Il passacaglio tetracordale come tòpos poetico-musicale transculturale. Usi antichi e moderni a confronto (secc. xvi-xvii e xx-xxi)
The constant recurrence of the descending tetrachord in the most varied repertoires of vocal music, either “classical” or “popular”, has so far been pointed out but only partially investigated by the scholars of the respective traditions. A not always accurate examination of the musical structures, and of their interaction with the verbal contents, has prevented an adequate focus on both the tetrachordal typology – minor diatonic, semichromatic, chromatic, major – and its equally varied expressive functionality. The basic lack of communication between the main disciplinary fields (musicology, ethnomusicology, popular music studies) has further extended this gap. Only a positive dialogue between different points of view will help us to reconstruct the sense, and the history, of such a widespread and transversal literary- musical topos. It is from a necessarily “transcultural” perspective, therefore, that the present essay proposes a first attempt at large-scale theoretical codification, based on the comparative analysis of compositions apparently extraneous to one another – such as a seventeenth-century madrigale rappresentativo and a modern Song – and yet so closely related as to be traced back, if not to the same verbal-musical “DNA”, to a very well-defined “place of common emotional resonance”.