Article ID: CBB063018026

Scrollwork: Visual Cultures of Musical Notation and Graphic Materiality in the English Renaissance (2023)


Early modern English musical notation bears a fleeting resemblance to that of its modern counterpart. This superficial similarity conceals the markedly different manner in which early music notation functioned and the clues that it offers for an older and more dynamic way of reading music. This form of notation was not a transcription for future performance but rather a provocation to performance. As a result, musical notation frequently “leaked” into decorative margins. The musical pages of this period display evident delight in melding, blending, and blurring the distinction between decorative and notational elements in an effort to forge musical meaning. This article explores how far the curled lines of musical notation and ornamentation can be thought of as visual prompts to think about music and its continuation beyond the space of the page, testament to an older, more playful understanding of how to read music.

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Authors & Contributors
Alfonso-Goldfarb, Ana Maria
Arrizabalaga, Jon
Becker, Alexander
Beeley, Philip
Berns, Jörg Jochen
Bromberg, Carla
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Bollettino di Storia delle Scienze Matematiche
Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-testuali
Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
History and Technology
Leuven University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
University of Chicago Press
University of Illinois Press
University of Virginia Press
Print culture
Music theory
Science and religion
Cardano, Girolamo
Castelli, Benedetto
Commandino, Federico
Dygon, John
Ficino, Marsilio
Time Periods
16th century
17th century
15th century
Early modern
18th century
Paris (France)
Tuscany (Italy)
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris

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