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Medieval Music and the Art of Memory$
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Anna Maria Busse Berger

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520240285

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520240285.001.0001

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Visualization and the Composition of Polyphonic Music

Visualization and the Composition of Polyphonic Music

(p.198) 6 Visualization and the Composition of Polyphonic Music
Medieval Music and the Art of Memory

Busse Berger Anna Maria

University of California Press

This chapter is concerned with the impact of the art of memory on polyphonic music that was not improvised but written down. It attempts to explain how polyphonic compositions, in particular isorhythmic motets, could have been composed in the mind. It suggests that the memorization of consonance tables and interval progressions allowed one to work out pieces in the mind and that mnemotechnics also provided an important background to understanding isorhythmic motets.

Keywords:   memory, polyphonic music, polyphonic compositions, isorhythmic motets, consonance tables, interval progressions, mnemotechnics

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