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Glo
book
(8 1/2"  x 11"  -  327 pp.)
Rounds Re-Sounding:
Circular Music for Voices and Instruments;
An Eight-Century Reference
by Gloria T. Delamar

"Writing a fairly comprehensive reference book about any aspect of music may be an odd undertaking for someone whose voice tends to drift off-key. But "rounds" - that contrapuntal music of deceptively written "one-handed piano music" - have long fascinated me. With someone beside me to imitate, even I can participate in making beautiful music. (The problem is that although I send the notes from my throat in fine form, there's a malfunction by the time the sound actually emerges. Some people don't know when they're off-key. I do know - I can hear it myself - my ears are just fine.) And I am tuned to  the sound of rounds.

It's not as easy as it looks to write "overlapping" lines whose chords come together in harmony.  Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and numerous other classical composers tried their hands at it.  Haydn was so proud of his rounds that he lined his walls with them. Once I decided to take on the project of writing and researching the fine art of rounds, I found many surprises. "Three Blind Mice," "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "Lovely Evening," and "Are You Sleeping" (Frères Jacques) may be the four best-known rounds in the English Language, but the art of the round goes far beyond these.

There are two "paired" rounds by Mozart that are absolutely astounding. Each has three lines, and can be sung in the usual way, from left to right.  However, "Alleluia II" is a retrograde of "Alleluia I" - that is, the notes of II are a reverse of the notes of I.  When sung together, there are six parts.

I discovered that there are other "quodlibets" (rounds that go together), and some rounds are "catches" in that when there's a voice break in one line, the words that come through from another line create an altogether meaning. There are also rounds that have a "ground," which is an undertone that is repeated over and over as the upper lines are sung.  The old "Sumer Is Icumen In" is a prime example: It can be sung in six parts, or in twelve, with the addition of two grounds, as well. What fun."

By the time I finished I had twenty-seven categories of rounds, developed several programs for all-rounds concerts, wrote some thirty or so rounds, and collected well over six-hundred. I was drowning under paper and finally called a halt to the research.
 

        Excerpt from chapter: "History and Development of Rounds"

Excerpt: Two Rounds
ani solo note
Information:  Rounds Re-Sounding Day (August 1)
&  Rounds Re-Sounding Society

Rounds Re-Sounding: etc. was first published by McFarland Publishers in 1987. 
After a good thirteen-year run, it went out of print. It was immediately picked up in 2001 by the Authors Guild Back-in-Print Books, published through iUniverse. 
Paperback; available on the internet at all major online book dealers.

A limited number of first editions are available:
hardcover, 8 1/2" x 111", 329 pp., acid-free-paper, autographed.
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