chapter  VIII
12 Pages

THE MUSIC OF THE IT.ALIA.N RENAISSANCE

The explanation of this phenomenon is not far to seek. Neither the intellectual curiosity and lust for knowledge which is perhaps the spiritualleit-motiv of the period, nor the desire for personal fame and glory which was the dominant impulse behind the munificent patronage and encouragement extended to artists by great nobles and princes of the chureh,- finding expression in the record of their lives and deeds in poetic eulogies and in dedications, in the preHervation of their lineaments for the edification of posterity in sculptured stone and painted canvas, and in the erection of magnificent palaces

and tombs to serve respectively as their dwelling-houses in life and their resting-places in death-neither of these two desires could be satisfied to any appreciable extent by the art of music. Similarly the cult of the antique which exercised such a powerful and decisive influence on the styles of aU the other arts during the period had little or no repercussion on music, for the simple reason that no examples of Greek or Roman music which could serve as the models for a new style of composition were known to exist--more accurately, perhaps, none had as yet been deoiphered. All that musicians had to go upon, in any attempt to revive or reconstruct the musical art of classic antiquity, consisted in a few obscure and fragmentary theoretical writings and in vague literary allusions and descriptions.