Musical Creativity in Restoration England is the first comprehensive investigation of approaches to creating music in late seventeenth-century England. Understanding creativity during this period is particularly challenging because many of our basic assumptions about composition - such as concepts of originality, inspiration and genius - were not yet fully developed. In adopting a new methodology that takes into account the historical contexts in which sources were produced, Rebecca Herissone challenges current assumptions about compositional processes and offers new interpretations of the relationships between notation, performance, improvisation and musical memory. She uncovers a creative culture that was predominantly communal, and reveals several distinct approaches to composition, determined not by individuals, but by the practical function of the music. Herissone's new and original interpretations pose a fundamental challenge to our preconceptions about what it meant to be a composer in the seventeenth century and raise broader questions about the interpretation of early modern notation.
Rebecca Herissone was educated at the University of Cambridge and is Senior Lecturer in Musicology and Head of Music at the University of Manchester. She is the author of Music Theory in Seventeenth-Century England (2000) and 'To Fill, Forbear, or Adorne': The Organ Accompaniment of Restoration Sacred Music (2006). She has also produced a critical edition of the treatise Synopsis of Vocal Musick (2006), and edited and contributed to The Ashgate Research Companion to Henry Purcell (2012). Recent journal articles have appeared in the Journal of the American Musicological Society and the Journal of Musicology, and her article for Music and Letters on the scoring of Purcell's Come ye Sons of Art won the Westrup Prize for 2007. She is now a co-editor of the journal. She has written extensively on approaches to composition in late seventeenth-century English music.
Part I. Creative Contexts and Principles: 1. Imitation, originality and authorship; 2. Sources and their functions; Part II. Creative Strategies: 3. 'Ye Fowle Originall in Score': initial invention and the functions of notation; 4. 'I have here sent ye full Anthems': serial recomposition and the culture of transmission; 5. 'For Seaverall Friends': private music and the study of musical texts; 6. 'His mind be filled with the materiall': arrangement, improvisation and the role of memory.