Date of Graduation

Summer 2012


Master of Music



Committee Chair

Michael Murray


madrigal, Monteverdi, music theory, Seconda Prattica, renaissance

Subject Categories



Claudio Monteverdi's Quinto libro de madrigali a cinque voci was a work ahead of its time. The techniques used were exciting to some and offensive to others, drawing criticism from composer and theorist Giovanni Artussi. As a result of Artussi's criticism, Monteverdi indicated in the foreword to the Quinto libro that he would write a treatise titled Seconda Prattica; ouvre, perfezioni della moderna musica. The purpose of this treatise would be to explain a new approach to harmony and counterpoint in which the musical setting of the text would be more important than the counterpoint. Regretfully, he never wrote the treatise, but the many examples of innovative writing found in his music progressively helped to bridge the gap between the Renaissance and Baroque eras. This thesis aims to make an analysis of the Pastor Fido madrigals from Claudio Monteverdi's Quinto libro de madrigali, with an emphasis on voice leading, intervallic relationships, non-harmonic tones, and tonality in an attempt to understand the Seconda Prattica idea.


© Dustin McKinney

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