Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/64

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


48

��TABLATURE.

��without the use of a Stave; though, very fre- quently, the two methods of Notation were com- bined, especially in Compositions intended for a Solo Voice, with Instrumental Accompaniment. For instance, in .the following example from Arnold Schlick's 'Tabulaturen Etlicher lobgeseng und liedlein uff die orgeln und lauten * (Mentz,

MARIA ZART. w ^

��TABLATURE.

1512), the melody is given on the Stave, and the Bass in Organ Tablature, the notes in the latter being twice as long as those in the former a peculiarity by no means rare, in a method of Notation into which almost every writer of emi- nence introduced some novelty of his own de- vising.

��Solution.

��Though no doubt deriving its origin from this early form, the method of Tablature used by Lutenists differed from it altogether in prin- ciple, being founded, in all its most important points, upon the peculiar construction of the in- strument for which it was intended. [See LUTE.] To the uninitiated, Music written on this system appears to be noted, either in Arabic numerals, or small letters, on an unusually broad Six-lined Stave. The resemblance to a Stave is, however, merely imaginary. The Lines really represent the six principal Strings of the Lute ; while the letters, or numerals, denote the Frets by which the Strings are stopped, without indicating either the names of the notes to be sounded, or their relation to a fixed Clef. And, since the pitch of the notes produced by the use of the Frets will naturally depend upon that of the Open Strings, it is clearly impossible to decypher any given system of Tablature, without first ascertaining the method of tuning to which it is adapted, though the same principle underlies all known modifications of the general rule. We shall do well, therefore, to begin by comparing a few of the methods of tuning most commonly used on the Continent. [See SCOBDATUBA.]

Adrien le Roy, in his 'Briefve et facile In- struction pour aprendre laTablature.'fii'st printed at Paris in 1551, tunes the Chanterelle i. e. the 1st, or highest String, to c, and the lower Strings, in descending order, to g, d, bb, f, and c ; see (a) in the following example. Vincenzo Galilei, in the Dialogue called 'II Fronimo' (Venice, 1583), tunes his instrument thus, beginning with the lowest String, G, c, f, a, d, g, as at (6) : and this system was imitated by Agricola, in his 'Musica Instrumentalis ' (Wittenberg, 1529); and em- ployed by John Dowland in his ' Bookes of Songes or Ayres ' (London, 1597-1 603), and by most Eng- lish Lutenists, who, however, always reckoned downwards, from the highest sound to the lowest, as at (c). Thomas Mace describes the English method, in * Musick's Monument ' (London, 1676 fol.), chap. ix. Scipione Cerreto, 'Delia prattica

��musica vocale et strumentale' (Napoli, 1601), gives a somewhat similar system, with 8 strings, tuned thus, beginning with the lowest, C, D, G, c, f, a, d, g, as at (d) in the example. Sebastian Virdung, in 'Musica getuscht' (1511), gives the following, reckoning upwards, as at (e) A, d, g, b, e, a ; and this method, which was once very common in Italy, is followed in a scarce collection of Songs with Lute Accompaniment, published at Venice by Ottaviano Petrucci, in 1509.

��(a)

��ADRIBN LE ROY.

��^=-^

�<&)

�V. GALILEI.

fr= II

�<L __.

(c)

-p. ^ *_

�E . ' 1

J. DOWLAND.

�IM-.-

(d)

�. 11 = S. CERRETO.

--A H

�*T

(e) 0.


�: SF . ' '

PETRUCCI. SEB. VIRDUNG.

� �, -

��It will be understood that these systems apply only to the six principal Strings of the Lute, which, alone, were governed by the Frets. The longer Strings, sympathetically tuned in pairs, by means of a separate neck, were entirely ignored, in nearly all systems of Tablature, and used only after the manner of a Drone, when they hap- pened to coincide with the Tonic of the Key in which the Music was written. Of this nature are the two lowest Strings at (d) in the foregoing example.

Of the Lines generally six in number used to represent the principal Strings, Italian Lutenists almost always employed the lowest for

�� �