chapter  3
42 Pages

The Early Seventeenth Century

Basso continuo notation allowed the performer to vary the texture of the chords, the range the realization was played in, the speed at which the chords were spread, in response to each different interpretation. Transposition, too, was made easier by the use of basso continuo; it was common for songs and instrumental pieces to be transposed to suit a particular singer or instrument. Many instruments were now playing and improvising together with the common goal of achieving maximum effects, subtleties of colour and sonority, in the enhancement of the music. New style of music and the keyboard players probably coming from the intavolatura tradition, they had to be told relatively basic things about the nuovo stile. There are many more accounts of the accompaniment of vocal music from the first half of the 1600s than of instrumental music; the style was new, still exciting attention and amply commented upon.