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Analysing Gesualdo in the Twenty-first Century

Musical analysis in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has much in common with that of the sixteenth century, namely that no theoretical treatise exists adequate enough to explain contemporary practice. Whilst the analyst of twentieth century music may find practices such as serialism a suitable departure point for the analysis of some composers, for a great many others this would be totally inadequate. Not that this has any bearing on the composer, who can be completely satisfied with their own methods, but rather it forces the musicologist to provide a more individual analysis to suit a specific composer. Once developed,…