Головна Early Music [Editorial]: Choral Music: The Earliest Early Music

[Editorial]: Choral Music: The Earliest Early Music

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Early Music
April, 1978
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[Editorial]: Choral Music: The Earliest Early Music
Author(s): J. M. Thomson
Source: Early Music, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Apr., 1978), pp. 162-163
Published by: Oxford University Press
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Choral music: the earliest early music
As Bruno Turner says in his lively interview, early choral music has never

ceased. Up and down Britain choirs have never stopped singing, and this
inheritance, this tradition, has been transmitted to America and to the
Commonwealth. Choral foundations form a unique part of British music,
unparalleled throughout Europe. This does not mean, however, that they


should not be susceptible to change, to fresh influences such as the stylistic

challenges of the Continent, or to the more discerning attitudes towards

timbre and pitch, for instance, revealed in the work of scholars and
performers of the last decade.
It might be considered negligent that the journal has waited until now to
present a choral issue, that it has so far had only one article exclusively on

the voice-by Andrea von Ramm (EM 4/1). Agreed! But the whole tide of
developments over the past few years has tended to concentrate on the
completely unknowns, the rediscovering of instrumental usage and
Front cover: English singers as depicted
in a late 15th-; century manuscript,

Cambridge MS Dd 8.18 f.129v.
Reproduced by permission of the Syndics of

Cambridge University Library. We are most

grateful to Dr Mary Remnantfor drawing
our attention to this and other contemporary

material reproduced in this issue.

Editor J. M. Thomson
Secretary Richard Bolley

Editorial Margot Leigh Milner
Assistants Millicent Elliott, Robin Maconie
Reviews David Fallows

Design and Production Roger Davies
Register of Early Music and

techniques, on repertoire. Now this pattern is falling into place; the first
frantic rush is over.

The early music conference in London last May showed how much still
awaited discussion in the realms of choral and vocal music and the

enthusiasm of a young choral director, Peter Phillips, w

imaginatively helped plan this issue, speeded the process. We have
present a representative example of the kind of work being carri
present, of the problems still occupying intelligent, musicianly m
the scope of the enterprise.

Howard Mayer Brown's introductory article reiterates his plea f

performance of the great vocal works of the Renaissance, a p

happily has already found a response in London to judge

enterprising, accomplished explorations of last winter. A new

Instruments Christopher Monk and
Carl Willetts

young, scholarly choral directors has arisen, building on the work

Advertising Arthur Boyars,
4 Hollywood Mews, London SW10 9HU
Phone 01-352 6400

exteriors of some of our established choirs. Denis Arnold recommends

Advertising copy datefor july 1978: 4 April
Contributions are invited and should be sent
to the Editor at Oxford University Press,

Ely House, 3 7 Dover Street, London

WIX 4AH, enclosing a stamped-addressed
envelope. Considerable time is saved if two

pioneers, and challenging the assumptions that lie behind the

performers and gramophone companies to the 'shamefully negl
works of' Orlandus Lassus in his study of the grand polychoral m

Andrew Parrott, whose distinctive direction of the Monteverdi Vespe
the Machaut Mass graced London's 1977 musical life, explores the way
which instruments were used in pre-civil war English church music. P

copies are sent.

Phillips brings his experience with the Tallis Scholars to bea

Early Music is published quarterly in

performing 16th-century English choral music and there are echoes o

January, April, July and October by Oxford

University Press, Ely House, 37 Dover

Street, London W1X 4AH. Annual
subscriptionfromJanuary 1978 UK ?7.50,
USA $17.50, Elsewhere ?8 post free,
from Journals Manager, Oxford University

Press, Press Road, Neasden, London

NWIO ODD, Phone 01-450 8080, to whom
all enquiries concerning subscriptionsfor

in his talk with Bruno Turner. Michael Morrow makes a welcome

reappearance with his astringent autopsy of performance and au

and appropriately, in the Early writings on music series, there is J

translation of Conrad von Zabern's 'Singing with proper refinem
first manual devoted to practical singing techniques, written fo
of'a monastic choir singing liturgical chant.
Inevitably, valuable material by Nicholas Anderson, John Mor

Early Music should be addressed.

Anthony Ransome has had to be held over, and some areas,

z Oxford University Press
Printed in Great Britain by Headley Brothers

baroque, have hardly been touched. Early Music could be twice i

Ltd, 109 Kingsway, London WC2B 6PX
and Ashford, Kent

the harsh realities of economics forbid such a course. Henceforth choral

and vocal music will regularly be found on the contents page-cues fbr th

kind of articles needed may well come from Roger Bray's new colum


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'Performers' guide', which we hope will grow into a stimulating exchange
of views. The next 'neglected' topic we shall tackle has, like choral music,
never died-it is the foundation of a musical culture, the backbone of
British musical journalism and the despair of those outside its coterie-it is
the organ.

The future of early music in Britain

We are very disappointed that unforeseen problems have delayed
publication but every effort is being made to send copies to subscribers
now. The publication price is ?2 (US $5.50).

The Register of Early Music
This was a costly enterprise embarked on in response to demand from our
friends and supporters but they are not buying it-the continuance of* the
Register depends on the support it receives. If each member were to buy a
copy we would just cover the initial cost of setting it up on the computer.
Please do support the Register, if you wish it to continue, and fill in the
order form enclosed in this issue-not to be confused with the card for

registration which involves no payment.
Three angels singing Henry VIII's Psalter (British
Library MS 2A xvif. 118). Reproduced by courtesy
of The Trustees of the British Museum





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