School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    Aplicación de un método retórico-arquitectónico al análisis de la fantasía renacentista
    Griffiths, J ; Cuenca Rodríguez, ME ; Ríos Muñoz, MA ; Ruiz Montes, F ; Griffiths, J (Wanceulen, 2024)
    Analysis is a tool that provides answers to our questions about music. When we ask the same question numerous times, the same tool can serve us. When we separate the tool from the music being analysed, that tool-when theorised-becomes a methodology. The objects I want to analyse are Renaissance fantasies that have lacked a methodology. To rectify this lack, one has to start from the beginning. The central question that interests me is not of the superficial but of the most difficult to answer: what is it that gives fantasias their coherence, what is it that makes them music to contemplate and consume, what is it that gives them their meaning, their form, or their being? We know that the instrumental fantasia was revered at the time as music of high status, comparable to the motet and madrigal in the vocal repertoire, but without formal pattern, or literary explanations of its structure. The absence is frustrating because it inhibits the usual practice in historical musicology of seeking convergence between the works and the corresponding theoretical writings. Given this situation, my work is based on two strategies: one by reading a broader literary base of Renaissance literature, and the other by applying a new system of modern analysis based - as far as possible - on historical principles and ideas. This analytical tool focuses on two areas: architecture and rhetoric. These are concepts that provide fundamental principles for looking at the dimensions of space and time as applied to music. By building on them, it is possible to design analytical models that can be validated in their own period but outside the realm of music theory. In this presentation my aim is to show how such a theory can be applied not only to instrumental fantasies, but also to vocal polyphony and validated by empirical observation.
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    Keyboard Tablatures and Imaginary Instrumental Interchange in the Sixteenth Century
    Griffiths, J ; Campagne,, A ; Grassl,, M (MDW Press, 2024)
    The invention and widespread dissemination of music in tablature was one of the great novelties and a key factor in the proliferation of solo instrumental music during the sixteenth century. An alternative to mensural notation, tablature offered systems of writing music better suited to polyphonic instruments, particularly keyboards and plucked strings such as lute, guitar, and vihuela. Tablatures emerged in a variety of forms that used the letters, numbers and conventional mensural symbols, and many aspects were shared between the notations devised for keyboards and plucked strings. Although we recognise specific idiomatic styles associated with individual instrument types, there is also a significant amount of music that shares common features and that can be performed on diverse instruments. This was recognised by Spanish musicians such as Luis Venegas de Henestrosa whose tablature published in 1557 was advertised as being for ‘tecla, harpa y vihuela’. This paper explores the idea of interchangeability associated with such tablatures, and a range of issues extending from the particularities of the Venegas book and its emulation by Cabezón in 1578, beyond national borders to consider the nature of tablature across notation styles, and instrumental practice in distinct regions of Europe.
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    Más allá de la destreza y el virtuosismo
    Griffiths, J (Contrastes Records, 2024)
    A commentary on the music performed by Vera Danilina in the recital performed in conjunction with winning the 2022 Pittaluga Prize
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    El embrujo de Hespérides = Under the spell of Hesperus
    Griffiths, J (Contrastes Records, 2024)
    The essay provides an analysis of the compositional philosophy and techniques of the music for ten-string guitar by Maurice Ohana
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    Bembo to Barbetta: Lutes, Lutenists and Luthiers in Cinquecento Padua
    Griffiths, J ; Cassia, C (Libreria Musicale Italiana, 2023)
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    Teaching and Studying the Lute: International Conference Bremen 2019
    Boquet, P ; Díaz-Latorre,, X ; Held, J ; Lindberg, J ; Lowe, M ; North, N ; Pavan, F ; O'Dette, P ; Zuljan, B ; Griffiths, J ; Griffiths, J ; Wirth, S (Deutsche Lautengesellschaft and Lute Society of America, 2021-11-11)
    "The curiosity to hear music of ages past played on original instruments or historical copies has become one of the most significant recreative movements in recent cultural history. Thanks to the initial experimental work of pioneers over a century ago, contemporary music culture now values listening to music of past ages with the ears of those who first heard it. We understand it as similar to the sensory vitality that is restored into old paintings when centuries of varnish and tarnish are removed. Early experimentation was transformed into expertise, and historical performance practice has grown to become a multi-million dollar industry. The lute is a principal player on this revivalist stage and is now taught in many conservatories and music academies throughout the world. This book, based on a conference held in Bremen in September 2019, explores themes that pertain to teaching an ancient instrument in a modern institutional setting and the pedagogical challenges for both teaching and learning. It encompasses a discussion of aspects of modern teaching practice (Pascale Boquet, Jakob Lindberg, John Griffiths), the inner workings of historical technique (Paul O’Dette, Nigel North), improvisation and continuo playing (Joachim Held, Xavier Díaz-Latorre, Bor Zuljan), using the right instrument (Michael Lowe), and the continuing exploration of newly rediscovered repertoire (Franco Pavan)."
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    Cultura y música en la Península Ibérica hasta 1650
    Esteve Roldan, E ; Griffiths, J ; Rodilla, F (Reichenberger, 2023)
    This book highlights the cultural importance of music on the Iberian Peninsula from the Middle Ages to the mid-seventeenth century. Musical events of various kinds are presented as the product of actions generated from within a dynamic and heterogeneous society. The kaleidoscopic vision of the volume aims to increase understanding of the ways that matters of power, gender, dissemination, reception, and musical composition operate in direct correspondence with the attitudes of the society that produced them.
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    Silva de Sirenas, Enríquez de Valderrábano
    Griffiths, J (Contrastes Records, 2023)
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    Cifras y letras: el significado de las tablaturas
    Griffiths, J ; Esteve, E ; Griffiths, J ; Rodilla, F (Reichenberger, 2023)
    Until around 1750, more than 70,000 musical works are preserved in alternative notations to the conventional mensural. These tablatures preserve music for more than forty instruments, including the human voice. For the past almost ten years, we have conducted a research project on this alternative notation, in all its variants, from the widely accepted mainstream forms to the more idiosyncratic and little-used experiments. The extensive study has revealed what all these notations have in common. In this paper we explore the nature of tablature, the essence of its graphic system, the contemporary challenges to renewing the associated terminology, the marginalisation of tablature music from our cultural heritage, and the historiographical problems produced by the near-total exclusion of such a large repertoire from musicological thinking. What we have learned through this project is that tablature is much more than a simple notation for "playing by numbers," it is an alternative way of thinking about music and transmitting it. We have also learned the special functions of tablature, what could be written in tablature that was impossible in conventional notation, and the roles played by these tablatures in the social fabric of music, from their use as scores to facilitating the popular transmission of elite repertoires.