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Monteverdi: Cruel Amaryllis

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: This guy loved to break the rules.

Monteverdi was always someone who really liked to push the envelope when it came to musical composition. He achieved the most controversy, however, when he published his Fifth Book of Madrigals in 1605. Monteverdi purposefully broke so many rules of musical counterpoint that it prompted an outraged colleague, Giovanni Artusi, to publish a famous article that publicly denounced Monteverdi and his “crude” musical style! Monteverdi responded back in an introduction to his Fifth Book of Madrigals, splitting music into two divisions: the “1st Practice”, which emphasized strict harmonic counterpoint writing a la Palestrina, and the “2nd Practice,” which allowed musical rules to be broken if they helped convey the meaning of text.

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