Tracking the footprints of Camerata

As I was fascinated by the humanities and art of the Renaissance, and with my spare time, I and my family came to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance humanism that made me dream of my dreams. Experience the spiritual baptism and soul resonance that this ancient city brings to me.

After more than 20 hours of transit and bumps, we finally arrived at the hotel on the outskirts of Rome at one o’clock local time. The art style of the Renaissance permeates every corner of the hotel, from the decorative murals of the halls of the guise to the candlelights at the reception, each detail is full of quaint and elegant artistic atmosphere, which makes me look forward to this stranger. The second day of the trip to Florence.

The humanistic history of the Renaissance
The history of the Renaissance humanism began in the fourteenth century Italian writer and scholar Pietrak. He has a close relationship with the Holy See of Avignon, France, where his father worked as an instrument—a scholar who was good at managing a large number of Holy See documents. Petrarch is interested in the rhetorical and stylistic features of the neglected classical Roman writers, especially Cicero, Levi and Virgil. He draws on these academic traditions and draws on existing literature to draw humanism. Blueprint: Combine rhetoric and persuasion, combine the quest for individual truth with the practical ability to effectively play a social role. In order to achieve this perfect balance, educated individuals need to be trained in a variety of disciplines, including grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, and ethics.

The success of the Renaissance is that it claims to offer two things to followers. First, it fosters a belief that familiarity with classics can make people better and more “human”, allowing people to reflect on the issues of social morality and ethics that individuals face. Second, it convinced students and employers that learning ancient books can provide the necessary practical skills to serve as ambassadors, lawyers, priests, or clerks at all levels of the civil service government. Such a civilized government began in the fifteenth century and then spread throughout Europe.

The growing wealth and growing status of merchant bankers laid the foundation for the unique political power and artistic innovation of the European Renaissance. The Medici family that dominated Florence’s politics and culture throughout the fifteenth century relied on commercial banks. In 1387, Giovanni di Bicci Medici founded the Medici Bank in Florence. Soon, the bank improved the bookkeeping, deposit and transfer business, and maritime insurance. And the issuance of money orders. The Medici Bank is responsible for transferring the funds of the Pope throughout Europe, thus becoming the “Bank of God”. In 1429, humanist scholars and Florence chief Brachi Olini believed that money has the same necessity as the power of the state, and it is beneficial to the common well-being and civic life. In examining the impact of trade and commerce on the city, Florence city officials used the money earned by the Medici family to build many spectacular houses, Huihong’s villas, churches, colonnades and hospitals. As a nobleman, the Medici family must serve the pope’s economic interests on the one hand, and economically support talented and creative artists on the other, providing a strong economic guarantee and a good material environment for the promotion of the humanistic concept of the Renaissance. .

Florence’s Camerata
After three hours of driving, we finally came to this ancient city that we dreamed of. The misty rain in the sky seemed to give us a poetic and beautiful atmosphere for visiting the city. The Medici family in the fifteenth century as an economic tycoon provided strong support for the cultural and political construction of Florence, and the Camerata School was the pioneer of the earliest musical drama, the establishment of a single melody style. And development has created an unprecedented new situation. The members of the “Kamelata” community are intellectuals who advocate humanism. They often discuss literature, science, music, etc., trying to restore the music and drama of ancient Greece and create an art that closely combines poetry and music. They put forward the slogan of “declaring war” and disapproved of polyphonic music, thinking that it would destroy the expression of the lyrics. They advocate the use of monophonic melody in harmony accompaniment, which is believed to clearly express the lyrics. Among them, the role of the founder of the Carmelata School, Kachini, is indispensable.

Giulio Romolo Caccini, an Italian composer and singer, was active in the early Baroque period. As the head of the Camerata School, Kacini’s contribution is to create a new style of Bel Canto, which has a profound impact on the development of Italian opera. Caccini was born in a carpenter’s family in Rome. When he was a child, he studied music in Rome and became a famous singer. Francesco de Medici appreciated his talent and took him to Florence to continue his studies. In 1579, Cacini began singing at the court of Medici. For a long time since then, he has been a singer and a singing teacher.

Kachini’s collection of songs, “New Music,” is Italy’s first collection of classical art songs, contributing a lot to the consolidation and spread of the single-melody music that began around 1600: he created a new vocal melody based on lyrics. Sexual style, striving for clear and flexible words, and accompanied by digital bass, thus becoming one of the founders of the recitative. He also added decorative sounds to the appropriate places of the melody line, forming the singular technique of singing in the sixteenth century. Kachini used “new music” as the name of the two sets of pastoral works he published in 1602 and 1614, and rigorously wrote each decorative sound for each vocal work, prohibiting the singer himself. Improvisation. At the same time, he is also the first generation of influential vocal educators of Bel Canto. It is because of the contribution and efforts of Kachini that there are many well-known opera arias in history. It can be said that Kachini, as the pioneer of the earliest opera, has played an important role.

When I walked down the streets of Florence and breathed the air that the musicians had breathed more than 500 years ago, I felt glorious and delighted. The humanistic spirit of Florence is not only reflected in the soul of the talented musician of Kachini, but also recognized by his contemporary composer Perry. It was because of Perry’s existence that the first opera in the history of music was Daphne. Although the original music score has disappeared with the times, Perry’s historical status is famous for the birth of this opera. Jacopo Peri is an Italian Renaissance composer and singer, often referred to as the inventor of the opera. This historical clue is not unusual for music lovers. However, from an aesthetic point of view, Perry’s original idea of ​​creating an opera was to resurrect the ancient Greek drama. But no one has ever seen what ancient Greek drama looks like, but only from the literature, it is a kind of poetry with music and dance interspersed. Therefore, they mixed the popular student dramas, masked performances, pastoral lyrics, medieval ceremonies and mystery dramas, and added their own imagination of ancient Greek drama. The general drama, and named it “Opera.” In Italian, the word “Opera” has nothing to do with music. In fact, the opera was a vague concept from the beginning. The opera itself is an unclear artistic genre. Perry declared in the preface of Euridice that the remarkable feature of their play is to use singing to imitate the speech. The purpose is to make the poetry recitation have a sense of melody or rhythm, thus enhancing the appeal of poetry and deepening the audience’s impression of drama. Perry called this new way of singing a narrative, and he used practice to prove to everyone that this is the tradition of ancient Greek drama. He said: “I let all the other singing methods that we have heard so far stand by and stand by and fully commit to this imitation of language.” This is the shock of the firm belief of the pioneers of the opera. Even after six centuries of baptism, it still resounded through the clouds.

Perhaps it is precisely because of the admiration and admiration of ancient Greek culture and art that Camerata Lepai did not hesitate to use their talents and unremitting efforts to create an immortal monument for the creation of a single melody music. This move seems to be insignificant, but a stone has stirred up thousands of waves. Their musical concept was not only widely circulated among the citizens of Florence, but also caused the public anger of the Venetian music Zarlinno, because this period was the peak period of the development of polyphonic music. The music composer Walkham had created Cannon, who has passed 36 voices, proves the incomparable power and indestructible social status of polyphonic music. It can be imagined that polyphonic musicians use their own sweat and wisdom to create incomparably complex and lengthy musical works and music theory can tolerate the destruction and subversion of a single-melody music that was born out of the world?

Thus, between the two music schools, there was a battle between the two stars of Mars. Zarlinno believes that the toss of the Camerata School has taken the people off, what if the people who do not understand the theory of music are brought back to the old road of medieval monophonic music? Zallinno made the above remarks, and the tone of Gregory’s “simple and unadorned” was constantly flashing in his mind. He felt that the ending was too unbelievable. He went to Cacini’s theory and asked him not to preach his team to write a single melodies. This is a dead end! Kachini believes that the beauty of single-melody music can be accepted by the general public. Because the melody is concentrated in one voice, the rhythm is simple, and can directly convey the meaning of the lyrics. All theories are only tested by practice and recognized by the public. And communication is truly worthy of admiration. The so-called “practice is the only criterion for testing truth.” The two of them argued for a few days and nights, and eventually they broke up. No one persuaded the other, they returned to their own life trajectories, and they held their positions in their respective posts until the late years…

Nowadays, when I am stationed at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, my thoughts are interspersed with the slaps of the two factions between centuries ago. I feel the vicissitudes of life when I smile. The art of being a human being and being able to be tested and verified by history must be valuable. Just as Zarlinno’s “The Law of Harmony” music theory is remembered by history, the contribution of the Carmelata music to the single-melody music is not just the creation of the first opera. From the concept of single-melody music advocated by this music school, Western music has embarked on the path of music and poetry, and their ideas have not only opened the mysterious door of Pandora’s box for the development of opera, but also It has laid a rich and colorful tribute to the prosperity and independence of instrumental music in the eighteenth century.

As a musician who is loyal to piano instrumental music, I lament the contributions of these musicians nourished on the fertile soil of Florence, and I am fortunate to be grateful that I can devote myself to the kingdom of Western music to explore such a rich musical heritage. Musical monuments. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The value of travel is looking back at the past with a historical perspective. Based on the idea of ​​speculation, we are based on the present and use innovative methods to develop the future of music. The most important thing is to discover the real value and concept of music in the process of travel and exploration.