"Zarlino's Le Istitutioni harmoniche, published in 1558, is one of the most influential music treatises of all time. To his contemporaries it revealed the secrets of composition he had learned from Adrian Willaert, who brought to Italy the polyphonic art of the Netherlands. To the modern scholar Zarlino's treatise illumines as does no other of its time the compositional technique of the golden age of vocal polyphony. The essence of this art is contained in Part III, "The Art of Counterpoint," which is translated here for the first time. Zarlino's instructions became the basis for counterpoint teaching for two centuries before they were obscured by the neo-Palestrinian method of Johann Joseph Fux. In the past fifty years, with the revival of the music of Zarlino's age, scholars have returned to the purity of his rules. The Art of Counterpoint ranges over every aspect of composition in the strict sixteenth-century style. Zarlino defines the nature of the consonances and dissonances and their usage. He considers the motion of parts, parallel and contrary; he defines and describes note-against-note and diminished counterpoint for two voices written both on plain chant subjects and on rhythmically varied subjects."--Publisher's description.