- Matthias Thiemel
A qualification of Expression and particularly of Accentuation and Periodicals, . The qualification is concerned with variations of duration rather than of dynamic level.
A pause of breath of phrasing (suspiratio) is mentioned in a number of organum sources, and in the 16th century the pause (suspirium) was recognized as having affective value. Calvisius recommended delaying or accelerating the beat in connection with the harmony and the sung text (1602). Modifications of the basic tempo seem to have become increasingly common during this period; they are clearly described in Frescobaldi’s preface to his first book of toccatas, and are also mentioned by Monteverdi.
One of the earliest pieces of evidence for the deliberate use of agogic is Cerone’s mention of the practice of hesitation and holding back in singing in such a way that ‘part of a note is taken away and given to another’ (...