Elway Bevin's A Briefe and Short Instruction of the Art of Musicke begins with rudimentary instruction on consonance, dissonance and proportions but quickly turns to a presentation of examples of plainsong-based canonic writing of increasing complexity and remarkable diversity. Bevin's book was well known in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and was quoted or commented upon by Christopher Simpson, Henry Purcell, Charles Burney, John Hawkins and Augustus Kollmann. In the introduction to this modern edition of the work, the first edition to appear since the original was published in 1631, Denis Collins establishes the great importance of A Briefe and Short Instruction of the Art of Musicke in the history of canon. He assesses Bevin's relationship to English theories of canon and to manuscript collections of plainsong canons from the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and he proposes a typology for canonic processes and structures which is applied in the discussion of Bevin's canons.
Table of Contents
Contents: Series editor's preface; Part I Introduction: Elway Bevin and canon in England: Background to Bevin; An overview of the typology of canons; English theories of canon before Bevin; Collections of plainsong canons; The contents of A Briefe and Short Instruction ; English theories of canon after Bevin; Part II Elway Bevin A Briefe and Short Instruction of the Art of Musicke: Editorial note; Edition; Notes. Bibliography; Index.
Denis Collins is Lecturer at the University of Queensland, Australia.
’... [the book] will give its readers new insights into English musicians' thinking and activity during Bevin's lifetime.’ The Consort ’... Collins's critical edition of Bevin's treatise is excellent and provides readers with insight into English musicians' thinking and activities during the late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century.’ Renaissance Quarterly