Charles Herbert Kitson Bibliography (5 Titles) [Musicology]

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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Post by LectorRecitator » May 20th, 2020, 9:17 am


Studies In Fugue (1909)

📖 Contains sheet music.

ℹ️ "The principles of fugal construction have been so ably and exhaustively dealt with by eminent authorities, that it would seem that there was little else to be said upon the subject. Experience, however, shows that there are not only various points which seem to call for further elucidation and illustration, but also some few principles which have not been accorded any formulated treatment hitherto." (Preface)

Applied Strict Counterpoint (1916)

📖 Contains sheet music.

ℹ️ "So many pupils have acknowledged to me the advantages that have accrued to them from having understood and practised the application of Strict Counterpoint in composition in the strict style, that it seemed to me a short treatise on the subject might be serviceable.

Very few teachers encourage the study of Strict Counterpoint in anything but its purely technical and analytical aspects. It is certain that very few students understand the function of the semibreve Canto Fermo. Still fewer realize that it can be eliminated and that the application of the technique of Strict Counterpoint without this constant factor results in composition in the style of the Polyphonic Period.

My previous treatise, The Art of Counterpoint, dealt merely with the grammar of the subject. There is little point in being able to decline—let us say—amicus or Caesar, or to conjugate interficio, if we cannot form them into a complete sentence, as for example, 'Caesarem interfecit amicus'. This short treatise represents the synthetical aspect of the subject.

A great many of the arguments that are put forward, both in support of and in opposition to the study of Strict Counterpoint, show such confused and misguided ideas as to what precisely constitutes Strict Counterpoint, that it has been thought well to begin this book with a statement of the true facts of the case, and so to show the reasons which have led me to differ from some modern writers in various details of technique."

Elementary Harmony (1920)

📖 Contains sheet music.

ℹ️ My Evolution of Harmony was intended for students of some maturity, and for those who are able to devote a considerable time to the subject.

"A large number of those who have used it have expressed a wish that I should write a short elementary treatise on similar lines. The present book is the first part of this work. It is intended for beginners, for use in schools, and for students in musical institutions who have to acquire in a short time a knowledge of the main facts of harmony. In attempting to make the book short and concise, I have been compelled to make it somewhat
dogmatic. As the book is for beginners, this is probably an advantage. No attempt is made to deal with modern technique. Obviously such a course would be quite out of place in a book of this nature."
(Part 1, Preface)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

The Art Of Counterpoint: And Its Application As A Decorative Principle (1924, 2nd Edition)

📖 Contains sheet music.

ℹ️ "The first edition of this treatise was published in 1907. During the fifteen years that have elapsed, a considerable change has come over the outlook upon contrapuntal study in this country. This welcome change enables me in the second edition to carry to its logical conclusion what I had in mind in 1907, but felt at the time to be inopportune. If the technique of strict Counterpoint be deduced from the practice of the sixteenth century, it is only logical to employ the scalic system of that period. Fux used the modal system, and it should be restored. The atmosphere of sixteenth-century music cannot be obtained without using the modes. Further than that the technique is bound up with the modes, so that if the modern scales be employed, all sorts of difficulties in reference to unessential notes and harmonic progression arise, leading to all sorts of false conclusions.

Those who modernized strict Counterpoint evidently thought they were doing a real service in making it do duty as a kind of abstract technical study. But the result was that it taught neither sixteenth-century technique, nor any other.

In coming to the definite conclusion that strict Counterpoint should be modal, there arose the question of the omission of the examples of the first edition, which are all written in the major and minor keys. A large number of new examples have been written in the modes: but a fair proportion of the original examples have been retained for two chief reasons. Firstly, students can compare the two schemes, and see clearly the differences between them. Secondly, strict Counterpoint with the modern scalic system is still required, and this book is thus serviceable for either purpose. Further it seemed hardly worth while to write new elaborate examples in from six to eight parts: and the major scale is after all one of the modes, though a much despised one."

The Evolution Of Harmony (1924, 2nd Edition)

📖 Contains sheet music.

ℹ️ "Many years' experience in the teaching of harmony both of an elementary and advanced type has convinced me that old methods of study are very unsatisfactory, both from a positive and a negative point of view. A careful review of all the important treatises that have been issued shows that later theorists have been alive to some of the most glaring defects of earlier systems, but they have not seen fit to depart in any appreciable degree from the traditional method of study. This is probably due to their view as to the bounds of the subject. If it be held that the harmony text-book does not pretend to do more than show the use of chords in an abstract fashion, there is nothing more to be said beyond the fact that such a limited study is of little musical and educational value, and there are no books to bridge over the gulf between this stage and that represented by the standard required at University examinations. There are some excellent books dealing with this later stage, but none lead up to it." (Preface)
Do not hesitate to contact me for book suggestions.


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