acustica

Reviews

Barbieri’s massive treatise puts the writings of Giordano Riccati, Alessandro Barca and other Italian ventures into temperament into the general contexts of the physics of sound as understood at the time, of other writer’s system (including Smith, Young and Lambert), and other musicians’ solutions (the Italian chromatic harpsichords, Bach & Equal Temperament, Ellis’s view, etc.). [...] the resulting coverage of encyclopedic proportions has a most interesting character: it redresses the balance away from the German theorists so often invoked now, and gives an Italian focus that is very welcome. [...] The bibliographic and musicological apparatus looks irreproachable, confirming the likelihood that it will become the basic Italian textbook on temperament. But for other readers, there is much important, unusual material.

PETER WILLIAMS, The Organ Yearbook, XX (1989) p. 130


Giordano Riccati (1709-1790) aus einer vornehmen Familie von Castelfranco Veneto und P. Alessandro Barca (1741-1814) aus Bergamo, mit zwanzig Jahren Philosophieprofessor, 1764 in Venedig zum Priester geweiht und ab 1776 in hohen Ämtern an der Universität von Padua, waren Universalgelehrte, die sich neben Mathematik, Physik, Philosophie, Architektur und Chemie mit Musiktheorie beschäftigten. Riccatis musiktheoretisches Hauptwerk, Le Leggi del Contrappunto (1754), blieb leider ein druckfertiges Manuskript von über tausend Seiten, das keinen Verleger fand. Barca hielt mehrmals Vorlesungen Di una nuova Teoria di Musica. Deren fünfter und letzer Teil (1800-1805), der eine Lehre der Skalen von den Griechen bis in seine Zeit, eine Intervallehre und “Grundlagen der Stimmung in unserer Musik” enthielt, blieb ebenfalls unveröffentlicht. Barbieri hat im zweiten Teil seines Buches diese bisher unausgewerteten, hoch interessanten Quellentexte ediert: die ersten vier Kapitel des IV. Buches von Riccati, die die Stimmungsfragen behandeln, und vierzehn ausgewählte Briefe, die Hälfte an und von Francescantonio Vallotti (1697-1780). Vallotti war ein recht bekannter Komponist. Sein Stimmungsvorschlag von 1779, veröffentlicht von Giancarlo Zanon als Trattato della moderna musica (Padua 1950), ist im Gegensatz zu dem von Riccati schon in die Praxis eingegangen [...]

BERNHARD BILLETER, Musiktheorie, IV (1989) pp. 171-4


Patrizio Barbieri’s book likewise contains unexpected treasures. It is an encyclopaedic survey of acoustics and temperament from the mid sixteenth century to the second half of the nineteenth radiating from the central figures of Riccati and Alessandro Barca (1741-1814) and enriched by many curious, out-of-the-way and important documentation.
    Although the richness of the book’s contents may tend at first to distract the reader, the underlying structure of the study is firmly coherent. [...] Notwithstanding the book scholarly apparatus, however, it must be read through in detail if it is to yield all the information that it contains for the performer, builder or tuner involved with keyboard music from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. [...] Although its title limits Barbieri’s book to the Enlightenment in the Veneto, the contents in fact range in time and place over such matters as tuning and intonation in the circle of Frescobaldi and the Barberini family in the seventeenth-century Rome (including a harpsichord temperament by Frescobaldi’s younger associate Giovanni Battista Ferrini), temperament in Bach’s keyboard music, and the Spanish partially for equal temperament (surely of interest to Scarlatti scholars). In all these areas Barbieri has new and pertinent material to contribute.
    As a final - surely unintended - bonus, this monumental study offers us a glimpse into the fascinating and surprisingly vigorous cultural life of the Venetian terra firma in the eighteenth century.

FREDERICK HAMMOND, Music and Letters, LXXI (1990) pp. 383-4


Il presente volume offre al lettore assai più di quanto esso annuncia nel titolo, pure già in sè promettente. Infatti gli studi sull’acustica, sul temperamento e sui metodi di accordatura fioriti in Veneto nel Settecento sono solo un punto di partenza, staremmo per dire un pretesto, per dare il via a un vastissimo intreccio di notizie, di illustrazioni esegetiche e di considerazioni storiche, che nel loro complesso spaziano dal rinascimento alla seconda metà del XIX secolo. Anche dal punto di vista geografico il centro focale prescelto calamita su di sè una fitta congerie di dati, di nomi, di circostanze interrelate, che coinvolgono buona parte dell’Italia e dell’Europa; cosicchè il respiro della trattazioine circola dal Veneto fino a Roma e a Napoli, e investe altresì la Francia, la Germania, l’Inghilterra, l’Olanda, la Spagna, il Portogallo e altri paesi ancora. [...]
    Non solo dunque i curiosi di acustica musicale, ma musicisti e musicologi di ogni estrazione, e inoltre organari, cembalari e costruttori di altri strumenti troveranno in quest’opera un valido nutrimento. Essi potranno eleggerla quale sicura guida alla comprensione di impervie avventure musicali del passato, mai finora narrate con tanta amabilità e dovizia.

ELENA FERRARI BARASSI, Nuova Rivista Musicale Italiana, XXIV (1990) pp. 537-40


The first impression received upon reading this book is that the title does not adequately reflect its contents. Originally conceived as an edition of two unpublished works by the eighteenth-century acousticians Alessandro Barca and Giordano Riccati, to be preceded by a short introduction, Barbieri’s book has been changed by seven years of gestation into a work of near monumental proportions.

GIULIO M. ONGARO, Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, XVI (1990) pp. 202-03