The Great Art of Consonance & Dissonance.


On Rhetorical Musurgy.

The third six-partitioned receptacle AGDE is intended for Rhetorical Musurgy1Encoded in the 6 tablets of Syntagma III.. In the receptacles of this space are stored columns which have been much written-upon in accordance with the titles inscribed on the lids. If anyone, then, wishes to make an artful & flowery composition upon any theme of words, let him proceed as follows: On the phonotactic palimpsest, on the pentagrams which have already been divided into polysyllables & periods, let columns be extracted which fit well with the theme. From the first cubby, take columns of Musarithms for polysyllables (which you can then extend repeatedly, as was said in the preceding sections, whence in the column we have extended the Musarithms in turns up to pentasyllables). For you may easily obtain the rest through continual addition, or "pleonastic" multiplication. Then, the columns extracted from receptacle IV & and applied to the given tone will provide what was sought. But if you wish to proceed through dimunitions, it is the columns extracted from recepbacle V and joined together first which will provide what was sought. If you desire to proceed in a motectic or Ecclesiastic style, columns extracted from receptacles II & III will provide what is sought. And if, furthermore, you want to adorn a line of music with more than four voices, columns extracted from receptacle V will provide what was intended provided that you diligently observe the rules of polyphonic composition prescribed in the preceding sections.

But if you will arrange columns extracted promiscuosly from the three spaces2That is, the three partitions which hold the columns of Syntagmas I, II and III. into the theme, you will have an entirely varied composition & one stuffed full of infinite combinations. But since these and similar things were spoken of extensively in the preceding sections, I have not wished to go over these things any longer. Rather, let us now advance to a description of other instruments3This marks the end of Kircher's treatment of the Arca Musurgica..

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