[02:10] Adriano Banchieri, l’organo suonarino (Venice, 1605) [imslp], primo registro. We demonstrated this in our episode Improvisation around 1600 [link].
[02:38] Spiridion a Monte Carmelo [Johann Nenning], Nova Instructio pro pulsandis organis (Bamberg & Würzburg, 1670-1675) [imslp].
[03:15] In his first point Spridion declares that all the progressions in the book (which he refers to as “cadences”) should be transposed to all keys (“Quas tibi magis arridentes ex hoc opere elegeris Cadentias, transponas necesse est, per omnes claves, incipiendo à brevioribus & facilioribus.”)
[03:45] Bernardo Pasquini, GB-Lbl Add. MS. 31501. Modern edition available in Bernardo Pasquini, Opere per tastiera (Colledara: Andromeda), vol. VI & VII.
[04:38] The conservatories were the following: I Poveri di Gesù Cristo (est. 1599; closed in 1743); Sant’Onofrio a Capuana (est. 1578; merged with Loreto in 1797); Santa Maria di Loreto (est. 1537; merged with La Pietà in 1807); La Pietà dei Turchini (est. 1583; renamed Real Collegio di Musica in 1808; moved in 1826 to the location that still exists today; in 1889 took its current name Conservatorio di San Pietro a Majella). It is worth noting that the word “conservatory” in the sense of a school of music originates with these institutions, which were dedicated to “conserving” youth.
[05:18] For biographical details on many of these individuals and illuminating firsthand accounts of the Neapolitan conservatories, see Giuseppe Sigismondo, Apotheosis of Music in the Kingdom of Naples, ed. Claudio Bacciagaluppi, Giulia Giovani, and Rafaele Mellace, trans. Beatrice Scaldini (Rome: Società Editrice di Musicologia, 2016). See also Giorgio Sanguinetti, The Art of Partimento: History, Theory, and Practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), chapters 4 and 7.
[05:35] A variety of solmization methods were used in the eighteenth century. Among the most important of these were a modernized version of the Renaissance hexachordal system (in which a hexachord could be placed on any note; see our episode Solmization and the Guidonian hand in the 16th century [link]), and the fixed 7-syllable system which later became standard at the Paris Conservatory and remains in use today. According to Francesco Ricupero, the Neapolitan maestri “would never sit youngsters at the harpsichord unless they had already received three years of instruction in solfeggio” (“i quali non mettevano mai i giovani al cembalo, se prima pel corso di trè anni non si fossero istruiti nel solfeggio”) (Francesco Ricupero, Studio di Musica istruzione pratica [...], 1803, MS: I-Nc, 46.1.27). Other authors suggest that the duration of these studies could be even longer—these include Domenico Corri (The Singers Preceptor, London, 1810; “very frequently six years”) and Francesco Florimo (Cenno storico sulla scuola musicale di Napoli, Naples: 1869; “as many years and as long as the maestro deemed necessary”, “l’esercizio del solfeggio, che durava per più anni e tutto il tempo che i maestri giudicavano necessario[...]”). See Nicholas Baragwanath, The Solfeggio Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020). The solfeggio excerpt that appears in the video is taken from Leonardo Leo, Solfegio di Soprano del Sig.re Leonardo Leo (MS: P-Ln, C.N. 321), p. 86.
[06:02] The intavolatura excerpt that appears in the video is taken from Carlo Cotumacci, Intavolature Sciotte diviza in due parte. Prima Parte. Del Sig. D. Carlo Cotummacci (MS: I-Nc 45.1.25), no. 4.
See our episode Cadences in the 16th and 17th centuries [link], as well as footnote 5 on the footnote page of that episode [link].
[07:20] See the more detailed version of this table in Appendix V below.
[07:55] The dissonant vs. consonant status of the perfect fourth in the eighteenth century is a complex subject that has been treated in considerable depth by Ludwig Holtmeier. See Holtmeier, “Heinichen, Rameau, and the Italian Thoroughbass Tradition: Concepts of Tonality and Chord in the Rule of the Octave,” Journal of Music Theory 51/1 (2007), 34–37 [link]; Holtmeier, “Review: Music in the Galant Style, by Robert Gjerdingen,” Eighteenth-Century Music 8/2 (2011), 324 [link]; and Ludwig Holtmeier, Johannes Menke, and Felix Diergarten, Solfeggi, Bassi e Fuge: Georg Friedrich Händels Übungen zur Satzlehre (Wilhelmshaven: Florian Noetzel Verlag, 2013), 196–205. To summarize, the fourth of the cadenza composta figured with 5/4 was always considered dissonant. The fourth of the cadenza composta with a 6/4 chord, however, became increasingly accepted during the eighteenth century as a quasi-consonance that may be used without preparation. Mozart, for example, provided his student Thomas Attwood with contrasting examples of the 5/4 chord (“the 4 which is Disonant” and “must be both prepar’d & resolv’d”) and the 6/4 chord (“the 4 which is a consonant” and “may be had with out preparation & may be resolv’d in any manner”)—see Thomas Attwood, Thomas Attwoods Theorie- und Kompositionsstudien bei Mozart, in Neue Mozart Ausgabe X/30/1, ed. Erich Hertzmann, Cecil B. Oldman, Daniel Heartz, and Alfred Mann (Kassell: Bärenreiter, 2012), Harmonieübungen, 32. The fourth of the 6/4/3 chord that typically appears on the second degree of the rule of the octave was controversial, rejected by more conservative theorists due to the fact that it is not prepared and resolved according to usual contrapuntal practice; in the second half of the century, however, it too became widely accepted as a quasi-consonance. This was briefly discussed in our episode The Rule of the Octave [link, see 07:30].
[08:18] See our episode Cadenza doppia and five cool things you can do with it! [link].
[08:41] See our episode The Rule of the Octave [link].
[08:55] Various names for the rule of the octave include: “modulazione dei toni”, “regola per la scala”, “scala di ottava”, and simply “scala”. The term “regola dell’ottava” does not appear in Italian sources until around the beginning of the nineteenth century. See Sanguinetti, pp. 113, 365. Differences in figuring in the rule of the octave as presented by different Neapolitan authors may reflect to some degree the two rival schools of composition: that of Leonardo Leo (usually characterized as more conservative) and that of Francesco Durante (usually characterized as more progressive). See Peter van Tour, Counterpoint and Partimento: Methods of Teaching Composition in Late Eighteenth-Century Naples (Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet, 2015), chapters 1-2. For a comparison of versions of the rule of the octave in various Neapolitan sources, see Sanguinetti, p. 123.
[12:54] Francesco Durante, Partimenti numerati e diminuiti e Fughe Del M.o Francesco Durante (MS: I-Nc 34-2-4), ff. 67v-68r. Two additional, more modest, collections of partimenti that present suggested diminutions (similarly to Durante) are worth noting: a manuscript by Durante’s predecessor Francesco Mancini (F-Pn Rés. 2315); as well as the five exercises with “Temi” that open Book V of the partimenti by Durante’s pupil Fedele Fenaroli.
[14:35] For more information on Fenaroli’s teaching methods, see: van Tour, Counterpoint and Partimenti, especially pp. 157-168; and Ewald Demeyere, “On Fenaroli’s Pedagogy: An Update,” Eighteenth-Century Music 15/2 (2018) [link]. Fenaroli evidently taught over nine thousand students, including Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801), Niccolò Zingarelli (1752-1837), Giuseppe Nicolini (1762-1842), Vincenzo Lavigna (1776-1836), Filippo Trajetta (1776-1854), Stefano Pavesi (1779-1850), Nicola Manfroce (1791-1813), and Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870). Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) studied for three years under Lavigna, who almost certainly assigned him Fenaroli’s partimenti; when Verdi later became a teacher himself, he likewise gave his pupil Emanuele Muzio (1821-1890) partimenti by Fenaroli, as well as by Martini and Mattei. See Roberta Montemorra Marvin, Verdi the Student – Verdi the Teacher (Parma: Istituto Nazionale di Studi Verdiani, 2010), chapter 2.
[15:47] The solfeggio excerpt that appears in the video is taken from Fedele Fenaroli, Solfeggi a voce sola e basso (MS: I-Bc NN 21), f. 21v.
[17:20] The source that appears in the video is Imitazione del Terzo Libro dèi Partimenti del Sig.r D. Fedele Fenaroli. L’Anno 1809. Proprietà di Ant.o Farinelli, che acquisitò nel Reale Conservatorio della Pietà de Turchini in Napoli. (MS: I-PAc F. MS. 612.d). This collection contains twenty-four realizations of partimenti from Fenaroli’s Books IV & V, and is available in a modern edition: The Parma Manuscript: Partimento Realizations of Fedele Fenaroli (1809). Monuments of Partimento Realizations, Vol. 4, ed. Ewald Demeyere (Visby: Wessmans Musikförlag, 2021). For more information on this source and other historical partimento realizations, see Appendix II below.
[18:10] The historical realization is taken from: Imitazione del Terzo Libro dèi Partimenti del Sig.r D. Fedele Fenaroli. L’Anno 1809.[...] (MS: I-PAc F. MS. 612.d), no. 3.
[19:25] Hippolyte Colet, Partimenti ou Traité spécial de l'Acoompagnement pratique au piano (Paris: Chabal, 1846) [link], p. 246: “I will give here some preludes borrowed from Bach and a Sonata of Scarlatti, so that the student will understand well the route to be followed to realize the following basses.” (“Je vais donner ici quelques préludes empruntés à Bach et une Sonate de Scarlati, afin que l'élève comprenne bien la marche qu'il doit suivre pour réaliser les Basses suivantes.”) In a similar spirit, the renowned modern-day improviser Rudolf Lutz recommends reverse-engineering new “partimenti” from existing pieces of music. See Lutz, “The Playing of Partimento,” in Partimento and Continuo Playing in Theory and in Practice, ed. Dirk Moelants (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2010), 113-127.
[20:17] The partimento shown in the video is taken from: Nicola Sala, Racolda di lezzioni numeriche del Signor D: Niccola Sala Maestro di Cappella Napolino (1776, MS: F-Pn 4° c2 344), p. 4. See also the recent modern edition: The 189 Partimenti of Nicola Sala: Complete Edition with Critical Commentary, ed. Peter van Tour (Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet, 2017); this partimento appears in van Tour’s edition as No. 5 (vol. 1, p. 10).
[20:17] The partimento shown in the video is taken from: Nicola Sala, Partimenti di Nicola Sala. Manca il principio (MS: I-Nc 46-1-34), f. 11v. It appears in van Tour’s edition as No. 36 (vol. 1, pp. 52-53).
[22:05] The exact title of this fugue by Sala is: Quarto modo a quattro soggetti colla fuga aggravata senza rivolto, ma sempre concertata, come si asserva qui espresso (Fourth manner in four subjects with an augmented fugue without inversion, but always in concertato [style], expressed as stated here). Nicola Sala, Regole del contrappunto pratico di Nicola Sala (Naples, 1794), vol. II, p. 114. Note that the two versions (partimento vs. composition) occasionally diverge slightly (e.g., in m. 8). There are eight such examples in Sala’s oeuvre of partimeni with corresponding vocal compositions—see van Tour’s edition, vol. 1, p. [vi]; and van Tour, Counterpoint and Partimento, pp. 290-297.
[23:10] It should be noted that partimenti and similar exercises were known outside of Italy—including in German-speaking Europe. When Georg Friedrich Händel was appointed to give music lessons to the daughters of King George II, he wrote a series of basso continuo exercises resembling partimenti and culminating in several partimento-fugues. The so-called Langloz manuscript reveals that the practice of fugal improvisation from a figured bass was also familiar in the circle of Johann Sebastian Bach and his students—see William Renwick, The Langloz Manuscript: Fugal Improvisation through Figured Bass (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001). In Vienna, Joseph Haydn likely encountered partimenti during his studies with Nicola Porpora (1686-1768), who had previously served as a maestro at the Conservatorio di Sant’Onofrio in Naples, and whom Haydn later said taught him “the true fundamentals of composition”—see Felix Diergarten, “‘The True Fundamentals of Composition’: Haydn’s Partimento Counterpoint,” in Eighteenth-Century Music 8/1 (2011) [link]. Other Viennese teachers including Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809) and Emanuel Alois Förster (1748-1823)—both highly regarded by Beethoven—continued to use partimento-like exercises into the nineteenth century. Haydn and Beethoven were furthermore both listed as subscribers of Alexandre Choron’s Principes de composition des écoles d’Italie (Paris: A. Le Duc, 1809), an extensive three-volume anthology of partimenti by Sala and others. Numerous music schools in the nineteenth century consciously modeled themselves on the conservatories of Naples (most famously, the Paris Conservatory). To consider one remarkable example, Filippo Trajetta (1776-1854), son of the celebrated composer Tommaso Trajetta and a pupil of Fenaroli and Piccinni, spent the majority of his life in the United States of America. There he founded the American Conservatorio, where his students became familiar with Neapolitan pedagogical methods including the solfeggi of Durante and partimenti of Fenaroli. See Sean Curtice, "Phil. Trajetta and the American Conservatorio: Solfeggio, Thoroughbass, and Partimento in the Nineteenth-Century United States," Ph.D. diss., Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, forthcoming [link].
[23:36] Stanislao Mattei, Pratica d’accompagnamento sopra bassi numerati e contrapunti a più voci (Bologna: Cipriani, ) [link]. Also worth mentioning is another publication of Mattei’s featuring figured basses realized as four-part disposizione: Mattei, Bassi numerati per accompagnare: ridotti ad intavolatura a due violini e viola (Milan: Lucca, ) [link]. Another pupil of Mattei, Theodore Weinlig (1780-1842), was appointed to the position at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig once held by J. S. Bach, and taught students including Richard Wagner and Clara Schumann. Following Mattei, Weinlig’s teaching is characterized by its emphasis on traditional Generalbass over more modern harmonic theories; Wagner likewise made use of thoroughbass figures when sketching compositions. See Johannes Menke, “German Partimento Reception and Generalbass Conceptions in the Nineteenth Century, Illustrated by the Example of Siegfried Dehn and Richard Wagner,” trans. Sean Curtice, in La didattica musicale a Napoli nel Settecento: le teoria, le fonti, la ricezione, Atti del convegno Milano-Berna 25–27 gennaio 2017, Pergolesi Studies 11, ed. Claudio Bacciagaluppi and Marilena Laterza (Bern: Peter Lang, 2021), 183-202.
[24:26] The book shown in the video is: Édouard Deldevez, Fenaroli: Cours Complet d’Harmonie et de Haute Composition (Paris: Richault, 1872), p. 124. Deldevez’s work is an edition of Fenaroli’s partimenti with numerous chordal basso continuo-style realizations; the excerpt shown is a detailed “Étude Analytique” of the first partimento of Book IV. The exam shown in the video was written by Cherubini: Concours pour la classe d’accompagnement pratique, l’année 1823 (F-Pn Ms. 1693/2). The Paris Conservatory’s annual concours for the class of harmonie et accompagnement required students to realize figured basses chiffrées at the keyboard (typically in basso-continuo style, rather than the florid keyboard style favored in Naples) and write four-part realizations of unfigured basses données in score (similar to the Neapolitan practice of disposizione). See Sean Curtice, “Luigi Cherubini and the Partimento Tradition of the Paris Conservatoire,” in La didattica musicale a Napoli nel Settecento: le teoria, le fonti, la ricezione, Atti del convegno Milano-Berna 25–27 gennaio 2017, Pergolesi Studies 11, ed. Claudio Bacciagaluppi and Marilena Laterza (Bern: Peter Lang, 2021), 271-295; and Rosa Cafiero, “The Early Reception of Neapolitan Partimento Theory in France: A Survey,” Journal of Music Theory 51/1 (2007) [link]. See also the forthcoming doctoral dissertation of Lydia Carlisi.
[24:55] The books and website that appear in the video are listed in Appendices III & IV below. Additionally, Rosa Cafiero must also be recognized for her pioneering research on the Neapolitan partimento tradition, represented by numerous publications beginning with: Cafiero, “La didattica del partimento a Napoli fra Settecento e Ottocento: Note sulla fortuna delle Regole di Carlo Cotumacci,” in Gli affetti convenienti all’idee: Studi sulla musica vocale italiana, ed. Maria Caraci Vela, Rosa Cafiero, and Angela Romagnoli (Naples: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 1993).