I–V | V–I or I–V | I–I). Chew (1989) discusses a similar phenomenon in Monteverdi using a Schenkerian lens. 24 English composers were strict about upholding the ballett’s ArArBrBr form; Italian and German composers were more likely to deviate from this structure. It is not clear why English composers were more committed to ballett form than their counterparts on the Continent—Morley is not specific about the form in his treatise (1597, 180). This suggests that English composers had musical reasons, perhaps related to the trajectories of expectation described above, for adhering to the default form. 25 Throughout this article, I use terminology derived from Powers (1981) to demarcate the minimal pre-compositional signifiers of key or mode (tonal type), namely, signature and key note or final. (Key note is preferred for English music; final for Continental music.) For example, the designation ♮-G indicates a piece with no signature and a G final or key note; ♭-G indicates a signature of one flat and a G final or key note. 26 Huron (2006, 190–202) argues that predictability is more important than periodicity in creating expectation on a music psychological level, though the latter is a special case of the former. 27 English translations of Italian madrigals include Yonge (1588; 1597); Watson (1590 [1999]); Morley (1597 [1963]; 1598). English consumers had been exposed to airs de cour in French (Dowland 1610 [1968]; Tessier 1597). Hammond (2007) and Dumont (1989) discuss similar trends on the continent. 28 Burney (1789 [1957], 113); Kerman (1962, 26). 29 Dobbins (2006, xviii–xix) addresses the new role of anonymity in air verse authorship around the turn of the sixteenth century. 30 “Si les harmonies musicales ne sont pareilles aux premieres, au moins les lettres sont sorties de bonnes forges comme du Seig. Ronsard, Desportes, & autres des plus gentils poëtes de ce siècle” (Le Roy 1571, sig. A1v). Translated in Brooks (2000, 13). 31 On the relationships between music and poetry in France from the perspectives of both poets and musicians, see Brown (1994); Graham (1964). 32 “L’intention de Musique semble estre de donner tel air à la parole que tout escoutant se sente passionné et se laisse tirer à l’afeccion du Poëte” (Tyard 1555 [1980]). Translated in Dobbins (1992, 99). 33 See Ronsard (1565 [1949], 9) and Jacobs (1982). Morley (1597, 177–78) borrows most of his discussion of text setting from Zarlino (1558 [1983], 93–97). 34 French poets did not always follow Ronsard’s instructions. Durosoir (2009, lxxv) points out that consecutive strophes do not always have the same patterns of stress, and underlay from verse to verse can be awkward in many airs. Durosoir suggests that performers likely adjusted the rhythms for different verses. 35 The most significant studies of musique mesurée in English remain Walker (1946, 1950) and Yates (1947). More recent Francophone scholarship, including Vignes (2005) and His (2006), has provided a welcome update to Walker and Yates’s foundational work. 36 These are catalogued in Lesure and Thibault (1955), Guillo (2003, 135–37). 37 A more thorough study of additional extant sources is surely warranted but is outside the scope of this investigation; future work made possible by increased access to sources in score should consider changing metrical trends in the air de cour as it developed through the seventeenth century, as well as metrical variation between the lute song and partsong airs. 38 Mersenne (1636 [1963], 164); Parran (1639 [1972], sig. Liiir); see also LeCocq (2000, 3). 39 Walker (1948), Heartz (1962), Royster (1972), and Paquette (1997, 166–68) discuss the relationships of the unmeasured airs to musique mesurée. 40 Chastillon (1593, sig. 3r) describes this notational practice. 41 In French versification, the final syllable of a line with a double rhyme—the silent “e” (or e muet) is not counted; however, this syllable is sung. Thus, eight counted syllables equate to eight or nine sung syllables. See Dobbins (2006, xi–lxxii). Throughout, I adopt the orthography of the original source when available, though I modernize u/v and i/j. 42 Drawing on the distinct contemporary theoretical discourses on music in England (e.g., Barley 1596; Morley 1597; Campion 1613 [2002]; Butler 1636; Playford 1654; Playford and Purcell 1694 [1972]; Simpson 1667) and on the Continent (e.g., Glarean 1547; Zarlino (1558 [1983]), 1571; Banchieri 1614; as documented in Wiering 2001; Powers 1992; Meier (1974 [1988]), I use key-based terminology to describe English works, and modal terminology to describe French ones. For both, I use a terminologically neutral tonal type (following Powers 1981). See also Long (2014, 293–344); Harley (2005, 23–40); Herissone (2000, 174–93); Owens (1998). 43 See commentary in Dobbins (2006, xliv). 44 This consistency is unusual and has caused dispute about whether this air is best understood as unmeasured or measured (Verchaly 1966, vii). 45 It is easy to imagine a performance that adds a fermata to the final note of each phrase, yielding twelve-beat phrases. However, the notational precision of French and English publishers suggests that the unmeasured pieces likely reflect a performance reality. More importantly, Planson’s Ŵ mensuration sign complicates the possibility of a triple-meter interpretation. 46 I use the modern terminology quarter note, half note, etc. here instead of mensural terminology semiminim, minim, etc. for clarity. Similarly, I refer to measures rather than semibreve units. For an explication of the conceptual differences underlying these two systems, see DeFord (2015, 1–4, 33–50). 47 Long (2015a) addresses the relationship between poetic and musical meter in Italian, German, and English secular song; this subject (and its interaction with French text setting) will be explored at greater length in my future work. See also DeFord (1985); Aldrich (1966). 48 Le Cocq (2000) traces the influence of courante and sarabande rhythmic patterns on the air de cour, but notes that air composers treated dance rhythms flexibly. 49 This air uses a Ŵʼn mensuration sign and proportional notation. 50 Guédron also softens some of the rude words and leaves out the most vulgar verses in his later version, reflecting a general increase in refinement as the rustic voix de ville influence faded in favor of the courtly style (Durosoir 2009, lxxiii). 51 See discussion of this piece’s relationship to its model, Gastoldi, Gloria d’Amore, in Long (2015b). 52 Air de cour refrains are generally notated with signs of congruence; air composers reserve repeat signs for repeated musical material accompanying new text. Occasionally refrains are written out, and more rarely they are indicated only by the custos. The ambiguity of some repeat indications suggests that repeating the final line was a matter of performance practice and may have been assumed even in those airs where repeats are not notated. See Epp (2009). 53 Earp (2005, 114–15), building on Boone (1999, 1–20), addresses the challenges posed by the French e muet in fourteenth-century music; the rules of musique mesurée overrode earlier techniques for treating the unaccented final syllable, but the earlier practice still has resonances in the late sixteenth century. 54 Rothstein (2011; 2008) demonstrates that, in later music, preferences for cadential placement on weak or strong beats varies by country. French airs could reflect an early version of this practice, though without notated bar lines it is difficult to know for sure. 55 While Italian and German composers of homophonic secular music set their cadences in both ways, English and French composers are consistent when they set double rhymes. 56 Hemiola is also a prominent feature of Italian and Spanish homophonic music from this period. 57 The term monody has a number of possible referents that are summarized in Baron (1968). For a representative summary of the emergence of monody in western Europe, see Palisca (2006, 107–29) and Fortune (1953, esp. 175–76). 58 Le Cocq (2005, 192–97). See also Durosoir (2009, lxxi–lxxii); Brooks (2000, 16, 29–30); Coeurdevey (1996); Brown (1994, 9–12); Whang (1981); Dobbins (1976). Works Cited Aldrich Putnam. 1966 . Rhythm in Seventeenth-Century Italian Monody . New York : Norton . 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[Troisieme livre d’]Airs de court. mis en musique à 4. & 5. parties. De plusieurs autheurs. The Sixteenth-Century Chanson 3. Ed. Jane A. Bernstein. New York: Garland. Lester Joel. 1989 . Between Modes and Keys: German Theory, 1592–1802 . Stuyvesant, NY : Pendragon Press . Lesure François , Thibault Geneviève . 1955 . Bibliographie des éditions d’adrian Le Roy et Robert Ballard (1551–1598) . Paris : Heugel . London Justin. 2004 . Hearing in Time: Psychological Aspects of Musical Meter . New York : Oxford University Press . 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Newcomb Anthony. 2002 . “Marenzio and the ‘Nuova aria e grata all’orecchie.” In Music in the Mirror: Reflections on the History of Music Theory and Literature for the Twenty-first Century . Ed. Giger Andreas , Mathiesen Thomas J . 61 – 76 . Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press . ———. 2007 . “Recurring Patterns with a Structural Function in Marenzio—or, Marenzio’s Riffs.” In Luca Marenzio e il Madrigale Romano . Ed. Piperno Franco . 115 – 43 . Rome : Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia . Owens Jessie Ann. 1998 . “Concepts of Pitch in English Music Theory, c. 1560–1640.” In Tonal Structures in Early Music . Ed. Judd Cristle Collins . 183 – 246 . New York : Garland . Palisca Claude. 2006 . Music and Ideas in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries . Chicago : University of Chicago Press . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Paquette Daniel. 1997 . “Regard sur l’évolution de l’air de cour.” In Histoire, humanisme et hymnologie: Mélanges offerts au professeur Édith Weber . Ed. Guillot Pierre , Jambou Louis . 163 – 77 . Paris : Presses de l’Université de Paris–Sorbonne . Parran Antoine 1639 [1972] . Traité de la musique theorique et pratique . Paris : Ballard . [Facsimile Edition. Genève: Minkoff Reprints.] Pike Lionel. 2004 . Pills to Purge Melancholy: The Evolution of the English Ballett . Aldershot : Ashgate . Planson Jehan. 1587 [1966] . Airs mis en musique à quatre parties. Mâitre Anciens de la Musique Française 1. Ed. Henry Expert and André Verchaly. Paris: Heugel. Playford John. 1654 . A Breefe Introduction to the Skill of Musick , 1st edition . London . Playford John , Purcell Henry . 1694 [1972] . An Introduction to the Skill of Musick , 12th edition. Ed. Zimmerman Franklin B . New York : Da Capo Press . Powers Harold. 1981 . “Tonal Types and Modal Categories in Renaissance Polyphony.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 34 ( 3 ): 428 – 70 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS ———. 1992 . “Is Mode Real?” Basler Jahrbuch für Historiche Musikpraxis XVI : 9 – 52 . Powers Harold. 1998 . “From Psalmody to Tonality.” In Tonal Structures in Early Music . Ed. Judd Cristle Collins . 275 – 340 . New York : Garland . Rings Steven. 2011 . Tonality and Transformation . New York : Oxford University Press . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Ronsard Pierre de. 1565 [1949] . “Abbregé de l’art poëtique françois (1565).” In Oeuvres Complètes . Vol. XIV . Ed. Laumonier Paul . 3 – 35 . Paris : Librairie Marcel Didier . ———. 1572 [1982] . “Preface.” In Le Roy & Ballard’s 1572 Mellange de Chansons . Ed. Charles Jacobs . 25 – 28 . University Park : Pennsylvania State University Press . Rothstein William. 2008 . “National Metrical Types in Music of the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries.” In Communication in Eighteenth-Century Music . Ed. Mirka Danuta , Agawu Kofi . 112 – 59 . Cambridge : Cambridge University Press . 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The Language of the Modes: Studies in the History of Polyphonic Modality . New York : Routledge . Yates Frances. 1947 . The French Academies of the Sixteenth Century. London : University of London . Yonge Nicholas. 1588 . Musica transalpina . London . ———. 1597 . Musica transalpina: The second booke of madrigalles . London . Youll Henry. 1608 [1968] . Canzonets to three voyces. The English Madrigalists 28. Ed. Edmund H. Fellowes and Thurston Dart. London: Stainer and Bell. Zarlino Gioseffo. 1558 [1983] . On the Modes: Part Four of Le Istitutioni Harmoniche, 1558 . Ed. Palisca Claude V . Trans. Vered Cohen. New Haven : Yale University Press . ———. 1571 . Dimonstrationi harmoniche. Venice . © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Music Theory. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. 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Cadential Syntax and Tonal Expectation in Late Sixteenth-Century Homophony

Music Theory Spectrum , Volume Advance Article (1) – Apr 16, 2018

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Oxford University Press
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© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Music Theory. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
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Abstract

Abstract This article explores the emergence of tonal languages in late-sixteenth-century homophony by considering the ways in which phrase structure, meter, and cadential rhetoric produce trajectories of expectation. Focusing on the English ballett and the French air de cour, two homophonic, secular, vernacular genres produced according to wildly different aesthetic criteria, it demonstrates how composers’ regulation of harmony and syntax transformed contrapuntal languages into tonal ones. Early tonal languages are thus defined here by the trajectories of expectation that such regulation establishes. The multifaceted process through which tonality emerged in the early modern period is one of the most discussed yet most elusive phenomena in contemporary music scholarship. Many studies have focused on how pitch content transforms modal counterpoint into tonal harmony,1 either on the organizational level (how modal collections relate to major and minor scales) or on the musical surface (how triads and harmonic syntax shift from being emergent properties of counterpoint to being actively deployed as compositional resources).2 Yet the structures that regulate pitch content—meter, phrase structure, cadence, and form—play at least as crucial a role in reshaping musical languages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.3 This article will examine these structures in two homophonic, vernacular repertories, the English ballett and the French air de cour, which reflect different degrees of regulation: the ballett is metrically regular, while the air de cour is metrically flexible. I will argue that the regulatory structures of these repertories produce trajectories of tonal expectation. That is, meter, phrase structure, cadence, and form allow composers to articulate significant harmonies on multiple levels of musical structure at predictable periodicities, thereby establishing a stylistic norm that encourages large-scale articulation of dominant–tonic relationships. Tonality is generally understood as a pitch-centric phenomenon, to the near exclusion of other parameters. Two examples—meant to describe music of the Classical period—illustrate this point. Joseph Straus (2005, 130) defines tonality according to six parameters that all pertain to pitch content: key, key relations, diatonic scales, triads, functional harmony, and voice leading. Tymoczko (2011, 4) develops a similar list that mostly overlaps with Straus’s: conjunct melodic motion, acoustic consonance, harmonic consistency, limited macroharmony, and centricity.4 I have maintained elsewhere (Long 2015b) that some sixteenth- and seventeenth-century homophonic repertories share these features under the guise of “characteristic” manifestations of tonality. However, many of the parameters listed by Straus and Tymoczko as harbingers of tonality are also characteristic of modal music, calling into question their definitional sufficiency.5 Consequently, scholars of early music have begun to turn away from pitch content and have instead looked to the role of meter, phrase structure, cadence, and form in articulating tonality. Addressing the innovations of Monteverdi’s new style, Eric Chafe identifies the composer’s “fondness for patterns” manifested in, among other things, “regularity of meter and phrase” and “a hierarchical organization of chord progressions and cadences” (1992, 2). Chafe argues that these parameters, which he treats as musical manifestations of the turn toward human rationality in the early seventeenth century, contribute to a new kind of composing and listening based on a perceived separation of surface and background features.6 He relies on this hierarchical model of composing and hearing to account for Monteverdi’s infamous dissonance treatment, stating that “tonality provided the necessary context in which dissonances . . . became features of a new musical logic and hence no longer irrational-sounding” (1992, 3). But, as I will demonstrate, the tonal context that Chafe invokes is actually less evident in Monteverdi’s mature explorations of a changing musical system than in the less prestigious secular songs that circulated widely around the turn of the seventeenth century—the music that Chafe suggests formed the background for Monteverdi’s innovations. Anthony Newcomb initially seeks to describe what he perceives as the tonal sound of Marenzio’s secular music in terms of its triadic content (2007). However, he finds harmonic progression to be a red herring and instead identifies a series of chordal patterns (including circle of fifths progressions and the familiar bass patterns of the romanesca and passamezzo antico) that contribute to a slower harmonic rhythm in secular song of the late sixteenth century.7 Like Chafe, Newcomb suggests that such patterns encouraged a distinctly tonal mode of structural hearing: “This slowing down and clarifying of chordal change is the basis for any nascent concept (or practice) of tonality, enabling the listener to grasp a longer section of music as the decoration and prolongation of a single chord or of a basic chordal progression” (120). Both Chafe and Newcomb indicate that pitch-centric models provide only a partial picture of tonal procedures in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century music; they instead attribute early tonality to the regulatory structures that allowed composers and listeners alike to organize musical patterns hierarchically. Drawing on Chafe’s and Newcomb’s insights, I will demonstrate how composers’ regulation of pitch content with rhythm, meter, phrase structure, and form plays a more prominent role than harmony in the development of tonal styles in the early modern period.8 The power of these procedures lies in their capacity to produce expectation on the level of the phrase, phrase group, and form. Expectation accumulates: as composers exploit increasingly deep hierarchical levels, they create trajectories of expectation that encourage associations of structural dominant and tonic harmonies with rhetorical gestures and formal boundaries across significant time spans. Both Chafe and Newcomb look to (albeit secular) art music genres for their evidence of this conceptual transformation. But, as I will argue, the trajectories of expectation developing around the turn of the seventeenth century in fact have their roots in the mechanical text setting and periodic phrase structure of light homophonic partsong. The notion of a trajectory of expectation captures the goal-directed harmonic motion of a musical phrase.9 As it is used here, the term expectation draws on models from literary theory, cognitive music theory, and speculative music theory. Expectation describes the listener’s understanding of the generic context for a work, gained through statistical learning, that leads the listener to predict and ultimately find satisfaction in the occurrence of statistically likely events. The work of Hans Robert Jauss (1982), Alastair Fowler (1982), and others explore how readers or listeners interpret artworks by comparing them against generic norms. A central tenet of this work—a branch of genre theory rooted in reader-response theory—is that genres are inherently communicative. As such, genres teach listeners, through repeated exposure, the rules by which they should be interpreted, a process that Alastair Fowler (1982, 45) describes as the “acquisition of generic competence.” These rules constitute, in Jauss’s formulation, the horizon of expectations for the work, which changes over time according to the experiences of its audience.10 This horizon of expectations is both internal to a literary (or musical) repertory and historically situated, and thus provides a compelling model for approaching the seemingly unknowable expectations of contemporary listeners.11 The argument that expectations arise from repeated exposure to contextually similar stimuli also motivates strands of cognitive music theory devoted to psychological expectation. As I use the term in this article, expectation emerges from statistical learning. That is, listeners remember and respond to regularities in a repertory, thereby forming expectations that unfamiliar musical works will follow familiar patterns. Leonard Meyer (1956, 43) first articulated the role of statistical learning; he defines expectation as the listener’s tacit understanding of event probabilities based on learning and experience. Huron (2006) uses experimental music psychology as well as empirical corpus studies to build on Meyer’s work. Huron (59–72) demonstrates how auditory learning draws on the statistical properties of repertories to create robust mental frameworks that structure a listener’s understanding of a musical stimulus.12 Brian Hyer (2002, 728) appeals to expectation as the central tenet of tonality: It [tonality] gives rise . . . to abstract relations that control melodic motion and harmonic succession over long expanses of musical time. In its power to form musical goals and regulate the progress of the music toward these moments of arrival, tonality has become the principal musical means in Western culture by which to manage expectation and structure desire. For Hyer, tonal music is characterized by its orientation toward “musical goals”—“moments of arrival” on the tonic. According to this model, motion away from the central tonic produces a desire to return to it. Critically, the process of “manag[ing] expectation” is a temporal one: tonality “control[s]” musical materials over “long expanses of musical time” and “regulate[s]” music’s “progress.” In the late-sixteenth-century repertories discussed below, motion away from the tonic leads overwhelmingly toward the dominant, while metrical, phrase structural, and formal cues create ideal contexts for composers, performers, and listeners to engage with the relationship between tonic and dominant on increasingly large scales. In sum, the language of music theory provides a vocabulary for understanding not only the trajectory of a tonal phrase from I to V and back to I, but also the history of this trajectory in genres of centric modal music that emphasize fifth relationships and exploit the power of the leading tone.13 Cognitive music theory suggests that the repetition of these tonal patterns at salient formal and phrase structural boundaries created the necessary conditions for contemporary listeners and performers to develop generic expectations. And genre theory, by situating artworks as participating in a dialogue with an imagined generic norm, helps us to understand how listeners and performers develop flexible mental schemas that allow them to comprehend a variety of different metrical, phrase structural, and formal cues in the context of a normative model. This article will use the English ballett and the French air de cour as case studies to explore the tonal characteristics of seventeenth-century homophony. Homophonic secular partsongs were among the best-selling music books in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Although their light, vernacular character has long overshadowed their musical importance, their prominent characteristics—including a limited triadic vocabulary, predictable repeat structures, and strophic texts that encourage regular, repetitive text setting—contribute to their articulation of tonal relationships. Furthermore, homophonic partsongs are closely related to early monodic repertories that are more commonly cited as vessels for early experimentation with tonal procedures.14 The ballett and air de cour fall at opposite ends of a regulatory spectrum. The English ballett has a high degree of metrical regularity, periodic phrase structure, and formal organization; by contrast, the air de cour is often completely unmetrical or quasi-metrical.15 As such, they represent distinct phases in the development of tonal languages based on their capacity to create expectation. In France, this practice is emerging, but is complicated by the ametrical character of some airs, while in England, it is more completely incorporated into the ballett genre. These differences result in part from the aesthetic prioritization of music in England and poetry in France. At the same time, musical meter is closely associated with and at times dependent upon poetic meter. Differences between English and French poetry magnify distinctions in the musical styles of the two countries’ vernacular song.16 THE ENGLISH BALLETT English balletts owe their tonal effect not only to their strikingly modern harmonic syntax, but also to their metrical periodicity and their statement-response phrase structure. Example 1, Thomas Morley’s well-known ballett Now is the month of Maying is typical.17 Nearly ninety balletts were published in England between 1595 and 1627, principally in publications by Morley, Thomas Weelkes, and John Hilton, and secondarily in collections by Anthony Holborne, Thomas Greaves, Henry Youll, and Thomas Vautor.18 English composers adopted and developed the Italian balletto genre, introduced in the madrigal comedies of Orazio Vecchi and Adriano Banchieri and popularized by Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi in the early 1590s. Though Italian balletti (or popular German imitations of them) also could be fruitfully compared to the air de cour, this article will focus on the English movement. English composers produced the largest number of balletts, and their balletts are more unified in style than those of their Italian and German contemporaries. Furthermore, as I have demonstrated elsewhere (Long 2015b), the English ballett features a greater degree of metrical regularity than similar partsongs by Gastoldi and Hans Leo Hassler. Consequently, it provides the clearest contrast to the French airs discussed below.19 The English ballett is characterized by its limited triadic vocabulary, regular harmonic arrivals, and structural use of tonic and dominant cadences.20 These harmonic events are governed by melodic parallelism and a predictable refrain structure. The combined effect of these features is a tonal one, though the ballett’s tonal language is simultaneously familiar and foreign to contemporary listeners (Long 2015b). In Now is the month of Maying (Ex. 1), Morley incorporates some now-forbidden sonorities characteristic of English writing at this time, such as the v chord in m. 5, which results from his flexible treatment of F♯ and F♮.21 However, the surface harmonic syntax features many progressions that we teach in theory classes today: Morley uses T–PD–D–T syntax; his consecutive predominant harmonies feature root descent by third (mm. 2 and 6); he introduces an applied dominant to produce a tonicized half cadence; and he uses sonorities we could label as seventh chords.22 Moreover, the tonal effect of this passage is enhanced by Morley’s phrase structure. The four-measure verse establishes tonic and then tonicizes dominant; the refrain responds with motion from V back to I. The resulting phrase is a statement-response structure that builds and subsequently fulfills expectation by moving to V and returning to I.23 Morley’s melodic rhetoric reinforces this expectation: the verse stages an ascent from 1^ to 5^, and the refrain descends from 5^ back to 1^. These harmonic and melodic cues combine with the ballett’s formal conventions, such as its rhetorical pairing of an open-ended verse with a harmonically closed refrain. EXAMPLE 1. View largeDownload slide Thomas Morley, Now is the month of Maying (1595, no. 3), first verse and refrain (A section). (Bar lines in measured examples are mine. Notably, in both England and France, printers are careful to notate upbeats. For example, Now is the month of Maying begins with three beats of rest in every partbook.) EXAMPLE 1. View largeDownload slide Thomas Morley, Now is the month of Maying (1595, no. 3), first verse and refrain (A section). (Bar lines in measured examples are mine. Notably, in both England and France, printers are careful to notate upbeats. For example, Now is the month of Maying begins with three beats of rest in every partbook.) The harmonic and tonal processes at work in Now is the month of Maying echo across deeper formal levels. Example 2 schematizes an idealized ballett form based on Now is the month of Maying. Many of Morley’s balletts are strictly periodic (that is, major harmonic, metrical, and rhetorical events occur at predictable two-measure intervals), and, even in those balletts that deviate from the regularized norm, a periodic underlying structure is often implied. Morley’s texts, which consist primarily of couplets of quinari or settenari (Italianate five- and seven-syllable lines), encourage four-measure settings, and he often balances these verses with four-measure refrains. Following Gastoldi’s (1591 [1968]) model, Morley usually sets quinari in triple time and settenari in duple time; in both instances a single line yields a two-measure setting, and, by extension, a couplet yields four measures. Harmonic arrivals occur every two measures with stronger cadences every four measures. Each verse and refrain, then, is embedded within the larger, strophic ballett framework.24 Of course, many balletts do not conform exactly to the metrical pattern outlined in Example 2—some expand the verse or refrain, and others lack metrical regularity. Nonetheless, as Example 3 illustrates, the majority of these pieces cadence on V and I at formally significant moments, and English composers’ strict adherence to the basic formal model for the ballett permitted them some metrical flexibility at the phrase level.25 EXAMPLE 2. View largeDownload slide Schematic diagram of nested hierarchy in idealized ballett forms. Roman numerals refer to harmonic arrivals; they represent first-level defaults for ballett harmony (see Ex. 3). (Note that the ballett form is strophic, and the entire complex is repeated for each verse.) EXAMPLE 2. View largeDownload slide Schematic diagram of nested hierarchy in idealized ballett forms. Roman numerals refer to harmonic arrivals; they represent first-level defaults for ballett harmony (see Ex. 3). (Note that the ballett form is strophic, and the entire complex is repeated for each verse.) EXAMPLE 3. View largeDownload slide Harmony at the end of each section in Morley’s balletts, which appear in two collections (fifteen pieces in the 1595 collection and an additional four pieces in the 1606 edition of his 1593 collection). Shaded boxes indicate verses of three or more lines rather than a standard couplet or (rare) single line verse. EXAMPLE 3. View largeDownload slide Harmony at the end of each section in Morley’s balletts, which appear in two collections (fifteen pieces in the 1595 collection and an additional four pieces in the 1606 edition of his 1593 collection). Shaded boxes indicate verses of three or more lines rather than a standard couplet or (rare) single line verse. Example 4 situates Morley’s balletts within a broader English compositional practice. At first glance he demonstrates a stronger preference for closing A and B sections on V, III, or V/V than his contemporaries. However, many of the verses that end on I (especially in Weelkes’s collection) are longer than a couplet; since the longer verses permit greater harmonic motion, composers often introduce a medial cadence on V or III and return to tonic prior to the refrain. While Morley’s preference for ending his verses on V does not change when long verses are eliminated, the other composers shift to align more closely with Morley’s practice. Example 5 illustrates that Morley’s use of meter, while somewhat more regular than that of other English composers, is consistent with a broader English practice. This consistency in metrical style results in large part from the composers’ adherence to a metrical framework that sets two measures per five- or seven-syllable line of text (Long 2015a). Furthermore, each of these English composers owed a debt to Morley’s 1595 collection. Weelkes expanded upon Morley’s basic frameworks in his balletts, experimenting with imitation, phrase elision, and metrical schemes; less talented composers mimicked (sometimes poorly) Morley’s style. EXAMPLE 4. View largeDownload slide Harmony at the end of each section in all English balletts. Shaded boxes indicate verses of three or more lines rather than a standard couplet or (rare) single line verse. EXAMPLE 4. View largeDownload slide Harmony at the end of each section in all English balletts. Shaded boxes indicate verses of three or more lines rather than a standard couplet or (rare) single line verse. EXAMPLE 5. View largeDownload slide View largeDownload slide Summary of phrase lengths in English balletts. Settings that are primarily or exclusively imitative have been removed, including all of Tomkins’s balletts. Generally, verses are more regular than refrains, and A sections are more regular than B sections. Morley uses metrical regularity the most, followed by Weelkes; Hilton and the other composers are less likely to compose regular settings. EXAMPLE 5. View largeDownload slide View largeDownload slide Summary of phrase lengths in English balletts. Settings that are primarily or exclusively imitative have been removed, including all of Tomkins’s balletts. Generally, verses are more regular than refrains, and A sections are more regular than B sections. Morley uses metrical regularity the most, followed by Weelkes; Hilton and the other composers are less likely to compose regular settings. Morley combines regular metrical periodicity with statement-response phrase structure; these regulatory techniques enable his balletts to articulate formally significant dominant-tonic relationships. Such relationships, presented with metrical regularity at multiple levels of formal hierarchy, may have encouraged contemporary listeners to hear—and ultimately expect—pairs of tonally open and closed musical gestures at the level of the phrase segment, phrase, phrase group, and form.26Example 1 demonstrates this process on the eight-measure level (the phrase segment and phrase); the repetition of the opening verse creates this effect on the sixteen-measure level as well (phrase group). Examples 2 and 3 illustrate that the ballett’s B section has similar harmonic and rhythmic characteristics that continue this expectation at the thirty-two-measure formal level. TEXT SETTING IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE If English balletts sit at the “relentlessly periodic” end of a continuum, French airs de cour often fall at the opposite extreme. The aesthetic priorities that governed syllabic text setting in England and France were diametrically opposed: English composers prioritized musical concerns while French composers prioritized textual ones. Their different emphases were manifested in French and English treatments of musical meter, which plays a crucial role in the articulation of tonal relationships. Consequently, English homophony projects tonal structure more strongly than its French counterpart. To understand the differences between French and English secular song around the turn of the seventeenth century, it is helpful to see the air de cour through English eyes. In 1629 Englishman Edward Filmer translated a collection of airs de cour into English. Like editors of similar translated anthologies of Italian music before him, Filmer hoped to expose English music consumers to a repertory they might not otherwise have been able to access due to a language barrier.27 In the preface to French Court-Aires with their Ditties Englished, Filmer documents the struggles of reconciling French song and English verse. Though he is fluent in French, the shift from the syllabic French verse to the accentual-syllabic English verse poses problems for setting the translated text to the extant music: The French syllables, as well in Verse as Prose, are pronounced with a more Continu’d Equalitie of sound, then ours. For that Tongue admits seldome of any Tones or Intentions of the Voice (by Grammarians called Accents) unlesse at the End of the Clause, or in the penultims of words ending in their feminine (1629, sig. A3v). That is, French verse is end-accented, and all syllables prior to the end of a line are treated flexibly. Consequently, the natural rhythms of the English translation—based on the accentual-syllabic patterning of metrical feet—map awkwardly onto the irregular rhythms of the original French music, regardless of the skill of the translator. Filmer’s frustrated exposition reveals both the difficulties of translating a musical idiom that is closely tied to a linguistic one and his aesthetic priorities: the friendly relationship between text and music should supersede a faithful translation. He opts “to tolerate a little roughnesse in the Fluencie of some of the Verses” to “please the Judicious Hearer of the Tunes” (sig. A3v), favoring natural declamation over accurate translation. Indeed, Filmer’s assertion that he was “more taken with the Musicall part then the Poeticall” (sig. A3r) in his project reflects several key aesthetic differences between French and English approaches to text setting in this period. Whereas the air de cour sets texts of high literary merit and treats the music as a vehicle for text declamation, the English madrigal sets generally poor poesia per musica (Burney called it “wretched trash”28) with fastidious attention to text setting, generally at the level of the individual word. For English composers, simple poems provided opportunities for crafting clever musical settings; for French composers, simple music heightened the effect of great poems. France’s finest poets supplied the texts for airs de cour.29 Many of the texts describe courtly life and its associated virtues; others appropriate rustic imagery (Brooks 2000, 34–41, 47–48). In either case, the poetic text was primary and the musical text secondary. In his preface to the first collection bearing the designation “air de cour,” Adrian Le Roy apologizes that “the musical harmonies are not equal to those” of his previous works, but “at least the texts have come from good forges such as those of Seigneurs [Pierre de] Ronsard, [Philippe] Desportes, and others of the most noble poets of our century.”30 Le Roy implies that he has simplified the harmonies and musical texture not only to provide “lighter” and easier songs for his patroness, but also to prevent distraction from his fine texts. Le Roy’s emphasis on text over music is perhaps a response to earlier writings by Pléiade poets Pierre de Ronsard and Pontus de Tyard.31 Writing in 1555, Tyard suggests that “the intention of music seems to be to give a tune to words, so that anyone hearing it will have his passions roused and will himself be drawn to the poet’s affection.”32Brown (1994) demonstrates that a similar preference for clear articulation of poetry underlies the more ambiguous writings of Ronsard (1565 [1949], 1572 [1982]). English composers, on the other hand, did not draw on their native poetic tradition, which they perceived as wanting relative to foreign models. Instead, they imitated Italian musical and poetic traditions, though the English madrigalists did not adopt the literary pretensions that characterized the Italian madrigal. Most English madrigalists adapted poetry from lighter Italian sources, often translating—poorly—Italian texts themselves (Kerman 1962, 27–29). For English composers, the mediocre texts simply provided opportunities for text painting. The disparity in textual quality between the English madrigal and the French air had a reciprocal relationship with contemporary attitudes about text setting. It is telling that some of our best primary sources for text-music relations have such different origins: in France, Pierre de Ronsard, a poet, articulates most clearly how text and music ought to relate, whereas in England, Thomas Morley, a composer, gives voice to these ideas.33 Of course, this is by no means an absolute binary—Philip Sidney, for example, expressed strong opinions about music and text (Alexander 2003)—but it reflects the critical difference in priority between these repertories. Ronsard addresses his suggestions for good text setting not to composers, but rather to poets. His proposals range from practical to aesthetic: on the one hand, strophes of a poem should be identical to accommodate repeated music, on the other, single and double rhymes (Ronsard calls these masculine and feminine) should alternate to support varied cadences (Ronsard [1565] 1949, 8–9; Brown 1994, 7–8).34 If Ronsard’s instructions provide a good starting point for poets hoping to accumulate musical settings of their works, they leave much to be desired from the perspective of composers. By comparison, Morley supplies composers with a detailed rubric for text setting, but says nothing that might aid a poet. Morley (paraphrasing Zarlino 1558 [1983], 94–97 without attribution) addresses affect, harmony, melody, rhythm and meter, and text painting. He provides thorough instructions for declamation, reminding novice composers to emphasize long syllables with long notes and to avoid placing rests in the middle of words or phrases (Morley 1597, 197–98). Ultimately, Morley and Ronsard are united in their central aim, here articulated by Morley: “you shall be perfectly understood of the auditor what you sing” (178). But this goal manifested in dramatically different ways in the two countries. The French text-centric aesthetic found its ideal expression in musique mesurée à l’antique.35 The Pléiade poets devised a system of vers mesurés based on accented and unaccented syllables, which simulated the quantitative verse of Greek and Latin using the syllabic French language—unfortunately, their confusion of quantity with stress made this a rather complicated endeavor (Brooks 2000, 294–95). Musique mesurée set these verses according to a strict policy of long notes for accented syllables and short notes for unaccented ones in a 2:1 ratio. The musique mesurée tradition encouraged excellent text declamation at the expense of musical meter. The resulting musical settings had freely alternating duple and triple groupings that agglutinated into phrases of uneven, often odd, lengths. The air de cour emerged as the popularity of musique mesurée was waning, but it was still heavily influenced by the tradition. The air de cour repertory consists of two types of works: pieces en mesure d’air, the additive rhythms descended from musique mesurée, and pieces en musique légère with metrically regular dance rhythms descended from the voix de ville, a simple, strophic courtly genre from the early sixteenth century. The air de cour repertory included thousands of partsongs, lute songs, and solo songs published over a hundred-year period (1570–1670).36 The genre is difficult to define as it overlaps with the chanson, and composers rarely designated genres in their titles. This study focuses on polyphonic airs published from the late 1580s through about 1620, contemporary with the English ballett. Of the approximately fifty collections of polyphonic airs published during this period, just over thirty survive complete. Few of these sources exist in modern or facsimile edition, though the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles has recently edited the airs of Pierre Guédron; editions of Étienne Mouliné and Antoine Boësset are in progress. For reasons of scope, this article has focused on three single-composer collections spanning a twenty-five-year period (Planson 1587; Tessier 1597; Guédron 1612), and Le Roy and Ballard’s 1597 anthology. I have contextualized these sources with two additional single-composer collections (Tessier 1604 [2006]; Guédron 1608), and a second anthology (Ballard 1606), yielding a total sample of 277 airs.37 The distinction between French works en mesure d’air and en musique légère was first articulated by French theorists in the 1630s.38 (Notably, this categorization is not made by air composers, and works within collections are not labeled; furthermore, some partsongs are difficult to categorize.) Works in the former category are characterized by their additive rhythms in a 2:1 ratio, which freely alternate according to syllable accent.39 Each line is a different length, and lines often have odd numbers of beats. Le Roy and Ballard—the printers of most airs de cour—distinguish unmeasured phrases by placing a bar line at the end of each line; this makes airs en mesure d’air easy to spot in later printed sources.40 By contrast, the measured airs en musique légère use dance meters (Le Cocq 2000, 6–14). They are often in triple time and feature a wider variety of rhythmic values than their unmeasured cousins; printers did not demarcate their metrically regular phrases with bar lines. MUSIQUE EN MESURE D’AIR In spite of their lack of metrical regularity, many French partsongs en mesure d’air incorporate formal cues that encourage tonal expectation. These airs help to shed light on the relative roles of meter and phrase structure in creating a sense of tonality. Nonetheless, the lack of metrical regularity compromises a listener’s ability to interpret trajectories of expectation that are otherwise clearly articulated in an air. Jehan Planson’s setting of Amour ne voyant pas enclose is a typical example of mesure d’air. The poem features six eight-syllable lines with both single and double rhymes; the final two lines are repeated as a refrain.41 counted syllables sung syllables Amour ne voyant pas enclos(e), 8 9 Entre les replis d’une ros(e), 8 9 Une mouche à miel qui soudain, 8 8 En un de ses doigs le vint poin(dre). 8 9 Le mignon commence à se plain(dre), 8 9 Voyant enfler sa blanche main. 8 8 counted syllables sung syllables Amour ne voyant pas enclos(e), 8 9 Entre les replis d’une ros(e), 8 9 Une mouche à miel qui soudain, 8 8 En un de ses doigs le vint poin(dre). 8 9 Le mignon commence à se plain(dre), 8 9 Voyant enfler sa blanche main. 8 8 View Large counted syllables sung syllables Amour ne voyant pas enclos(e), 8 9 Entre les replis d’une ros(e), 8 9 Une mouche à miel qui soudain, 8 8 En un de ses doigs le vint poin(dre). 8 9 Le mignon commence à se plain(dre), 8 9 Voyant enfler sa blanche main. 8 8 counted syllables sung syllables Amour ne voyant pas enclos(e), 8 9 Entre les replis d’une ros(e), 8 9 Une mouche à miel qui soudain, 8 8 En un de ses doigs le vint poin(dre). 8 9 Le mignon commence à se plain(dre), 8 9 Voyant enfler sa blanche main. 8 8 View Large Le Roy and Ballard’s setting is reproduced as Example 6(a); they place a bar line at the end of each phrase of this unmeasured air, and the phrases vary in length from eleven to nineteen beats. The syllables are set in a 2:1 ratio, and notated rhythmic variety is limited to simple melismas, which are clearly marked with slurs. Planson demarcates the end of each line with one long note for single r hymes and two long notes for double rhymes. Otherwise, Planson’s setting is free, and he sets anywhere from zero to four syllables prior to the end of the line as long notes. EXAMPLE 6(a). View largeDownload slide Jehan Planson, Amour ne voyant pas enclose (1587, no. 1). This facsimile is from the superius partbook, from the 1593 edition of Planson’s Airs mis en musique à quatre parties (sig. Aiiv). The sign of congruence above the penultimate phrase indicates a repeat; it is reinforced by the final custos, which indicates a return to the pitch D. Reproduced with the permission of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. EXAMPLE 6(a). View largeDownload slide Jehan Planson, Amour ne voyant pas enclose (1587, no. 1). This facsimile is from the superius partbook, from the 1593 edition of Planson’s Airs mis en musique à quatre parties (sig. Aiiv). The sign of congruence above the penultimate phrase indicates a repeat; it is reinforced by the final custos, which indicates a return to the pitch D. Reproduced with the permission of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Planson’s air, provided in score as Example 6(b), does not strongly project the expectation so crucial to Morley’s balletts. The melody has an improvisational character, though the descent in the fourth phrase (here defined as a line of text) creates a sense of temporary closure. Harmonically, Planson delays the air’s final (♭–G), reserving a cadence on G for the end of the refrain.42 However, he prepares the refrain with an authentic cadence on the dominant (fourth phrase) and sets up an opposition between a half cadence and an authentic cadence in the refrain. Planson’s primary vehicle for projecting expectation is formal: he uses the refrain to produce harmonic closure and uses harmonic and textural cues—the preceding dominant and the loose imitation in the final phrase, respectively—to differentiate the refrain from the preceding texture. EXAMPLE 6(b). View largeDownload slide Planson, Amour ne voyant pas enclose (1587, no. 1) EXAMPLE 6(b). View largeDownload slide Planson, Amour ne voyant pas enclose (1587, no. 1) Some ametrical airs impart a certain amount of regularity, as in Example 7, Planson’s Reveillez vous belle Catin. Planson’s source poem, attributed to Héliette de Vivonne,43 provides a uniform framework for the air. sung and counted syllables Reveillez vous belle Catin, 8 Et allons cueillir ce matin, 8 La rose que pour vostre amour, 8 Vous me promistes l’autre jour. 8 sung and counted syllables Reveillez vous belle Catin, 8 Et allons cueillir ce matin, 8 La rose que pour vostre amour, 8 Vous me promistes l’autre jour. 8 View Large sung and counted syllables Reveillez vous belle Catin, 8 Et allons cueillir ce matin, 8 La rose que pour vostre amour, 8 Vous me promistes l’autre jour. 8 sung and counted syllables Reveillez vous belle Catin, 8 Et allons cueillir ce matin, 8 La rose que pour vostre amour, 8 Vous me promistes l’autre jour. 8 View Large Vive l’amour, vive ses feux, 8 final couplet repeats C’est mourir de vivre sans eux. 8 Vive l’amour, vive ses feux, 8 final couplet repeats C’est mourir de vivre sans eux. 8 View Large Vive l’amour, vive ses feux, 8 final couplet repeats C’est mourir de vivre sans eux. 8 Vive l’amour, vive ses feux, 8 final couplet repeats C’est mourir de vivre sans eux. 8 View Large Whereas Planson treated each eight-syllable line flexibly in Amour ne voyant pas enclose, he consistently uses exactly three long note values and five short ones in Reveillez vous belle Catin. As a result, each line of Reveillez vous has eleven beats (until the refrain).44 EXAMPLE 7. View largeDownload slide Planson, Reveillez vous belle Catin (1587, no. 11) EXAMPLE 7. View largeDownload slide Planson, Reveillez vous belle Catin (1587, no. 11) Planson’s air features several of the phrase structural and formal characteristics that we saw in Morley’s balletts. Planson’s first two phrases establish the final (♭–G), then tonicize III; the melodic repetition calls attention to the rhyming couplet. Planson sets the second couplet as a statement and response with a HC–PAC pair. He supplements the harmonic expectation that these cadences engender with melodic expectation: the superius descends from B♭ in phrases 1 and 2 to A in phrase 3, and finally to G in phrase 4. The first authentic cadence on the final signals the end of the verse and prepares the refrain. Planson marks the onset of the refrain with a new dotted rhythmic pattern. The melody recalls that of the opening phrase but is redirected—rather than landing on B♭ (“Catin”/“matin”) it descends to A (“feux”). However, Planson does not use a half cadence here despite the slowed harmonic rhythm and the descent to 2^. Instead, he elides the two phrases: the A-major sonority acts as a dominant of the following D minor and propels the lower voices into the final line of text. The refrain’s final phrase is identical to the response phrase from the verse (phrase 4); the refrain condenses the verse with an implied statement-response structure that is compromised by the elision. The air establishes tonic, departs, and returns; a single, thrice-repeated cadential formula generates much of the air’s tonal structure (phrases 4, 6, and 8). Despite its underlying periodicity, Planson’s setting of Réveillez vous belle Catin lacks the metrical regularity so crucial to the English ballett.45 But even without metrical regularity the air has a number of signals that encourage expectation. Its melody features repetition that helps to articulate the form as well as descents from 3^ to 1^, with arrivals on 2^ preceding the final phrase of each section. Planson experiments with the same features that Morley uses in his balletts—melodic parallelism, pairs of weak and strong cadences, statement-response phrase structure, consistent phrase lengths, and formal repetition—though the metrical flexibility of Planson’s air weakens the rhetorical salience of the paired dominant and tonic arrivals and the expectation they encourage. EMERGENT PERIODICITY IN THE AIR DE COUR The complicated rules for text setting in the air de cour and the genre’s roots in musique mesurée suggest that metrical periodicity—so crucial to the ballett’s tonal sound—would be absent from the air de cour. But French composers found ways to incorporate metrical regularity even within the context of musique mesurée, a phenomenon I call emergent periodicity. In some cases the regularity resulted from the structure of the poetic text; in others it resulted from composers’ deviating from text setting conventions, suggesting that periodicity had an aesthetic function that crossed national borders. Two airs, discussed below, are illustrative of this trend: Charles Tessier’s L’amour de ces courtisans and an anonymous setting from Le Roy and Ballard’s 1597 anthology, Il est vray je le confesse. Works en mesure d’air and those en musique légère cannot always be clearly delimited (Le Cocq 2000, 4). Tessier’s L’amour de ces courtisans (1597) (Ex. 8) is not easily categorized: the air is metrically regular despite bearing markers of the unmeasured style. Tessier’s air consists of two four-measure phrases that divide into two-measure sub-phrases, each of which sets one line of the poem. Each line ends with slower rhythmic values, yielding harmonic arrivals every two measures. But this periodicity, generally a feature of airs en musique légère, has its roots in the unmeasured style. It does not stem from a dance meter, nor do we see the variety of rhythmic values characteristic of airs en musique légère. EXAMPLE 8. View largeDownload slide Charles Tessier, L’amour de ces courtisans (1597, no. 17). (This collection is a rare example of French airs de cour published in London, by Thomas East. East places a bar line after faintise and prise only. Notational cues are less helpful here, as East had not developed notational conventions for bar lines in airs de cour to the extent that Le Roy and Ballard had. See also Dobbins 2006, xxiii–xxiv.) EXAMPLE 8. View largeDownload slide Charles Tessier, L’amour de ces courtisans (1597, no. 17). (This collection is a rare example of French airs de cour published in London, by Thomas East. East places a bar line after faintise and prise only. Notational cues are less helpful here, as East had not developed notational conventions for bar lines in airs de cour to the extent that Le Roy and Ballard had. See also Dobbins 2006, xxiii–xxiv.) Instead, the air’s metrical regularity results from Tessier’s formulaic text setting. counted syllables sung syllables L’amour de ces courtisans 7 7 Est pure faintis(e). 5 6 Plus ilz sont les languissans 7 7 Tant moins je les pris(e). 5 6 counted syllables sung syllables L’amour de ces courtisans 7 7 Est pure faintis(e). 5 6 Plus ilz sont les languissans 7 7 Tant moins je les pris(e). 5 6 View Large counted syllables sung syllables L’amour de ces courtisans 7 7 Est pure faintis(e). 5 6 Plus ilz sont les languissans 7 7 Tant moins je les pris(e). 5 6 counted syllables sung syllables L’amour de ces courtisans 7 7 Est pure faintis(e). 5 6 Plus ilz sont les languissans 7 7 Tant moins je les pris(e). 5 6 View Large In deference to musique mesurée, Tessier limits his setting to quarter notes and half notes, reserving the longer values for the final one or two syllables of each line, according to the rhyme.46 His air illustrates Ronsard’s rule that poets should alternate single and double rhymes to encourage varied cadential rhetoric. The alternating rhyme types correspond with a phrase hierarchy: the first and third lines, which end with single rhymes, are syntactically dependent on those that follow, are in weaker positions in the metric hierarchy (in the middle of four-measure phrases), and feature weaker cadences (for instance, the undecorated I: PAC in m. 2 is rhetorically weaker than the tonicized HC in m. 4, which is decorated with a suspension and passing dissonance). The double rhymes yield slower harmonic articulation at the stronger phrase boundaries; Tessier highlights this shift in harmonic rhythm in m. 4 by introducing inner voice figuration to strengthen the tonicized half cadence. Tessier’s air has a statement-response skeleton mirroring that of Morley’s Now is the month of Maying. In both partsongs, the first two measures prolong the tonic, while the following two measures tonicize the dominant. In each setting, the four-measure opening is followed by a refrain (in Morley’s case, a “fa la” refrain, and in Tessier’s setting, a repeated couplet). Measures 5–6 destabilize the tonic but lead to a half cadence, and the final measures conclude with a PAC. Harmonic arrivals occur every two measures, corresponding with repeated rhythmic patterns and poetic and musical rhymes; the two arrivals on dominant (mm. 4 and 6) encourage expectation for the tonic in m. 8. The coordination of harmonic structure, phrase hierarchy, and rhyme scheme establishes a cycle of expectation for the air encouraged by metrical periodicity. Tessier’s air illustrates the principle of emergent periodicity, that is, regularity of phrase rhythm that results from the coordination of a rhythmic formula (defined by musique mesurée) and poetic structure (determined by Ronsard’s rules), rather than from pre-compositional metrical planning. Pieces that feature emergent periodicity occupy a gray area between airs en musique légère and en mesure d’air. As such, they suggest that, in the development of metrical periodicity in French composition and indeed in syllabic, homophonic text setting throughout Europe, regular musical meter often results directly from regular poetic meter.47 Emergent periodicity is a factor in a number of other airs de cour that fall into the same ambiguous space between measured and unmeasured, such as Example 9, an anonymous setting of Il est vray je le confesse (1597). As in L’amour de ces courtisans, the text of this air alternates between single and double rhymes in lines of uneven lengths. counted syllables sung syllables Il est vray, je le confess(e), 7 8 Je suis amoureux: 5 5 Mais le bel oeil qui me bless(e) 7 8 Me rend si heureux, 5 5 Qu’aux Dieux je ne porte en vi(e) 7 8 Servant sa beauté 5 5 Qui tient mon ame asservi(e) 7 8 Et ma liberté. 5 5 counted syllables sung syllables Il est vray, je le confess(e), 7 8 Je suis amoureux: 5 5 Mais le bel oeil qui me bless(e) 7 8 Me rend si heureux, 5 5 Qu’aux Dieux je ne porte en vi(e) 7 8 Servant sa beauté 5 5 Qui tient mon ame asservi(e) 7 8 Et ma liberté. 5 5 View Large counted syllables sung syllables Il est vray, je le confess(e), 7 8 Je suis amoureux: 5 5 Mais le bel oeil qui me bless(e) 7 8 Me rend si heureux, 5 5 Qu’aux Dieux je ne porte en vi(e) 7 8 Servant sa beauté 5 5 Qui tient mon ame asservi(e) 7 8 Et ma liberté. 5 5 counted syllables sung syllables Il est vray, je le confess(e), 7 8 Je suis amoureux: 5 5 Mais le bel oeil qui me bless(e) 7 8 Me rend si heureux, 5 5 Qu’aux Dieux je ne porte en vi(e) 7 8 Servant sa beauté 5 5 Qui tient mon ame asservi(e) 7 8 Et ma liberté. 5 5 View Large The composer creates metrical regularity despite the uneven line lengths by setting the longer lines with quarter notes and the shorter lines with a mix of quarter and half notes. By this scheme, each line is allotted eight quarter-note beats, and the air adheres to this rhythmic pattern with some ornamentation throughout. EXAMPLE 9. View largeDownload slide Anonymous, Il est vray je le confesse (1597, no. 9). Le Roy and Ballard notate bar lines after mm. 4, 8, 12, and 16. EXAMPLE 9. View largeDownload slide Anonymous, Il est vray je le confesse (1597, no. 9). Le Roy and Ballard notate bar lines after mm. 4, 8, 12, and 16. The anonymous composer complements the metrical periodicity with melodic and harmonic parallelism that was not a feature of L’amour de ces courtisans. The first half of the air consists of two identical four-measure phrases, each of which prolongs G (the final, ♭–G) before an authentic cadence on D. The second half also employs a repeated four-measure melody. But, in contrast to mm. 1–8, the composer re-harmonizes the second line of the couplet to produce a statement-response structure. Measures 9–12 emphasize B♭ and lead to a strongly articulated authentic cadence on this degree, while the responding music (mm. 13–16) returns to G, replacing the previous phrase’s bass ascent with a dramatic descent. Notably, this air lacks the repeated final section characteristic of most airs and chansons; its melodic parallelism and statement-response phrase structure provides an alternative model for the articulation of formal and tonal structure. The full air enacts a trajectory of exposition (mm. 1–8), departure (mm. 9–12), and return (mm. 12–16), all within a carefully circumscribed periodic framework. These airs illustrate two models of emergent periodicity. Whereas Tessier, with L’amour de ces courtisans, strictly observes traditional musique mesurée text-setting rules, the anonymous composer deviates from text-setting conventions to accommodate the unbalanced line lengths. This deviation is evident in the two composers’ rhetorical treatment of their single and double rhymes. The anonymous composer speeds through the double rhymes, sometimes avoiding a cadential effect (mm. 2 and 6), and sometimes creating a phrase elision (mm. 10 and 14). For the single rhymes, the rhythm slows, yielding stronger cadences on beat three of mm. 4, 8, 12, and 16. As a result, the composer establishes a hierarchy of phrases that corresponds with the poem’s syntax and rhyme scheme as well as the hypermetric and cadential hierarchy. Airs de cour fall along a spectrum from the additive, irregular meter of musique mesurée to the preordained periodicity of dance music. Emergent periodicity provides a vocabulary for understanding how composers mediated between these two extremes. Example 10 illustrates the relative concentration of airs en mesure d’air, those featuring emergent periodicity, and those en musique légère in seven air de cour collections from the late 1580s through the early 1610s. French composers strongly prefer the mesurée-influenced style; however, nearly every collection includes at least a few examples of both airs en musique légère and unmeasured airs featuring emergent periodicity. This suggests that emergent periodicity had at least an equal role to musique légère in encouraging metrical periodicity in this repertory, in spite of the prevailing preference for the unmeasured style. Further research made possible by the increased availability of sources could investigate the extent to which a trend toward regularity emerges in partsong and lute airs from the late 1610 s through the later seventeenth century. Durosoir (2009, xlix) documents such a stylistic shift in Guédron’s airs in the period between his 1608 and 1612 collections. Certainly, emergent periodicity served as a valuable middle ground as composers eventually transitioned from musique mesurée and mensural practice more generally toward a modern metrical system. But the distinction between the mechanical text setting of L’amour de ces courtisans and the more composer-manipulated Il est vray je le confesse suggests that the relative role of the poet and the composer in producing periodicity varies from air to air. EXAMPLE 10. View largeDownload slide Distribution of air de cour types in a sample of collections. Categorization was determined by the author based on metrical and notational cues. Generally, French composers demonstrate a strong preference for mesure d’air; works en musique légère and those featuring emergent periodicity are equally prevalent across these representative collections. EXAMPLE 10. View largeDownload slide Distribution of air de cour types in a sample of collections. Categorization was determined by the author based on metrical and notational cues. Generally, French composers demonstrate a strong preference for mesure d’air; works en musique légère and those featuring emergent periodicity are equally prevalent across these representative collections. The reciprocal relationship between poetic meter and musical meter facilitated an increase in metrical periodicity across Europe in the early modern period—especially in repertories with syllabic text-setting like the ballett and air de cour. The complicating factor of musique mesurée foregrounds the compositional priority that French composers variously did and did not give to musical meter. Most importantly, these airs demonstrate that French composers found ways to incorporate periodicity within the rubric of musique mesurée text setting rules, even in a genre where the deck was stacked against metrical periodicity. AIRS EN MUSIQUE LÉGÈRE This is not to say that metrically regular airs de cour were exclusively the work of chance combinations of musical and poetic meter. Many dance-based airs en musique légère feature the same metrical regularity, formal repetition, and phrase structures that characterize English balletts. At the same time, other measured airs lack periodicity, foregrounding the priority that French composers placed on poetry over musical meter. In either case, the interaction between parameters such as harmony, cadential rhetoric, and phrase structure on the one hand and meter on the other encourages tonal expectation. Many airs en musique légère derive their rhythmic character from dance music.48 Some airs survive in both measured and unmeasured forms, including Révéillés vous belle Cattin; Example 11 provides Tessier’s measured setting of this text, which makes for an instructive comparison with Planson’s (Ex. 7). Tessier’s courante setting features triple meter, hemiola, and emphatic forward drive; he essentially adds one beat per line to Planson’s unmeasured framework and replaces the Ŵ mensuration sign with šʼn. The settings correspond until the refrain: as Example 12 illustrates, while Planson continues the metrical pattern of the rest of the air for the first line of the refrain couplet, Tessier changes the refrain’s metrical emphasis. Tessier abandons the syncopation characteristic of the courante in favor of a refrain that places stronger emphasis on the six-beat hypermeasure; he reintroduces the hemiola for the second line of the refrain couplet. EXAMPLE 11. View largeDownload slide Tessier, Réveillés vous belle Cattin (1597, no. 8) EXAMPLE 11. View largeDownload slide Tessier, Réveillés vous belle Cattin (1597, no. 8) EXAMPLE 12. View largeDownload slide Comparison of Tessier and Planson’s settings of Réveillés vous belle Cattin EXAMPLE 12. View largeDownload slide Comparison of Tessier and Planson’s settings of Réveillés vous belle Cattin Harmonically, Planson’s and Tessier’s settings are similar. Aside from ornamental gestures, the two composers treat the opening couplet identically. The two refrains resemble one another harmonically, except for the critical internal cadence point (“vive ses feux”). Here, Planson elides the phrases rather than cadencing (phrase 5). Tessier, by contrast, writes a contrapuntal cadence on F (m. 20), which acts as a dominant of the following B♭ sonority. Some of this discrepancy can be attributed to the rhythmic variance between the two settings of the refrain; the rest depends on the composers’ taste, their understanding of the norms for composing in the ♭ system with a G final, or their memory of a performance of this air. Tessier and Planson diverge more extensively in their treatment of the middle couplet (Tessier’s mm. 9–16, Planson’s phrases 3–4). The composers share two structural bass pitches for each phrase—the first long note (“que” and “-mis-” in the first verse) and the cadential bass—but they arrive at these landmarks by different routes. Tessier begins his second couplet by recalling the pitch of the opening in a gesture of re-initiation, while Planson speaks to the cadence on B♭ that has just occurred and begins with an F-major harmony. Critically, while the two settings’ rhythms divide easily into an ancient/modern binary, their harmonic structures do not map onto this binary at all. Both composers use harmonic syntax different from that of common practice tonality but not unfamiliar to modern listeners; they simply emphasize different harmonies and bass motion. A single air de cour framework interpreted and arranged by different composers can take on decidedly contrasting forms. But this pair raises an intriguing question: if we intuit Tessier’s setting as striding confidently toward tonality while Planson’s setting resides comfortably in the distant realm of the antique, what is it, exactly, that differentiates these two works? For the most part, it is neither their pitch content, nor their harmonies or cadences, that distinguishes them. Rather, rhythm and meter set these two works apart. Tessier’s metrically regular framework would become a norm in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while Planson’s experimentation with musique mesurée would fade to obscurity. Measured music—even music strongly influenced by dance meters—does not necessarily imply complete metrical periodicity. Example 13, the anonymous Dieu vous gard bergerette (1597), features the iambic rhythmic patterning and hemiola characteristic of the courante but lacks the periodicity that would make the work danceable. The melody references the courante’s form without adhering to it exactly: each half divides into two similar phrases with melodic parallelism and paired weak and strong cadences. In spite of these musical regularities the composer sets the first half of the melody in seven-measure phrases that subdivide into 4 + 3, rather than metrically regular 4 + 4 phrases (as in the second half of the air). The text accounts for this metrical anomaly: counted syllables sung syllables Dieu vous gard bergeret(te), 6 7 Et vos moutons aussi. 6 6 Ainsi toute seullet(te) 6 7 Que faites vous icy, 6 6 Auriez vous agreeab(le) 6 7 Un amant miserab(le). 6 7 counted syllables sung syllables Dieu vous gard bergeret(te), 6 7 Et vos moutons aussi. 6 6 Ainsi toute seullet(te) 6 7 Que faites vous icy, 6 6 Auriez vous agreeab(le) 6 7 Un amant miserab(le). 6 7 View Large counted syllables sung syllables Dieu vous gard bergeret(te), 6 7 Et vos moutons aussi. 6 6 Ainsi toute seullet(te) 6 7 Que faites vous icy, 6 6 Auriez vous agreeab(le) 6 7 Un amant miserab(le). 6 7 counted syllables sung syllables Dieu vous gard bergeret(te), 6 7 Et vos moutons aussi. 6 6 Ainsi toute seullet(te) 6 7 Que faites vous icy, 6 6 Auriez vous agreeab(le) 6 7 Un amant miserab(le). 6 7 View Large The source poem consists of lines of six counted syllables, and the opening quatrain alternates between double and single rhymes. Consequently, the first quatrain alternates between seven and six sung syllables; the composer sets each seven-syllable line in four measures and each six-syllable line in three, creating an elision into the following phrase. The same mechanical text setting that yields emergent periodicity in the airs addressed above here creates irregularity—the composer does not prioritize metrical periodicity in this setting, even though it is ostensibly meant to be danced. The air’s notation similarly compromises any sense of periodicity: the publishers do not notate any initial rests (though they do so in other triple time settings in the collection), and they place a bar line immediately following each line of text, drawing on the unmetrical nature of musique mesurée barring practices.49 Ultimately, the uneven phrase lengths weaken the carefully outlined cadential hierarchy by upsetting expectations of regularity. example 13. View largeDownload slide Anonymous, Dieu vous gard bergerette (1597, no. 2) example 13. View largeDownload slide Anonymous, Dieu vous gard bergerette (1597, no. 2) Another version of Dieu vous gard bergerette appeared in Pierre Guédron’s 1612 collection of airs de cour and is reproduced as Example 14; Guédron’s version erases the metrical irregularity by adding a measure of rest at the end of the second and fourth lines. Responding to the refrain-like final couplet, Guédron also repeats the final two phrases in his setting and changes the proportions of the air into a larger, more symmetrical structure. Durosoir (2009, liv) has suggested that, due to concordances between Guédron’s later airs and many earlier anonymous settings, Guédron may have composed the 1597 setting and modernized the meter fifteen years later. Or perhaps Guédron and the anonymous composer borrowed the same melody independently and represented it in musical notation differently, or Guédron copied and revised the work of the anonymous composer without attribution. In any case, the shift toward metrical regularity and formal repetition belies subtle changes in aesthetic priority in the early decades of the seventeenth century.50 example 14. View largeDownload slide Guédron, Dieu vous gard bergerette (1612, no. 29) example 14. View largeDownload slide Guédron, Dieu vous gard bergerette (1612, no. 29) Each of the airs analyzed above establishes trajectories of expectation using statement-response phrases, pairs of strong and weak (usually tonic and dominant) cadences, and melodic and harmonic parallelism. Four of the seven airs are metrically regular and feature hierarchical formal structures based on groupings of two-, four-, and eight-measure units. Planson’s unmeasured setting of Reveillez vous belle Catin is easily reinterpreted by Tessier to fall within a metrical framework, as is the case with Guédron’s later version of Dieu vous gard bergerette. Although metrical regularity is a more common feature of dance-type works, the aesthetic paradigm of metric hierarchy and dominant-tonic polarity infused some airs influenced more directly by musique mesurée. At the same time, the dance rhythms of musique légère do not necessarily translate to metrical periodicity. All of these pieces incorporate the same statement-response rhetoric that is critical to the English ballett’s tonal sound. FROM METRICAL REGULARITY TO TONAL EXPECTATION English composers demonstrated a stronger preference for metrical regularity than their French counterparts. Example 15(a) summarizes metrical regularity in English balletts and French airs de cour. The French pieces are more evenly distributed, as they reflect three distinct styles—mesure d’air, emergent periodicity, and musique légère. Nearly 20 percent of the French airs are completely regular or nearly so—these are the best examples of emergent periodicity and the most regular of the airs en musique légère. French composers’ preference for the unmeasured style (almost 60 percent of the airs sampled here) accounts for the larger number of pieces where fewer than half of the phrases can be understood according to a metrically regular framework. In England, Weelkes and Hilton account for the peak between 60 percent and 80 percent: Weelkes experimented with imitation and elision in his balletts, and Hilton compensated for the dogged regularity of his poetry by adding one-measure extensions to many of his balletts (cf. Ex. 5). Indeed, as Example 15(b) illustrates, Morley’s preference for regularity is even stronger than that of the other English composers. EXAMPLE 15(a). View largeDownload slide Metrical regularity in English (left) and French (right) partsongs. Only homophonic, texted phrases are included. The data represent 57 English balletts and 277 French airs de cour, and account for more than 1500 phrases. A “regular” phrase includes a number of beats divisible by four (that is, a whole number of semibreves), or, in triple time, a set of three-beat units divisible by four (a whole number of perfect semibreves). EXAMPLE 15(a). View largeDownload slide Metrical regularity in English (left) and French (right) partsongs. Only homophonic, texted phrases are included. The data represent 57 English balletts and 277 French airs de cour, and account for more than 1500 phrases. A “regular” phrase includes a number of beats divisible by four (that is, a whole number of semibreves), or, in triple time, a set of three-beat units divisible by four (a whole number of perfect semibreves). EXAMPLE 15(b). View largeDownload slide Metrical regularity in Morley’s partsongs (left), as well as those of all English composers, including Morley (center), and French composers (right) EXAMPLE 15(b). View largeDownload slide Metrical regularity in Morley’s partsongs (left), as well as those of all English composers, including Morley (center), and French composers (right) If the similarities between the ballett and the air de cour reveal which elements of sixteenth-century contrapuntal languages eventually played significant roles in tonal articulation, the differences between the repertories indicate how these changes were taking place on different time-scales and according to various aesthetic priorities in the two countries. While the air de cour reveals the extent to which metrical periodicity impacts a homophonic repertory’s tonal sound, it also illustrates the importance of other musical factors in creating the trajectories of expectation so central to a sense of tonality. Metrical regularity contributes little to a repertory’s tonal sound when it is not supported by melodic, cadential, and formal rhetoric that reinforces a metric hierarchy. The ballett is most obviously distinguished from the air de cour by its “fa la” refrain. The ballett’s refrain plays a critical role in the genre’s capacity to encourage tonal expectation. The “fa la” refrain is closely tied to the structure of the poem: balletts often divide the text into couplets, each of which becomes a verse that pairs with a “fa la.” Consequently, verses are circumscribed almost uniformly to four measures in duple time or eight measures in triple time—the syllabic treatment of quinari and settenari cannot sustain a longer setting. Because these four-measure units are so short, composers generally treat them as harmonically open antecedent phrases. The “fa la” refrain provides a natural consequent that often balances the verse in length and provides tonal closure. English composers create expectation even when confronted with longer poems that upset the normal 4 + 4 structure of ballett verse-refrain pairs (Ex. 5). Sometimes Morley reduces his “fa la” refrain to maintain metrical periodicity, as in Example 16, You that wont to my pipes sound. Morley’s verse has three lines; he uses a typical eight-measure statement-response phrase (with a long anacrusis in the inner voices), and shrinks the “fa la” refrain to accommodate the longer text.51 In other instances, when confronted with a longer poem, Morley treats the verse as an independent statement-response phrase. In Dainty fine sweet nymph (Ex. 17), Morley accommodates the extended, tripartite verse by moving through three harmonic areas, IV, V, and I, all before the refrain. He compensates for the irregularity of the six-measure verse by pairing a half cadence and an authentic cadence in mm. 4 and 6. The “fa la” refrain reinforces tonic. Morley eschews metrical regularity here, presumably because of the irregular verse length, but this does not prevent him from articulating a dominant-tonic relationship in a formally significant way. The ballett’s verse-refrain structure also allows for expansion of the “fa la” refrain without compromising the statement-response expectation, as in the eight-measure refrain of Weelkes’s To shorten winter’s sadness (Ex. 18). The verse-refrain pair is a closed structure that is expandable: the ballett form consists of two of these pairs, and any of their parts can expand without compromising the integrity of the form. EXAMPLE 16. View largeDownload slide Morley, You that wont to my pipes sound (1595, no. 13) EXAMPLE 16. View largeDownload slide Morley, You that wont to my pipes sound (1595, no. 13) example 17. View largeDownload slide Morley, Dainty fine sweet nymph (1595, no. 1) example 17. View largeDownload slide Morley, Dainty fine sweet nymph (1595, no. 1) EXAMPLE 18. View largeDownload slide Weelkes, To shorten winter’s sadness (1598, no. 2) EXAMPLE 18. View largeDownload slide Weelkes, To shorten winter’s sadness (1598, no. 2) Though many airs de cour also feature refrains, they differ substantively from the regular “fa la” interjections of the ballett. Most airs close with a repeated line or couplet as is typical of the chanson repertory more generally (such as L’amour de ces courtisans).52Air de cour refrains are often inspired by parallelisms or structural aspects of the text (for instance, in Réveillez vous belle Catin, the final two lines are repeated in each stanza of the poem). Yet, refrain structure differs substantially from collection to collection, and indeed from air to air, compromising their ability to encourage expectation. As Example 19 illustrates, Tessier uses eleven distinct refrain types for the thirty-three airs de cour included in his 1597 collection. The majority of his airs repeat one to three lines of text at the end of each verse, depending on the length of the poem and the lengths of individual lines. Occasionally the refrain text remains the same (or similar) for every verse, especially when the refrain sets a standalone couplet after a quatrain verse (as in nos. 4, 8, 11, 20, 24, and 25). For shorter poems, the refrain text changes with each verse (nos. 3, 5, and 6 supply three different variations on this model). Tessier’s refrains have a clear formal purpose: they signal the completion of a verse and give Tessier an extra opportunity to articulate tonal closure. But it is impossible for a listener to determine where the refrain begins until it is repeated for the first time; its role in the air’s form is more incidental than structural. EXAMPLE 19. View largeDownload slide Refrain structures in Tessier, Chansons et airs de court (1597). Each air ends with one or more repeated phrases, notated with a sign of congruence and indicated here with underlining. EXAMPLE 19. View largeDownload slide Refrain structures in Tessier, Chansons et airs de court (1597). Each air ends with one or more repeated phrases, notated with a sign of congruence and indicated here with underlining. Most airs de cour have refrains like those in Tessier’s collection; however, Le Roy and Ballard’s 1597 anthology, summarized in Example 20, includes thirty-eight airs, but only twenty-six use refrain-like repetition. Of the nine airs without refrains, three (including Il est vray je le confesse and Dieu vous gard bergerette) use other kinds of melodic repetition. The twenty-six remaining pieces exhibit a variety of refrain structures. Seven airs have repetition within each verse (similar to Tessier’s refrains), and eight have repetition between verses only (such as a final line that occurs once in each verse). The remaining eleven airs feature both types of repetition. In several of the airs from the 1597 anthology, the refrain is not aurally evident until the second verse—their repetitive function occurs only on a global level. EXAMPLE 20. View largeDownload slide View largeDownload slide Refrain structures in Airs de court mis en musique à 4 & 5 (1597). Refrain structure varies; refrains may be notated with repeat signs, signs of congruence, or may be written out. Refrain phrases are underlined in the table. EXAMPLE 20. View largeDownload slide View largeDownload slide Refrain structures in Airs de court mis en musique à 4 & 5 (1597). Refrain structure varies; refrains may be notated with repeat signs, signs of congruence, or may be written out. Refrain phrases are underlined in the table. Example 21 summarizes the variety of refrains in several air de cour collections. About half of the airs use internal repetition alone, and slightly fewer use both internal repetition and repetition from verse to verse. Refrains are a vital part of the air’s form—we have seen, for example, how the repetition of the final line of Réveillés vous belle Cattin contributes to its symmetry. But unlike the “fa la” refrain of the ballett, air refrains cannot be predicted. English composers, in dialogue with the norms of the ballett form, can use “fa la” refrains to conclude trajectories of expectation that they establish in their verses. The nonsense syllables immediately signify a formal location to the listener. And balletts repeat not refrains alone, but rather verse-refrain pairs, enhancing the listener’s ability to associate formal position with tonal function. Air de cour refrains are more ad hoc, and, since they consist of internally repeated material rather than responsive material, their formal purpose is often separate from their tonal function. EXAMPLE 21. View largeDownload slide Summary of refrain types in air de cour collections EXAMPLE 21. View largeDownload slide Summary of refrain types in air de cour collections The articulation of tonal function also depends on cadential rhetoric, which perhaps does the most to distinguish the air de cour from the English ballett. In English balletts, composers use tonic and dominant cadences unequivocally, structurally, predictively, and actively (terms which will be defined below). Although French composers sometimes align with English practice, they merely use tonic and dominant cadences consistently. When composers treat a cadence unequivocally, they prepare the cadence with increased harmonic rhythm, place the goal sonority on a strong beat, and follow the cadence with rests. Cadences are often prepared with T–PD–D–T syntax. This principle is illustrated by English and French treatments of double rhymes.53 In texts with double rhymes, a potential conflict arises between three different types of accent: poetic accent (on the penultimate syllable of the line), metrical accent (depending on how the composer has aligned the text with the mensural grid), and cadential arrival (which is flexible but often occurs on the final syllable). French text-setting precepts have tremendous implications for cadence-writing in the air de cour: composers were obligated to end a phrase with one or more long notes depending on the nature of the rhyme. Consequently, poetic phrase-ending conventions overrode metrical preferences for cadential placement. French composers had little opportunity (or interest) to place cadential arrivals on metrically accented beats, limited as they were by the rhythmic patterning of alternating single and double rhymes.54 The resulting cadential framework differs substantially from that of English ballett composers and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century composers: French phrase boundaries are demarcated by long notes rather than metrically regulated cadential rhetoric. French composers’ text-first approach bears implications for a host of other musical features that demarcate cadences, including rests, longer notes, and metrical periodicity. English composers, too, were beholden to texts and their rhyme schemes. Indeed, because many English madrigal texts are translations from Italian models, most balletts are laden with awkward double rhymes foreign to English verse (Kerman 1962, 27–29). However, English composers regularly adjust phrase rhythm to accommodate double rhymes and produce metrically accented cadences. In Now is the month of Maying, Morley cadences on the accented syllable (may- and play-) rather than the unaccented one (-ing), yielding strong-beat cadences. Many air composers, by contrast, cadence on the second, unaccented syllable of a double rhyme.55 French composers beholden to the rules of musique mesurée may find themselves forced to cadence on relatively weak beats throughout an air. Example 22 compares the metrical placement of cadences in Now is the month of Maying and Il est vray je le confesse. Morley’s parallel cadential rhetoric draws attention to the I–V cadential pairing that prepares his refrain; by contrast, the French composer’s cadences are rhetorically compromised because of their weak metrical position, and the pairing of I and V is less obvious. Unaccented cadences compromise expectation even in metrically regular works, and the two cadential styles reveal a conceptual divide between English and French text setting: the former seeks to fill out an appropriate number of beats in a phrase, while the latter seeks to set an appropriate number of syllables. Unsurprisingly, the English method produces a more tonal effect, with regularly deployed cadences and the possibility for weak-strong cadential pairing. By contrast, the latter approach may yield metrical periodicity as the result of textual periodicity, but this is an emergent property rather than a pre-compositional goal. EXAMPLE 22. View largeDownload slide Comparison of cadential rhetoric in Morley, Now is the month of Maying and Anonymous, Il est vray je le confesse EXAMPLE 22. View largeDownload slide Comparison of cadential rhetoric in Morley, Now is the month of Maying and Anonymous, Il est vray je le confesse Tonality, as it emerges in various forms in seventeenth-century Europe, features structural cadences, wherein cadences correspond with both formal and tonal structure. Morley and Weelkes use pairs of tonic and dominant cadences to articulate refrain structure in their balletts; these refrains provided English composers with particularly valuable fodder for experimenting with tonal relationships in formal ways. The air de cour does not present the same formal opportunities as the repetitive, regularized ballett form. Air composers frequently pair dominant and tonic cadences across large timespans. However, the correlation of formal and harmonic events is less consistent in French airs than English balletts. And, more importantly, air refrains do not encourage the same kinds of structural listening as ballett refrains because they are difficult to predict—often the listener does not even know the refrain has begun. English composers are particularly consistent in their predictive use of cadences. Their cadences participate in phrase structure processes that incorporate metrical periodicity and melodic parallelism. English composers use statement-response phrase structures to deploy cadences within trajectories of expectation on the level of phrase structure as well as form. Finally, and most critically, English composers deploy their cadential rhetoric actively. Their cadential rhetoric—which incorporates text setting, metrical placement of cadences, dissonance treatment, hierarchical relationships among cadences, et cetera—is not emergent from their counterpoint or text setting, but is purposefully orchestrated. The examples discussed above illustrate that French practice frequently aligns with English practice, but that these alignments are only occasionally active, that is, the result of compositional decisions. This is not to say that, for example, metrical periodicity arising from from textual periodicity did not play an important role in the emergence of a tonal language in France in the seventeenth century. However, emergent periodicity may have led to the rise of an actively periodic style that allowed composers to develop their harmonic language more effectively. I do not intend to argue that French composers wrote less effective or less tonal cadences than their English counterparts, but rather point out precisely how cadential rhetoric differed, metrically and harmonically, under the pens of English composers. French composers use hemiola to vivid effect in their triple-time pieces. This feature of Baroque cadential rhetoric was a lively aspect of French compositional practice but played only a small role in English writing in this period.56 French composers were experimenting with the metrical placement of cadences just as English composers were, but to dramatically different effects. Both of these metrical devices—strong beat cadences and hemiola—were ultimately adopted by eighteenth-century composers for their cadences. CONCLUSION Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century homophonic counterpoint has proved enticing to many scholars seeking the origins of harmonic thinking. However, too often these studies start and end with harmonic syntax and neglect larger metrical and structural cues. The complex and at times subtle differences between the ballett and the air de cour reveal that composers’ means of regulating consonant homophony are critical to transforming consonant counterpoint into successions of vertical harmonies. Though we often credit monody as the catalyst for tonal writing, homophonic repertories and their close relationship to monodic ones have been largely ignored.57 Homophony and monody interact in fascinating ways in the early modern period. For example, Morley’s 1597 partsong collection, Canzonets or Litle short aers to five and sixe voices, includes lute tablature, suggesting that its contents could be performed a cappella, as accompanied partsongs, or as lutesongs. Similarly, most airs de cour were published both as partsongs and lute songs, and it appears that both formats were based on circulating melody-bass frameworks that were subsequently arranged for different ensemble types.58 These examples reveal underlying conceptual similarities between monodic and homophonic writing. Indeed, many of the innovations attributed to monody—in particular, the prominence of the bass and the conception of triads as vertical structures—are also evident in homophonic compositions. But homophonic repertories vary, and their differences are productive for untangling how musical changes occurred in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The features that English and French music share illuminate how tonal languages emerge from consonant counterpoint regardless of when a shift took place in compositional thinking. If we can trace these features across several repertories and through the seventeenth century, we might be able to determine how tonal languages regulated themselves until their localized characteristics were effaced in favor of a more internationally consistent tonal language. The ballett and air de cour share a number of features, though the repertories sound quite different: both feature syntactically deployed triads at least some of the time as well as structural relationships between cadences on fifth-related scale degrees. But these features, triads and tonal hierarchy, are also characteristic of modal languages—and indeed, the air de cour is rooted more deeply in modal concepts than the ballett. This suggests that harmony, syntax, and centricity—oft-cited harbingers of tonality—are actually not the most crucial elements of a tonal language, since they are characteristic of many contrapuntal, modal languages of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Rather, the ballett and air de cour reveal that it is composers’ regulation of these features with phrase structure, meter, and cadential rhetoric that impart tonality to a contrapuntal language. As a result, I suggest that a tonal language is defined by the trajectories of expectation it establishes. Composers’ manipulation of rhythm, meter, phrase structure, and form allow tonic and dominant not merely to contrast, but to depend upon one another. English and French composers were both building tonal languages in their homophonic partsongs simply by experimenting with new ways of regulating homophonic counterpoint. Some of their experiments survive in tonal languages of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; others faded to obscurity as the seventeenth century wore on. The crux of their experimentation lay not in individual triads, harmonic syntax, or pitch collections, but in their play with meter, phrase structure, periodicity, hierarchy, and cadence. Some homophonic repertories, like the ballett with its regular refrain structures, lent themselves particularly well to this kind of experimentation. The air de cour played a different role in this history; its composers were interested in dance meters and hemiola, on the one hand, and in monody and lute performance on the other. But, viewed in tandem, these repertories and other homophonic musics from this period provide critical insight into processes of musical change in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I would like to express my gratitude to Daniel Harrison and Ian Quinn for their guidance in the nascent stages of this project, Andrew Pau and David Heetderks for their feedback on earlier drafts of this article, and to my anonymous readers, whose comments greatly improved the final version. Footnotes 1 Lester (1989) and Powers (1998) address this issue in Continental music theory; Owens (1998) and Bailey (1998) consider the unique situation in England. Barnett (2010) challenges such transitional models by considering theories of pitch organization in the Italian Baroque that do not distinguish between modal and tonal systems. 2 Scholars have drawn on varied repertories in support of this argument. Caldwell (1983) considers triadic harmony in assorted fifteenth- and sixteenth-century sacred and secular music, Newcomb (2002, 2007) traces the early history of harmonic syntax in Italian homophony with a particular focus on Marenzio (though, see Kang 2011 for an opposing interpretation of these patterns), and Christensen (1992) discusses the theory and practice of Spanish Baroque guitar performance. Tymoczko (2014) traces what he calls “functional harmony” back to early-fifteenth-century triadic repertories. 3 Chafe (1992, 2) and Newcomb (2007, 120) note this phenomenon in the music of Monteverdi and Marenzio respectively; Dahlhaus (1968 [1990]) also explores these features in Monteverdi’s madrigals. 4 For a recent meta-discussion on the value of such lists of tonal features, see Rings (2011, 3). 5 Identifying these features in early repertories is one of Tymoczko’s stated aims (2011, 195–211), but not part of Straus’s project. 6 “The principal features of the new style can be said to represent the analytical, measuring character of rational thought to an extent that is astonishing to the hearer accustomed to the subtler unfolding of Renaissance sonorities, on the one hand, and the disruptive, harmonic effects of the sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century ‘mannerist’ tendencies on the other… . Inevitably, therefore, this patterning leads to the perception of a difference between what we would call surface and structural aspects of the music” (Chafe 1992, 2). 7 “My investigations of a considerable quantity of Roman canzonette/villanelle of the 1570s, 1580s, and early 1590s do not bear out the idea that they tend to use a proto-functional harmonic vocabulary. Indeed, the harmonic successions of their short phrases are often quite wayward when judged by the criteria of subsequent functional tonality” (Newcomb 2007, 119). 8 The assumptions about meter, phrase structure, and tonal hierarchy that underlie this project are based on several hierarchical models of tonality (Lerdahl and Jackendoff 1983), filtered through important foundational work in meter (Hasty 1997; London 2004) and phrase structure (Caplin 1998). 9 In more general terms, Chafe (1992, 2) identifies the “directed, dynamic character” of early-seventeenth-century music as an element of emerging tonality. 10 Jauss suggests that the horizon of expectations provides a viable model for developing a historically sensitive understanding of an artwork: to reconstruct such a horizon we “pose questions that the text gave an answer to … to discover how the contemporary reader could have viewed and understood the work” (28). The horizon of expectations undergirds many major studies of musical form and genre, including Hepokoski and Darcy (2006, 603–10) and Gjerdingen (2007). 11 Byros (2009) undertakes a similar project with an eighteenth-century frame of reference. 12 Huron’s argument draws on recent work in experimental music psychology as well as corpus analysis; for an extensive bibliography, see Huron (2006, 381–82n2). 13 McClary (2012, 8) treats expectation, which she attributes to the charged character of the leading tone, as central to an emerging tonal style. 14 Airs de cour were published variously as partsongs, lute songs, and solo songs. English balletts were less directly associated with monodic repertories, though several Italian balletto collections were printed with lute tablature, and Thomas Morley’s (1597 [1977]) collection of canzonets includes a lute part. 15 I have demonstrated elsewhere (Long, 2015b) that the English ballett has a higher degree of regulation than Italian and German balletti. 16 Rothstein (2008, 2011) has explored this phenomenon in later repertories. 17 The balletts in Morley’s (1595 [1965]) collection are imitations of Italian models. Now is the month of Maying is modeled on Vecchi’s (1590 [1983]),So ben mi c’ha bon tempo. On Morley’s re-compositional process, see Long (2015b); Kerman (1962, 136–44); Pike (2004, 39–119). 18 Morley (1595 [1965]), (1597 [1977]); Weelkes (1598 [1968]); Hilton (1627 [2004]); Holborne (1597 [1961]); Greaves (1604 [1961]); Youll (1608 [1968]); Vautor (1619 [1958]). 19 Two other collections of secular English partsong could be productively compared to the ballett—Richard Alison's partially homophonic consort song collection An Howres Recreation in Musicke (London, 1606) and the partsongs included in Thomas Ravenscroft’s A Briefe Discourse (London, 1614). Each repertory raises distinct metrical, phrase structural, and formal issues that lie outside of the scope of this article but merit careful consideration. 20 In response to the centric, homophonic nature of this repertory, and in support of my argument about the emergence of tonality from homophonic repertories, I use Roman numerals for analytical convenience. Here, they describe triadic structures as they relate to a local key note, and I reserve them for situations where triadic structures function in syntactical ways. Additionally, for simplicity and terminological consistency across multiple levels of formal hierarchy, all metrically strong, rhythmically emphasized harmonic arrivals are treated as cadences here, even at the level of the sub-phrase. In most cases, Morley’s discussion of cadences (1597, 128) confirms that sub-phrase arrivals had cadential status. 21 Long (2014, 244–68, 278–91, 319–37) addresses the flexible treatment of F♮ and F♯ in English music. 22 The apparent ii7 in m. 1 results from the alto suspension; Morley (1597, 143) explicitly permits ii 56 at cadences. The apparent V7 in m. 7 results from passing motion in the quinto and reflects this harmony’s contrapuntal origin. 23 My use of the term “statement-response” is loosely based on Caplin (1998, 10) and describes related sub-phrases combined into larger phrases that generally feature motion from I to V and back to I (I–V | V–I or I–V | I–I). Chew (1989) discusses a similar phenomenon in Monteverdi using a Schenkerian lens. 24 English composers were strict about upholding the ballett’s ArArBrBr form; Italian and German composers were more likely to deviate from this structure. It is not clear why English composers were more committed to ballett form than their counterparts on the Continent—Morley is not specific about the form in his treatise (1597, 180). This suggests that English composers had musical reasons, perhaps related to the trajectories of expectation described above, for adhering to the default form. 25 Throughout this article, I use terminology derived from Powers (1981) to demarcate the minimal pre-compositional signifiers of key or mode (tonal type), namely, signature and key note or final. (Key note is preferred for English music; final for Continental music.) For example, the designation ♮-G indicates a piece with no signature and a G final or key note; ♭-G indicates a signature of one flat and a G final or key note. 26 Huron (2006, 190–202) argues that predictability is more important than periodicity in creating expectation on a music psychological level, though the latter is a special case of the former. 27 English translations of Italian madrigals include Yonge (1588; 1597); Watson (1590 [1999]); Morley (1597 [1963]; 1598). English consumers had been exposed to airs de cour in French (Dowland 1610 [1968]; Tessier 1597). Hammond (2007) and Dumont (1989) discuss similar trends on the continent. 28 Burney (1789 [1957], 113); Kerman (1962, 26). 29 Dobbins (2006, xviii–xix) addresses the new role of anonymity in air verse authorship around the turn of the sixteenth century. 30 “Si les harmonies musicales ne sont pareilles aux premieres, au moins les lettres sont sorties de bonnes forges comme du Seig. Ronsard, Desportes, & autres des plus gentils poëtes de ce siècle” (Le Roy 1571, sig. A1v). Translated in Brooks (2000, 13). 31 On the relationships between music and poetry in France from the perspectives of both poets and musicians, see Brown (1994); Graham (1964). 32 “L’intention de Musique semble estre de donner tel air à la parole que tout escoutant se sente passionné et se laisse tirer à l’afeccion du Poëte” (Tyard 1555 [1980]). Translated in Dobbins (1992, 99). 33 See Ronsard (1565 [1949], 9) and Jacobs (1982). Morley (1597, 177–78) borrows most of his discussion of text setting from Zarlino (1558 [1983], 93–97). 34 French poets did not always follow Ronsard’s instructions. Durosoir (2009, lxxv) points out that consecutive strophes do not always have the same patterns of stress, and underlay from verse to verse can be awkward in many airs. Durosoir suggests that performers likely adjusted the rhythms for different verses. 35 The most significant studies of musique mesurée in English remain Walker (1946, 1950) and Yates (1947). More recent Francophone scholarship, including Vignes (2005) and His (2006), has provided a welcome update to Walker and Yates’s foundational work. 36 These are catalogued in Lesure and Thibault (1955), Guillo (2003, 135–37). 37 A more thorough study of additional extant sources is surely warranted but is outside the scope of this investigation; future work made possible by increased access to sources in score should consider changing metrical trends in the air de cour as it developed through the seventeenth century, as well as metrical variation between the lute song and partsong airs. 38 Mersenne (1636 [1963], 164); Parran (1639 [1972], sig. Liiir); see also LeCocq (2000, 3). 39 Walker (1948), Heartz (1962), Royster (1972), and Paquette (1997, 166–68) discuss the relationships of the unmeasured airs to musique mesurée. 40 Chastillon (1593, sig. 3r) describes this notational practice. 41 In French versification, the final syllable of a line with a double rhyme—the silent “e” (or e muet) is not counted; however, this syllable is sung. Thus, eight counted syllables equate to eight or nine sung syllables. See Dobbins (2006, xi–lxxii). Throughout, I adopt the orthography of the original source when available, though I modernize u/v and i/j. 42 Drawing on the distinct contemporary theoretical discourses on music in England (e.g., Barley 1596; Morley 1597; Campion 1613 [2002]; Butler 1636; Playford 1654; Playford and Purcell 1694 [1972]; Simpson 1667) and on the Continent (e.g., Glarean 1547; Zarlino (1558 [1983]), 1571; Banchieri 1614; as documented in Wiering 2001; Powers 1992; Meier (1974 [1988]), I use key-based terminology to describe English works, and modal terminology to describe French ones. For both, I use a terminologically neutral tonal type (following Powers 1981). See also Long (2014, 293–344); Harley (2005, 23–40); Herissone (2000, 174–93); Owens (1998). 43 See commentary in Dobbins (2006, xliv). 44 This consistency is unusual and has caused dispute about whether this air is best understood as unmeasured or measured (Verchaly 1966, vii). 45 It is easy to imagine a performance that adds a fermata to the final note of each phrase, yielding twelve-beat phrases. However, the notational precision of French and English publishers suggests that the unmeasured pieces likely reflect a performance reality. More importantly, Planson’s Ŵ mensuration sign complicates the possibility of a triple-meter interpretation. 46 I use the modern terminology quarter note, half note, etc. here instead of mensural terminology semiminim, minim, etc. for clarity. Similarly, I refer to measures rather than semibreve units. For an explication of the conceptual differences underlying these two systems, see DeFord (2015, 1–4, 33–50). 47 Long (2015a) addresses the relationship between poetic and musical meter in Italian, German, and English secular song; this subject (and its interaction with French text setting) will be explored at greater length in my future work. See also DeFord (1985); Aldrich (1966). 48 Le Cocq (2000) traces the influence of courante and sarabande rhythmic patterns on the air de cour, but notes that air composers treated dance rhythms flexibly. 49 This air uses a Ŵʼn mensuration sign and proportional notation. 50 Guédron also softens some of the rude words and leaves out the most vulgar verses in his later version, reflecting a general increase in refinement as the rustic voix de ville influence faded in favor of the courtly style (Durosoir 2009, lxxiii). 51 See discussion of this piece’s relationship to its model, Gastoldi, Gloria d’Amore, in Long (2015b). 52 Air de cour refrains are generally notated with signs of congruence; air composers reserve repeat signs for repeated musical material accompanying new text. Occasionally refrains are written out, and more rarely they are indicated only by the custos. The ambiguity of some repeat indications suggests that repeating the final line was a matter of performance practice and may have been assumed even in those airs where repeats are not notated. See Epp (2009). 53 Earp (2005, 114–15), building on Boone (1999, 1–20), addresses the challenges posed by the French e muet in fourteenth-century music; the rules of musique mesurée overrode earlier techniques for treating the unaccented final syllable, but the earlier practice still has resonances in the late sixteenth century. 54 Rothstein (2011; 2008) demonstrates that, in later music, preferences for cadential placement on weak or strong beats varies by country. French airs could reflect an early version of this practice, though without notated bar lines it is difficult to know for sure. 55 While Italian and German composers of homophonic secular music set their cadences in both ways, English and French composers are consistent when they set double rhymes. 56 Hemiola is also a prominent feature of Italian and Spanish homophonic music from this period. 57 The term monody has a number of possible referents that are summarized in Baron (1968). For a representative summary of the emergence of monody in western Europe, see Palisca (2006, 107–29) and Fortune (1953, esp. 175–76). 58 Le Cocq (2005, 192–97). See also Durosoir (2009, lxxi–lxxii); Brooks (2000, 16, 29–30); Coeurdevey (1996); Brown (1994, 9–12); Whang (1981); Dobbins (1976). Works Cited Aldrich Putnam. 1966 . Rhythm in Seventeenth-Century Italian Monody . New York : Norton . 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Music Theory SpectrumOxford University Press

Published: Apr 16, 2018

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