"Dialogue on Ancient and Modern Music" by Vincenzo Galilei

Dialogue on Ancient and Modern Music Vincenzo Galilei, Claude V. Palisca

Music Theory Translation Series
Publication date:
11 Dec 2003
Yale University Press
464 pages: 235 x 156mm
150 musical examples


Vincenzo Galilei, the father of the astronomer Galileo, was a guiding light of the Florentine Camerata. His Dialogue on Ancient and Modern Music, published in 1581 or 1582 and now translated into English for the first time, was among the most influential music treatises of his era.

Galilei is best known for his rejection of modern polyphonic music in favor of Greek monophonic song. The treatise sheds new light on his importance, both as a musician who advocated a new philosophy of music history and theory based on an objective search for the truth, and as an experimental scientist who was one of the founders of modern acoustics.

?Without doubt a model work of scholarship. The tone of Galilei?s prose is retained even as great care has been given to offering a readable text; the diagrams have been scrutinized with enormous care (and corrections offered in several important instances); and the critical apparatus offers a veritable gold mine of information about the treatise and the context in which it was created. While we mourn Claude Palisca?s passing, we can nevertheless celebrate this final publication as the culmination of an extraordinary scholarly life and contribution to the study of music and musical life in the Renaissance.??Christle Collins Judd, Renaissance Quarterly

?A major contribution to the study of Renaissance music theory and a major achievement by one of the foremost scholars in the field.??Massimo Ossi, Indiana University at Bloomington

"An immensely rich and useful guide to the ancient music of Greece."?Julia Schmidt-Pirro, Southern Humanities Review