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On the Execution of Music, and Principally of Ancient Music   By: (1835-1921)

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In this thought-provoking and compelling book, the renowned composer Camille Saint-Saëns delves into the execution of music, focusing primarily on ancient music. Through a careful examination of various historical periods, the author provides keen insights into the evolution of musical interpretation and execution.

One of the most striking aspects of this book is Saint-Saëns' deep understanding of music theory and his ability to convey complex concepts in an accessible manner. He effortlessly combines his vast knowledge of musical history with his personal experiences as a composer and performer, offering a unique perspective into the execution of music throughout different eras.

The author's analysis of ancient music is particularly fascinating. Saint-Saëns explores the challenges faced by musicians in interpreting pieces from ancient times, considering elements such as the use of ancient instruments, the significance of Greek modes, and the conventions of performance during those periods. His meticulous research and attention to detail shed light on the nuances of executing ancient music and the impact it has on contemporary interpretations.

Moreover, this book serves as a testament to Saint-Saëns' love and reverence for classical music. His passion is palpable as he delves into the intricacies of musical execution, sharing his profound respect for the art form. He pays homage to the great composers of the past while also encouraging modern musicians to preserve and honor the traditions of interpretation.

Despite its academic nature, Saint-Saëns' writing style is engaging and accessible, making it an enjoyable read even for those without a formal musical background. The author strikes a perfect balance between informative explanations and personal anecdotes, bringing the subject matter to life and capturing the reader's attention from start to finish.

On the Execution of Music, and Principally of Ancient Music is an indispensable work for anyone interested in the study of music or the performing arts. Saint-Saëns' expertise, combined with his passion and eloquence, offers a captivating exploration of musical execution that will undoubtedly deepen the reader's appreciation for the art form. Whether you are a student, musician, or simply an avid lover of classical music, this book will leave a lasting impression and inspire a renewed fascination with the intricacies of musical interpretation.

First Page:

[Illustration: M. Camille Saint Saëns]

ON THE EXECUTION OF

MUSIC, AND PRINCIPALLY

OF ANCIENT MUSIC

BY

M. CAMILLE SAINT SAËNS

Delivered at the

" Salon de la Pensée Française "

Panama Pacific International Exposition

San Francisco, June First

Nineteen Hundred

& Fifteen

DONE INTO ENGLISH

WITH EXPLANATORY NOTES BY

HENRY P. BOWIE

SAN FRANCISCO:

THE BLAIR MURDOCK COMPANY

1915

Copyright, 1915

by M. Camille Saint Saëns

ON THE EXECUTION OF

MUSIC, AND PRINCIPALLY

OF ANCIENT MUSIC

MUSIC was written in a scrawl impossible to decipher up to the thirteenth century, when Plain Song[1] ( Plain Chant ) made its appearance in square and diamond shaped notes. The graduals and introits had not yet been reduced to bars, but the songs of the troubadours appear to have been in bars of three beats with the accent on the feeble note of each bar. However, the theory that this bar of three beats or triple time was used exclusively is probably erroneous. St. Isidore, in his treatise on music, speaking of how Plain Song should be interpreted, considers in turn all the voices and recommends those which are high, sweet and clear, for the execution of vocal sounds, introits, graduals, offertories, etc... Continue reading book >>




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