The thrust of Downey's long article is an attempt to refute my conclusions regarding the identification and possible use in Monteverdi's so-called "Mass of Thanksgiving" of instruments referred to by contemporary chroniclers as trombe squarciate. Downey concludes that trombe squarciate are nothing more than trombones and that my own arguments and conclusions are "pointless speculation."
My objective in the present paper is not merely to refute Downey's arguments, but to demonstrate the fallacious musicological method at the root of Downey's article and some of his other publications. This method confuses deductive and inductive logic, misunderstands the principles and uses of inductive logic, misuses original source materials and leads to "definitive" conclusions that cannot withstand critical scrutiny.
This paper will take Downey's article as the point of departure for
a discussion of appropriate musicological methodology, founded on awareness
of the nature of original source materials, especially those subject to
multiple interpretations, and the application of deductive and inductive
logic to the drawing of conclusions. Nelson Goodman's classic text
on inductive logic will serve as the reference point of my discussion,
which will also include comments on the appropriate role of speculation
in historical research and writing.