Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/65

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the Chanterelle and the highest, for the gravest String. In France, England, Flanders, and Spain, the highest line was used for the Chanterelle, and the whole system reversed. The French system, however, was afterwards universally adopted, both in Italy and Germany a circumstance which must be carefully borne in mind with regard to Music printed in those countries in the 1 7th century.

The Frets by which the six principal Strings were shortened, were represented, in Italy, by the numerals I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, to which were afterwards added the numbers 10, II, 12, written x, x, x. In France and England the place of these numerals was supplied by the letters a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, etc. : and, after a time, these letters came into general use on the Continent also. Of course, one plan was just as good as the other ; but there was this important practical difference between them : in England and France a represented the Open String, and b the first Fret ; in Italy, the Open String was represented by a cypher, and the first Fret by the number I. The letter 6, therefore, corre- sponded to the figure I ; and c to 2. The letters, or numerals, were written either on the lines or in the spaces between them, each letter or numeral representing a Semitone in correspond- ence with the action of the Frets. Thus, when the lowest String was tuned to G, the actual note G was represented by a (or o) ; Gfl, or Ab, by b (or i) ; A, by c (or a) ; A&, or Bb, by d (or 3). But when the lowest String was tuned to A, b (or i) represented Bb ; c (or a) represented Bt] ; and d (or 3) represented c. The following example shows both the French and the Italian Methods, the letters being written in the spaces the usual plan in England and the lowest place being reserved for an additional Open Bass String.

French and English Tablature.

��G F


� �J. DOWJ


� � � � �A

� � � � �>

� � �abed

� �(3 <f


� �a b c d e

� � �abode

� � � �Lowest String

� � �a


��^=H etc.

��Italian Tablature.

Lowest String V.


� � � � � � � � � � � � � � �-0-1-2-3 4

� � � � ��Solution.


In order to indicate the duration of the notes, the Semibreve, Minim, Crotchet, Quaver, and Dot or Point of Augmentation were repre- sented by the following signs, written over the highest line ; each sign remaining in force until it was contradicted by another at least, during the continuance of the bar. At the beginning of a new bar, the sign was usually repeated.




��Quaver. Dot.

��In order to afford the reader an opportunity of practically testing the rules, we give a few short examples selected from the works already men- tioned; showing, in each case, the method of tuning employed an indulgence very unusual in the old Lute-Books. Ordinary notation was of course used for the voice part.


��^tr-T~r F fg-r-^ - i ^--t-^ H

�TO) " J Awake, sweet

Chanterelle. f

(G) c c d

�love, thou c a

�art re -





�d d a



�d d


�O dd

�d b

�d b

�d f


�^ a



�e f


� � � �f


� � � � ��Lowest Siring.





�i* h.ffc




� �a a


�d b a


�d d


� �c c a


�a a




�e a f


� � � �f



�fr r^ M

� �d d c

�d d

� �d d b

�aba a

� �e c

�c a

� �f a

� � � �

� � �d d

� ��Ffr


�-J J , ,. j

� �P

" 'b



�es>- '

�-+- 1

�j \





� �-L-J,


��VOL. IV. FT. I.

�� �