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Fasten your seatbelts. Beethoven, Czerny, Moscheles, Chopin, the 18th c. French composers and theoretics, they left us tens of thousands exact indications of how fast they wanted us to play their music. And yet, today, almost nobody takes that seriously. Often these numbers are so insanely fast, that it takes a decent amount of idioty to keep shouting that they all should be taken litteraly. Nobody takes that serious and so almost nobody cares about this.
I always found that most surprising, certainly in the world of HIP, since is that information not direct, unfiltered input in how the masters saw their own music, or the music of their time payed?
If this theory holds, we might have to reconsider many of the music we believe we know so well. Lorenz Gadient, professional musician and trained in theology as priest, spent almost 30 years of his life researching every possible source related to this problem. He has written a book 'Takt und Pendelschlag', that -how surprising- was almost banned from any review or consideration, yet published at a major, scientific pubisher.
Before our famous 'baroque police' reaches out to you and tries in its patented invention of generalizing 'of courses' and 'of course nots' to prevent you from sitting back and considering this for a moment, know this:
Lorenz refers to Marin Mersennes writings, who in his opinion gives us the key to all we have to know in this to understand the problematics. As a trained academic, he assumes you all will know the name Mersenne, but if not, just two sentences from Wikipedia:
"Marin Mersenne, Marin Mersenne's or le Père Mersenne (8 September 1588 – 1 September 1648) was a French theologian, philosopher, mathematician and music theorist, often referred to as the "father of acoustics". Mersenne, an ordained priest, had many contacts in the scientific world and has been called "the center of the world of science and mathematics during the first half of the 1600s."
You could spend entire weeks searching the internet of what Mersenne means to our today's mathematics and many other sciences. His list of achievements and contacts is far beyond astonishing. His contacts and collaborations as well: Huygens, Gallileo, ... . So... it seems to be rather important what he has to say.
As Lorenz points out in his work 'Takt und Pendelschlag', other research on tempi, as the famous book written by Klaus Miehling, are leaving out exactly those quotes who needs to be solved.
It took him over 20 years to write his book, that was printed in small numbers and today is out of print. But in stead of embracing the research and develop this further among researchers on tempi (there are only a few), his book was heavily curated by not giving any attention but negative.
This is a first attempt in bringing this highly under-researched theme back into publicity. Authentic Sound will be publishing in the near future a fully revised version in English of Lorenz' book, with a lot of interactive examples taken directly out of that 'mysterious' land of metronomes and chromomètres.
To be continued ! It is too interesting not to continue.
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