Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Schoenberg on Pre-Bach

"To base the teaching of counterpoint on Palestrina is as stupid as to base the teaching of medicine on Aesculapius. Nothing could be more remote from contemporary ideas, structurally and ideologically, than the style of this composer. Besides, his contrapuntal technique...does not demonstrate the more difficult problems and their solutions discovered only shortly after him." (Some Aspect of Counterpoint in Selected Works of Arnold Schoenberg, Boris William Pillin.)

It may be chronological snobbery, but it's an excellent example of a common, understated attitude amongst academia of (at least) the early 20th century toward Renaissance polyphony.

No comments: