Notes on the Prooemium in Musicam Plutarchi ad Titum Pyrrhynum by Carlo Valgulio (Brescia 1507)

TitleNotes on the Prooemium in Musicam Plutarchi ad Titum Pyrrhynum by Carlo Valgulio (Brescia 1507)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMeriani, A
Ancient AuthorsPseudo-Plutarchus Biogr., Phil. (TLG 0094), Porphyrius Phil. (TLG 2034)
JournalGreek and Roman Musical Studies

The Prooemium in Musicam Plutarchi ad Titum Pyrrhinum, written by Carlo Valgulio at the end of the 15th century and published in Brescia in 1507 as an introduction to his Latin translation of the Plutarchean De musica, was one of the first descriptions and re-evaluations of ancient Greek music in the Modern Age. It was an extremely important text for music theorists such as Franchino Gaffurio, Vincenzo Galilei and Gioseffo Zarlino. This text is based upon a wide range of Greek sources, almost all of which derive from Porphyry’s Commentary on Ptolemy’s Harmonics. On the basis of manuscripts that were at his disposal, Valgulio produced the first Latin translations of all of these materials, commented on them and related them to his general argument, often adding personal observations. This study examines several passages of this text dealing with psycho-musicological topics, with the conative function of music and the relationship between music and dance. []


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