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Book Announcement! - Figured Bass Accompaniment in Europe - 2024

Figured Bass Accompaniment in Europe

I am delighted to announce the publication of a new book titled Figured Bass Accompaniment in Europe, to which I have contributed a chapter titled 'Improvisation Pedagogy in Nineteenth-Century Guitar Education.'

I have just received a contributor copy from Brepols and can confirm the book is a wonderful new edition to the literature on figured bass accompaniment. The book itself is beautifully bound with a stunning high-quality image of Jan Steen's (1576-1622) The Family Concert - as if a precursor to the dynamic range of the ensuing chapters.

As Livio says in his introduction, the book attempts to 'present a dialogue between counterpoint, basso continuo, and partimento,' Indeed the book delivers on this laudable goal by presenting not only basso continuo practice, but its use, and continuous reuse, as a tool for teaching both practical music-making, analysis and composition.

The section my chapter sits in, titled 'Basso Continuo and Partimento as a Pedagogical Tool Then and Now' is principally dedicated to the pedagogical 'afterlife' (or second life?) of basso continuo accompaniment. Indeed, Thomas Christensen's chapter which opens this section grapples with the nature of these 'afterlife's', asking 'why now?' The question is, as Christensen navigates, more complex than at first glance and he offers some helpful suggestions as to why figured bass accompaniment has become such a renewed topic. The so-called 'partimento revolution' is certainly an obvious clue but the reasons Christensen provides are worth further consideration. One might describe the partimento revolution as a 'performative' turn, a renewed enthusiasm of figured-bass accompaniment as a performance practice which facilitates compositional skill, and not the other way around. But Christensen offers insight from an unlikely perspective - from Schenker and Holtmeier - and the ensuing discussion is a timely counterpart and reconsideration of this 'performative turn.'

Many worthwhile chapters on a wide range of themes are contained in this volume and I am still picking my way through its pages. I am honored to have been included in this edition and I want to thank Livio Ticli and Roberto Illiano for their incredible work on this series of publications.

I have been hard at work getting some writing samples in-place and am excited to see what comes of some some upcoming deadlines. I will update soon in due time!


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