THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY

Semitones and sharps represent tears and groans because of their small intervals which signify feebleness, for small intervals going up or down are similar to children, to the elderly and to those recovering from a long illness, who cannot walk with big steps and who take a long time to go a little way.

(Mersenne, Harmonia Universale)

 

The music of Saturn, star of misfortune quodammodo dissonum, delights in the immeasurable, the dichotomy and the unresolved tension of incompatible elements. At the time of the blossoming of the expressionist madrigal, it will take shape in monstrous modal structures, composed from headless limbs, similar to the monsters generated in the reign of Hate in the fantasy of Empedocles; or again, as would be asserted by Tasso, divine and bilious poet, in the bodies of dissonant limbs, like the Chimera or the Hydra with a thousand heads.

Lachrimae coctae

Lachrimae antiquae

Consonanze stravaganti

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