This article disputes some basic questions concerning the coordination of seventeenth century sacred music, approaching the phenomenon through a musical species of particular interest, though largely unstudied from a performance practice point of view. Roman polychorality with its specific performing conditions offers an illuminating perspective on principles of musical direction and interaction which differ significantly from our modern access path towards these topics. The inquiry ranges from basics of performance (such as sheet music, rehearsals, direction technics, models and stylistic conditioning of the performers) over the concrete role of the maestro di cappella as well as the tactus as cornerstones of sacred music practice, up to the philosophical content the particular 'system of values', shining though this overall picture, seems to represent. On this groundwork the essay opens a discussion on conventions which have remained literally unchallenged by generations of researchers and performers.
"Polychoral performance practice and "maestro di cappella" conducting,"
Performance Practice Review:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/ppr/vol17/iss1/2