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Abraham Portaleone on the Practice of Music in the Ancient Temple

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins as if it had been preceded by a debate on the degree to which music in the Ancient Temple was the work of fools or wise men. Abraham Portaleone reviews the opinions of "the foolish children" among those Jews of his time who held that the music heard in the Temple was "as the songs of field laborers and shepherds" to the accompaniment of folk instruments and that it produced "a sound of vulgar, contemptible, and splitting laughter, nothing more", only to refute these opinions in the chapter itself. Portaleone outlines Plato's views on music as an aesthetic for its practice in the Temple. The three components of music, as Plato stated them in the Republic, and Portaleone relayed them in Italian, were orazione, ritmo, and armonia. Under armonia Portaleone designates various kinds of intervals and their use in part singing.

Keywords: Abraham Portaleone; Ancient Temple; armonia; Jews; music; orazione; Plato's views; Republic; ritmo

10.1163/9789004283640_007
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