enharmonic

Reviews

Paraphrasing the title of a by-gone bestseller, in this weighty yet lofty volume, you will find everything you ever wanted to know about enharmonics and have never dared ask … It is an authoritative concentrate, a collection of studies based on new documents and rare finds, demonstrating the level of maturity and excellence achieved by Italian research.

PIER PAOLO DONATI, Informazione Organistica, December 2008 (transl.)


For once one can confidently venture an opinion that there is a book that will never be better or more reliably done in its area of expertise. … a major part was played in Italy by theorists, mathematicians and instrument-builders that, as Barbieri clearly implies, scholars and performers of Italian Renaissance music need to arm themselves with a grasp of what this spectacular culture understood of the notes of music.

PETER WILLIAMS, Musical Times, Spring 2009


It will fascinate and stimulate not only many early-music performers but also a growing number of composers interested in microtonalism and/or just intonation. Every respectable musicological library should buy it.

MARK LINDLEY, Early Music, August 2009


The scope, breath and detail of this fine study should ensure that it will remain the definitive work on this fascinating subject for the foreseeable future, and conceivably for ever.

DAVID HUMPHREYS, The Organ Yearbook, 2009


Barbieri’s style of writing is derived from the sciences: brief and succint and quickly going from the premises to the conclusions. … Enharmonic instruments and music is certainly a book to be possessed, to be consulted and to be read by all those interested in the history of enharmonic instruments. One cannot say or write something about enharmonic instruments or enharmonic music any more without first referring to the information contained in Barbieri’s book.

RUDOLF RASCH, Thirty-one. The Journal of the Huygens-Fokker Foundation, Summer 2009


A remarkable summing-up of nearly thirty years of research by Barbieri, Enharmonic Instruments is crammed full of minutely detailed information on enharmonicism.... Formulae, tables, charts, and mathematical explanations abound; but the material is accessible, and although not an easy read, it represents an exhaustive discussion of this arcane corner of our tonal system.

EDWARD L. KOTTICK, Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, 2009


This book is a breathtaking study in its scope, and depth, of scholarship. As a result it is a ‘must’ for students of enharmonicity and temperament, and at Euro 60 it is remarkably good value.

CHARLES MOULD, The Galpin Society Journal, 2010


Barbieri’s book is impressive and very thorough. It should be available in every academic music library and will be rewarding to musicians and composers interested in the intricacies of intonation and micro-intervals, ancient and modern. The book is a most welcome contribution to the history of instruments and tuning theory.

JESPER JERKERT, Svensk Tidskrift för Musikforskning (Swedish Journal of Musicology), 2010


Dietro il titolo un po’ dimesso ed essenziale – com’è nello stile dell’autore, che del mondo anglosassone ha assimilato, oltre alla lingua, l’asciuttezza della prosa – si cela in realtà molto più di quanto si possa inizialmente immaginare. Infatti, i riferimenti alla storia musicale, al repertorio e alla prassi esecutiva di cantanti e suonatori di strumenti come le tastiere, il violino o il flauto sono numerose e pertinenti […] Il valore didattico del volume risulta evidente, oltre che per la chiarezza della prosa (che non costituisce un fatto scontato nella saggistica di derivazione italiana), anche per le schematiche conclusioni riassuntive poste in calce a ciascun capitolo […] Utilissimi sono inoltre i vari schemi, le formule aritmetiche, le delucidazioni grafiche, le riproduzioni di disegni d’epoca, di pagine contenenti diagrammi ed esempi inclusi in antichi trattati, le fotografie di strumenti musicali antichi o modernamente riprodotti in copia: tutti elementi che concorrono a costituire un apparato iconografico davvero imponente, forse il più ricco in assoluto fra quelli disponibili sulla materia in oggetto. […] In definitiva, il mondo che Barbieri indaga con grande competenza e acuta attenzione presuppone un’aristocratica raffinatezza della percezione uditiva, davvero rara in un’epoca come l’attuale, così inquinata anche dal punto di vista acustico.

GABRIELE GIACOMELLI, Il Saggiatore Musicale, 2012 (XIX-1)


Although scholarly and not easy read, this substantial book does what the title promises, and more (such as for example detailing the history of violin intonation to an extent I never found anywhere else). In the history of Western Music since the Middle Ages, 12-note-per-octave music and instruments largely prevailed. However, especially during the Renaissance and Baroque eras (16-18C) this was not the only game in town: alternative instruments with "split sharps" or "multiple division" were interesting, achieved some useful goals, and tells us a lot about the history of Western music. This book is not only fascinating, but also a must for musicians specially those interested in early music. The very peculiar "multiple division music" is illustrated in a unique enclosed CD, mostly with Renaissance music.

CLAUDIO DI VEROLI, Bray Baroque (in Amazon.com), 2013