Terence as musical innovator

TitleTerence as musical innovator
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsMoore, TJ
EditorKruschwitz, P, Ehlers, W-W, Felgentreu, F
Ancient AuthorsPublius Terentius Afer (PHI 0134)
Book TitleTerentius Poeta
Series TitleZetemata. Heft 127
PublisherVerlag C. H. Beck

Terence changed meters in a very sophisticated manner in response to the demands of individual theatrical moments. He also kept in mind the play as a whole as he made metrical changes. Two musical patterns run throughout Terence's corpus: a tendency to distinguish pairs of lovers through the alternation of iambic and trochaic meters, and a repeated association between iambic septenarii and love. Within these patterns, each play provides its own variations. To a great extent, those variations respond to Terence's different aims as he wrote different plays. They also suggest a development of Terence's musical technique as his career progressed. Terence's first play, Andria, offers many extremely effective individual metrical effects, but relatively few discernable patterns that reach throughout the play. As we move through the next plays, more emphatic musical designs appear, until we reach the most significant in Adelphoe. [Timothy J. Moore]

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