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    Lucia, Christine 2007. How critical is music theory?. Critical Arts, Vol. 21, Issue. 1, p. 166.

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  • Print publication year: 2002
  • Online publication date: March 2008

18 - Steps to Parnassus: contrapuntal theory in 1725 precursors and successors

from B - Compositional Theory
Summary
For 250 years, the Gradus ad Parnassum of Johann Joseph Fux has been a tabula by-no-means rasa on which theorists and pedagogues have written. The remarkable process of accretion and rewriting began within seventeen years of its initial publication, with its first translation, ironically into Fux's own language, German, in 1742. The newness of Fux's method has three stated aspects. First, it is occupied largely with practical music, and only very slightly with speculative music. Second, it does not rely on model compositions. Third, designed for easy mastery by beginners, it is based on the elementary reading pedagogy of the day. Fux avails himself of the German triadic tradition, but he does not surrender entirely to the theory. Nowhere, for instance, does he speak of the triad as embodying unity. Yet this lies at the very heart of seventeenth-century triadic theory, with its strong trinitarian parallels.
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The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053471
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521623711
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