The Study of Renaissance Enigmas during the Modern Era: Luigi Cherubini’s Solutions to Padre Martini’s Enigmatic Canons (An unpublished collection)
Luciane Beduschi has taught Music History and Theory at the Sorbonne, Paul-Valéry University, and Skidmore College. Her PhD dissertation, Sigismund Neukomm: Life, Works, and Enigmatic Canons, was recognized by the Chancellery of the Paris Universities as one of the five best theses in Humanities in 2008. Her work centers on incoherencies in biographical notices on Neukomm’s life, the constitution of a thematic catalogue of his more than 2000 works, as well as the reception of Schenkerian analysis in France which resulted in a textbook for French-language use. Her work on enigmatic canons has included analyses of proposed solutions and contextual research into this practice. Luciane was editor of Musica, sive liber amicorum Nicolas Meeùs (Paris-Sorbonne, 2014), a Festschrift in honor of Nicolas Meeùs.
72 enigmatic canons illustrate Padre Martini’s Storia della Musica (1757, 1770, 1781). In the nineteenth century, Luigi Cherubini solved all of them using a Latin words table expressing musical formulas. In the Renaissance, ‘canon’ was a formula musicians deciphered to create music; ‘canon’ was just the formula, not the music. Formulas’ explanations were compiled in treatises. During the eighteenth century, ‘canon’ became music in strict imitation; formulas were forgotten. In order to better comprehend how the Renaissance notion of ‘canon’ was understood and transformed in the modern era, this project will study the provenience and usage Cherubini made of the formulas he collected to decipher Martini’s enigmas.