The History of Transcriptions of Lute Tablature —1679 to the Present
By Matanya OpheeThis article is an extended version of my paper on this subject given at the Le Luth en Occident colloquium in Paris, May, 1998. The article does not purport to be a complete history of … Continue reading
It is evident that neither tablature nor transcription, however explicit the instructions, can ensure replication of a performance. So, how have different transcribers, with pen in hand, “performed” in notation the music they transcribed? To what extent different transcription epistemologies advanced or hindered the propagation of the lute and its culture?
This article will trace the events leading up to the Schrade-Gombosi controversy and the impact of this affair on the subsequent generation of transcribers.
An early effort to transcribe lute music was made in 1679 by le Sieur Perrine. In his Livre de Musique pour le Lut, Perrine explains his reasons for writing lute Music in pitch notation:
. . . those who would play this noble instrument . . . could do so with many different types of other instruments, something which has been done until now only irregularly because of the difficulty one always found to make a just rapport between lute tablature and standard pitch notation, and between pitch notation and tablature. But when everyone would speak the same language, there will no longer be any confusion . . .Perrine, Livre de Musique pour le Lut, Paris, 1679-82. This, and all subsequent translations are mine.
We cannot but approve of Perrine’s noble purpose to facilitate the integration of the lute and its music in the general society of musicians. It is instructive to note that already at the end of the seventeenth century, Perrine had chosen an interpretive mode of transcription, and using the grand staff format and at the same time, providing the original tablature in parallel. As we shall see, this would have become the preferred mode of transcription among academic transcribers in the twentieth century. In his own time, and in the following decades, as Michel Brenet tells us, Perrine’s exemple ne fut pas suivi [was not followed].Michel Brenet, Notes sur l’Histoire du Luth en France, Torino, 1899, p. 78.
In 1716 François Campion commented as follows:
I would say here that the usage of Tablature is pernicious for those who want to make some progress on the Théorbe & on the Guitar, and it, in part, that which caused the decline of the lute; as we can see people who, with available technique, with taste and with a good ear who cannot conquer the difficulty of these instruments. When I begin with a [new] student, I teach him a musical tablature, that is to say, that I write the name of the note on the line which represents the string, not being able to do otherwise for playing pieces. And I use ordinary music [notation] for accompaniments, in the manner of Mr. Maltot:Campion identifies Maltot as his predecessor at the Academie Royale de Musique and as the inventor of the system of continuo accompaniment to which his book is dedicated. One of the pieces in … Continue reading it is more tedious [c’est la mer à boire] than wishing to learn by a, b, c, as the ancients used to teach. Yet, I have conformed to the use of tablature, in a book of guitar pieces that I published, where there are 8 different manners of tuning: in this case the tablature is useful; but those who wish to use it, must first well know their fingerboard by music.François Campion, Traité d’accompagnement et de composition selon la regle des octaves de musique…., Oeuvre second, Paris, 1716, Chez la Veuve G. Adam. p. 22. I am indebted to Alain Reiher … Continue reading
This discussion of the relative merits of tablature and pitch notation, following Perinne’s failed experiment, serves to underscore that both these opinions, even though they were expressed almost a generation apart, were an indication of a general feelings of malaise regarding tablature. Be that as it may, the lute was stagnant and Perrine’s efforts, therefore, were a dead-end. Campion’s work as a theorbo player continued for a few years after 1716, but this is a different story.
With the decline of the lute in the eighteenth century, the quandary of tablature vs. pitch notation became less of an issue for music practitioners, though on occasion one would run into disparaging remarks regarding lutenists and their tablature. For example, in 1760, F.W. Marpurg had this to say:
“. . . lutenists, and their tablature, still persist in separating themselves [from the mainstream?] and do not wish to change to the new notation . . .”F.W. Marpurg, Kritische Brief über die Tonkunst, I. Berlin: F.W. Birnstiel, 1760, p. 498. Quoted (in French translation) by Claude Chauvel, “Quelques aspects de la renaissance du luth dans les … Continue reading
Perhaps the first musicological discussion of the issue, in the terms we understand musicology today, appeared in an article by a person who took part in the invention of the science of musicology: Raphael Georg Kiesewetter (1773-1850).See: Herfried Kier, Raphael Georg Kiesewetter (1773-1850) Wegbereiter des musikalischen Historismus. Regensburg: Gustave Bosse Verlag, 1968. This was part of a series of articles on music notation which appeared in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung in 1831. Kiesewetter defined three types of tablature: a) German which mainly referred to organ tablature, b) lute tablature and c), pitch notation. Obviously, he regarded any form of notation which represents music on paper as an imperfect depiction of the sound produced, in other words—tablature. In the article devoted to lute tablatureRaphael Georg Kiesewetter, “Zweyter Artikel. Die Lauten-Tabulatur.” AMZ, No. 9, March 2, 1831, pp. 133-145. Kiesewetter gives an outline of the history of lute tablature, mentioning most of the names we have come to know such as Prätorius, Virdung, Gerle, Ochsenkuhn, Neusiedler, Sixtus Kargel etc. He then describes, in very general terms, i.e, without giving a single example of an actual tablature line, how the ciphers are used to denote fingerboard positions. He follows that with a description of the difference between “Ziffer-tabulatur” and “Buchstaben-tabulatur,” which roughly correspond to what we are accustomed to label today as Italian and French tablature respectively. He observes:
“ . . . Becoming acquainted with the system of the lute’s tabulature, which also constitutes a kind of score, would require little effort: in history the instrument is not without interest; the authors of earlier times (and due to their reputation also some in recent times) have spoken thereof with some importance; and it would be a shame to our times, if we would adopt the praise, that the lutenists have let themselves be attributed with, and the mention of their products together with those of the actually musical literature, without being able to judge for ourselves; and if we would have to concede that those books, inherited together with old collections, have become unreadable hieroglyphics for us. . .”I am indebted to Brigitte Zaczek and Klaus Heim for their assistance in translating these quotes from Kiesewetter’s article.
Kiesewetter devotes much space to a general discussion of various genres of lute music, from Galilei to Weiss to Logi and to some problems in performance practice the sources indicate. He is certainly hostile to tablature as a notational system:
My opinion will always be that the thoroughly unsuccessful notation method—tablature, to which the lutenists were attached with orthodox stubbornness—was the insurmountable obstacle, because of which this instrument, even in the hands of able virtuosi (as I like to presume) and other well trained musicians, could not reach that perfection which it would have been more capable of than the guitar, so much less appreciated in the musical world, for which in modern times a S. Molitor and after him Mauro Giuliani have produced compositions, which can be considered to a certain degree as complete scores (though in only one staff)Kiesewetter, it should be notes, was not a stranger to Viennese guitar music. He was the dedicatee of the Serenade Op. 26 for flute, viola and guitar by Wenceslaus Matiegka, and surely would have … Continue reading*)
And then, in the footnote, Kiesewetter expresses his opinion regarding the guitarists’ manner of using a single staff:
*) If the lutenists had been able to decide to choose an appropriate clef for the range of the instrument and had used letters or numbers below the lines (as they actually did in the end) they could have succeeded to do so with only a single staff system, exactly as the guitarists of our time do, even though it would not have been a disgrace if they had decided to write in two staffs.
We can accept the last remark as a reflection of a mainstream musician’s predilection for piano style grand staff notation. It is also possible that Kiesewetter was aware of the various ideas regarding guitar grand staff notation first suggested by Charles Doisy in 1801, commented upon extensively by Scheidler in the AMZ the same year, and followed by Fernando Sor’s failed attempt to make use of it in his first edition of his Fantaisie Op. 7.For further details on this isusue, see: Matanya Ophee, “New Light on the So-called ’Modern’ Guitar Notation” in Guitar and Lute magazine, No. 27, March, 1983. See also: “Die Entstehung der … Continue reading
By 1831, the use of the single treble staff for guitar notation was so well established that the remark can only be interpreted as wishful thinking. In any case, nowhere in his article does Kiesewetter express his preference for the transcription of lute tablature in either single or double staff notation. If the very idea of transcription occurred to him, he does not discuss it.
The article ends with this provocative remark:
So wherein lies then the need, or the necessity of using tablature? — Mr. Mauro Giuliani had shown the lutenists, how, on a very similarly constructed instrument, the guitar, one may understand how to set down [the fingers] on all the frets and thus dispense with tablature.
This last remark is, at best, a rhetorical device designed to express a personal opinion on a theoretical area of interest, not on a living performance practice issue. In 1831, when this article was published, Mauro Giuliani was dead for two years, and even during his life time, there is no evidence that he ever met any lutenists, or that there were any lutenists active in his sphere of influence, the Italy-Vienna axis, or that anyone, lutenist or guitarist, was using tablature. The rebirth of tablature was still almost a century in the future.
Remarkably, a short time after the appearance of the Kiesewetter article, one of his main antagonists, the Belgian musicologist François-Joseph Fétis, launched an attempt to revive the lute. This event took place took place during the course of the Concerts Historiques organized by Fétis in 1833.
For a concert on March 24th of that year, Fétis programmed a performance of a Concerto de Chambre for mandolin, lute, viola d’amore, 7-string basse de viole and harpsichord, that was supposedly published in Prague in 1698 by a Bohemian composer named Jean Strobach. There does not seem to be any reference for a musician named Jean, Johann, Gianni, Ivan, Ianni, Janos, Giovanni, or Juan Strobach in any of the usual sources. There are several musicians named Strobach in the Dlabacz dictionary of Bohemian musicians,Gottfried Johann Dlabacz, Allgemeines Historisches Künstler-Lexikon für Böhmen… Prague, 1815. Modern reprint by Georg Olms verlag, Hildesheim, 1973. but none of them were lutenists and none were named Johann. In the Bibliographie Universelle, Fétis described this concerto, without being very specific about the identity of the composer. He said:
. . . the celebrated guitarist Sor has had the patience to make a special study of the lute in order to perform the obbligato part of this instrument, for which I have transcribed the tablature for him . . .François-Joseph Fétis, Bibliographie Universelle de Musiciens, 1841, “Strobach” entry.
Allegedly, then, the lute part is a transcription from tablature for the baroque lute. The manuscript from which this page is taken is kept today at the Royal College of Music in London.I am indebted to Tim Crawford for directing me to this source. The hand writing is in no way similar to the known musical orthography of either Fétis or Sor. Thus, it is most probably a copyist’s work which may have been done in preparation for the performance in 1833, or may have been copied at any time since then. In other words, it may have been a fraud either perpetrated by Fétis in 1833, or by some unknown person, as a subterfuge based on the information published by Fétis. While Fétis, or whoever else had a hand in this, used the same grand staff presentation employed earlier by Perrine, this is clearly not a transcription for harpsichord but rather a literal transcription for the lute, pretty much along the same lines used a century later by Leo Schrade.
The Concerts Historiques included many pieces requiring the employment of plucked instruments.See: Robert Wangermée, François-Joseph Fétis Musicologue et Compositeur, Bruxelles, 1951, p. 305. A direct linkage to Fernando Sor’s favorite disciple Napoléon Coste, is the very last piece performed in the 5th concert in 1835. This was La Romanesca in a setting by Pierre Baillot for violin, accompanied by violes, basses de violes and guitar, described in the program as a Fameux Air de Danse de la fin du seizième siècle.Pierre Baillot (1771-1842), LA / ROMANESCA / Fameux Air de Danse / de la fin du XVIe. Siécle … 6. Violon avec acc. de 2 Violons, Viole, Violoncell / et Guitare obligeé… PARIS: CHOUDENS, … Continue reading
Just one year later, Coste published this arrangement of La Romanesca, using the same text of the program as his subtitle.Napoléon Coste (1805-1881) La Romanesca / Fameux Air de Danse de la fin du 16ème Siècle. / Arrangée pour la Guitare par Nap. COSTE. / A Paris chez S. Richault, Editeur de Musique, Boulevarde … Continue reading
The arrangement may be based on an original sixteenth century source. It may also be a contemporary production. It is not clear if the time signature is derived from some lute original, or is an invention by Baillot. Coste uses an interpretive transcription based on a three-voice polyphonic representation. In 1851, Coste published the first known transcription of pieces by Robert de Visée.In: MÉTHODE / complète / pour la / GUITARE / par / FERDINAND SOR, / rédigée / et augmentée / de nombreux exemplaires et leçons, suivi d’une notice sur la 7e. Corde / par / N. COSTE. Paris, … Continue reading
Once again, he uses a three-voice polyphony. With some minor exceptions, there is no horizontal displacement of notes in the middle voice. When there are vertical space constraints, the presentation of polyphony is achieved by manipulating stem direction and length, sometimes in the middle of the phrase, or the notes are grouped on one stem. This is a practical mode of transcription, allowing an easily readable rendition of the music. It employs a basic representation of the polyphony and voice leading, without an over fastidious theoretical elaboration. Moreover, this is precisely the mode of guitar notation used by Coste’s teacher Fernando Sor, in his several transcriptions of choral music. A good example of Sor’s notation is in this Marche Religieuse from Sor’s Op. 19:
Clearly, the ideas regarding grand staff notation for guitar which circulated in the early decades of the century, and as we mentioned before, were the concerns of Coste’s teacher Fernando Sor at one point, were by this time largely forgotten. Transcribing seventeenth century guitar music in the nineteenth century, would naturally prompt the use of nineteenth century notational practices. It is doubtful that guitarists active then in the major musical capitals of Europe would have paid the least attention to Kiesewetter’s musings on the subject, even if they read them.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, a fertile ground for a renewed interest in lute music of the past was provided by the many guitar societies active in Europe, the United States and Russia. These societies maintained a close net-work of enlightened amateurs in many different countries. Many publishers targeted these societies and their members as a ready made market for printed music ranging from salon music to concert works and the occasional transcription of lute music.
This work by Oscar Chilesotti, was published in 1879Datable to 1879 by reference to the Ricordi Plate Number list in: James J. Fuld, The book of World Famous Music, New York, 1971. by Ricordi and distributed all over the world, as obvious from the commercial stamp of the G. Schirmer company in New York where this copy was sold. A precise source was not given, but taking Chilesotti’s at his word, we can assume it was an early seventeenth century lute piece.I would be grateful for a precise identification of the source. A closer look, (bottom line for example), reveals a detailed three voice polyphony. As conventional guitar writing of the time would have it, notes of different durations are placed together on one stem with no horizontal displacement.
A keen interest in the heritage of the lute began to take place among academic writers. In 1874 Wilhelm Joseph von WasielewskiWilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski, Geschichte der Instrumentalmusik im XVI Jahrhundert, Berlin, 1878. published a number of lute transcriptions as musical examples in his book on instrumental music history.
This interpretive transcription in a four-voice polyphony emulates piano writing, yet is perfectly playable on the lute.
Interest in the lute on a more immediate level, was evident in the German guitar societies of the time. The cult of the German lute preordained an investigation of earlier sources. While the instrument was in fact a guitar, the lute shape of its body evoked images of past glory and forgotten traditions. The middle class amateurs belonging to these societies had a vague idea about the real history of the lute, but they wanted more. This demand was answered by Chilesotti’s Da Un Codice, published in 1890 in Leipzig by Breitkopf & Härtel.Da un Codice / Lauten-Buch / del Cinquecento / trascrizioni in notazione moderna / di / Oscar Chilesotti. Lipsia, Breitkopf & Härtel. Pl. No. 18821. Copy of the original 1890 edition is in my … Continue reading
Chilesotti’s mode of transcription is similar to that of Napoléon Coste’s three voice polyphony. It is important to note that, per facilità di trascrizione e di notazione, [for the purpose of simplifying the transcription and the notation] Chilesotti had chosen not to use piano notation, but rather the common notation for the guitar. Yet, this is not a transcription, or an arrangement for the guitar. It is lute music, only written on a single staff with a transposition interval of a major sixth, thus emulating the fingerboard topography of both the renaissance lute and the guitar. In some of the pieces the displacement of chordal notes belonging to different voices is present but concealed by a shortening of the stems. In other pieces, there is no displacement at all, and notes of different durations are grouped together on one stem. Either way, there is no confusion as to the intended voice leading, since the information about the duration of the note does not reside in the stem alone, but rather in the shape of the note head and the attached dotting, flags and beams. The music is specifically transcribed for a seven-string lute, the kind Chilesotti himself designed and played.
Oscar Chilesotti was a man in the full old world tradition of the Amateur Distingué, a lawyer by profession, a curious and indefatigable researcher in many fields of human endeavour, chief among them was the research, practice and performance of music for the guitar and the lute. An interesting aspect of Chilesotti’s intellectual pursuits was his devotion to the teachings of Herbert Spencer. These theoretical and philosophical considerations, then, would have been the main force behind Chilesotti’s activities as a musician. He began transcribing lute music already in the 1870s, appeared in concert many times playing the guitar and also the lute. There is an interesting photograph of the «Orchestra arcaica», an Early Music group organized by Chilesotti, in their Historical Concert in May 24, 1889 in Rome, i.e., a few months before the publication of da un Codice. The group of musicians with their instruments includes a harp, a harpsichord, a mandolin, violin, a chitarrone, a bass viol, a baroque guitar, a rebec, a conductor with conducting stick in hand, and Chilesotti himself, sitting with his lute.See: Stefano Toffolo, Oscar Chilesotti 1848-1916 Un intelletuale veneto tra cultura e musica, S. Pietro in Cariano: Gabrielli Editori, 1998.
Clearly, it is a seven course lute, single strung, with guitar machine heads and metal frets. These particulars, at a time that the very instrument and its literature were entirely forgotten and only known to a few select devotees, were of no significance. The issue, so it seems, was to raise the lute from the abyss of oblivion and the ends, the fact that the most likely audience for this music would be the large number of active guitarists, justified whatever means were necessary. In view of his philosophical attachment to the teachings of Herbert Spencer, it appears natural that Chilesotti would design a new kind of lute, one capable of attracting new converts while presenting the old music in a more or less genuine fashion.
Da Un Codice may have been still in circulation in 1905, when the same publisher reissued parts of it in a fully edited arrangement by Heinrich Scherrer.Da un Codice / Lauten-Buch / del Cinquecento / trascrizioni in notazione moderna / di / Oscar Chilesotti / Ausgewählte Perlen / für die Guitarre eingerichtet / von / Heinrich Scherrer / k. bayer. … Continue reading
The arrangement consists of an addition of tempo indications, dynamic markings, guitar fingering, articulation signs and a full write-up of Chilesotti’s repeats. Nevertheless, Scherrer’s style of notation closely emulates the Sor/Coste standard by grouping notes of different durations on the same stem. We must observe that the mere fact that the Scherrer version was published, supports the notion that the 1890 original edition of da un Codice was not meant to be played by the average guitarist, but rather by those who had access to lutes, or at least to seven-string guitars.
At about the same time, Breitkopf & Härtel published the transcriptions of vihuela music by the Count Guillermo Morphy.Guillermo Morphy, Les Luthists espagnoles du XVIe Siècle (Die spanischen Lautenmeister des 16, Jahrhunderts), mit 5 Tafeln und einem Vorwort von F.A. Gevaert. Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, 1902. The work was actually begun in 1868 by the Belgian musicologist François-August Gevaert, who succeeded Fétis as director of the Brussels Conservatory. Morphy had worked on this project until 1897. It was finally brought to press posthumously by his daughter in 1902.
Morphy’s transcription is obviously literal, circumventing the left-hand/right hand paradigm of the piano as used by Wasielewski. Neither Morphy nor Gevaert discuss their motivation for choosing this mode of transcription. Perhaps it was suggested to them by Fétis, who was still alive when the project was first undertaken. There is no indication in the book that either of them was aware of the work of Chilesotti. The latter, on the other hand, knew Morphy’s work well.
In his article “Notes sur les tablatures de luth et de Guitare”Oscar Chilesotti, “Notes sur les tablatures de luth et de Guitare, XVIe et XVIIe Siècle” in Encyclopédie de la Musique et Dictionnaire du Conservatoire de Paris, A. Lavignac (ed.) Ier … Continue reading Chilesotti takes aim at Morphy’s transcription:
In my opinion, there is much to regret in the transcriptions of Mr. Morphy. . . a certain thoughtlessness as to modern musical notation, which should have been very precise in order to show very clearly the true disposition of the ancient polyphony. . .
Chilesotti thus expresses a declared preference for interpretive transcription. This attention to the question of polyphony must have been a reaction to the work of the Commission of Study of Lute Music organized in 1907 by Jules Ecorcheville as president of the French branch of the Société International de Musique.Jules Ecorcheville, “Le Luth et sa Musique,” Bulletin français de la S.I.M., Vol. 4, 1908, 131-64.
His discussion of the issues of tablature transcriptions is extensive. He points out, several times, that the main advantage of tablature over pitch notation is that it does not limit the lutenist to any specific tonality. One may well change the tuning and play the piece in F-sharp Major, if one so wishes, as the actual pitch level of the lute was not as fixed as it was in other instruments. Already in 1908, he points out that there are two schools of thought on the subject. One which “ . . . would like to maintain the fragmentary aspect of the tablature . . .” and the other which “ . . . understands [the need] to conform to the demands of a proper musical writing . . .” The example that follows depicts the two approaches to transcription. (Ecorchevile p. 138).
As we can see, the first example is a literal transcription, exactly the kind used by Morphy in 1902 and by Leo Schrade two decades later, and the second is an interpretive transcription, of the type used by more recent transcribers such as Arthur Ness, Masakata Kanazawa and Charles Jacobs. There is no doubt where Ecorcheville’s own sympathies lay. He also added to his article a lengthy musical supplement, consisting of keyboard transcriptions of lute music by Francesco da Milano, Pinel and Gauthier. He states that these transcriptions were performed, on both the harpsichord and the piano, on February 6, 1908, by Mme. C. Laloy-Babaïan.
Ecorcheville, so it seems, did not found it necessary to abide by the rules of fidelity to the original we are accustomed to consider today. His transcription is not only interpretive in that it realizes the polyphony and separates the voices, it also makes the kind of modifications more common in a free arrangement. He introduces metronome markings, dynamics, phrase marks and the kind of expressive directions one would have found, in about the same time frame, in the music of Debussy. It is not quite clear if Ecorcheville’s choice of the mode of transcription was dictated by his personal convictions or by the exigencies of the musician/performer available to him for a particular concert. It would appear that in 1908, there were no practicing lutenists in Paris, and there was no contact between the emerging forces of French musicology, the people who took on themselves the research into the history of the lute in France, and French guitarists such as Alfred Cottin, David del Castillo, Jacques Bosch and others who might have been interested in examining lute literature. In any case, the article was written in preparation for the Third Congress of the International Society of Music (SIM) in Vienna, an event which was to take place the following year, and, so Ecorcheville tells us, discussions regarding a session on the transcription of lute tablature were already under way among many interested colleagues.
For the purpose of this discussion, a formal Lute Commission was formed, chaired by Jules Ecorcheville, also included were Oscar Chilesotti, Alicja Simon, Egon Wellesz, Adolf Koczirz, Johannes Wolf and others. The published report of the congress is a rather extensive document, including the entire program, and quite a large number of abstracts and what appears to be the full text of some papers.III. Kongreß der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft, Wien, 25. Bis 29. Mai 1909. Sektion Ie. (Lautenmusik), Vienna, Artaria & Co., 1909, 211-23. Of interest to us is the extensive paper read by Adolf Koczirz titled: “Über die Notwendigkeit eines einheitlichen, wissenschaftlichen instrumentaltechnischen Forderungen entsprechenden Systems in der Übertragung von Lautentabulaturen.” (On the necessity for standardized scientific instrumental/technical requirements suitable for the transcription of lute tablature).
Besides going over the history of the subject, Koczirz launches a vicious attack on Chilesotti’s mode of single-staff transcription, specifically mentioning the 1890 publication of da un Codice. In his opinion, the methodology was faulty, because the original tuning of the lute was G-C-f-a-d-g, and Chilesotti raised it by a major sixth to E-A-d-f-sharp-b-e, which is, with the exception of the major third in the middle, the tuning of the guitar. (Emphasis in the original). He further concludes that Chilesotti’s work was not a true transcription, but rather an arrangement for guitar. (Again emphasized in the original). Somehow, he forgot to mention that Ecorcheville’s transcriptions, published only a year before, were also not a true scientific transcription but rather an arrangement on a far more perfidious level than Chilesotti’s. The latter did not use metronome markings, dynamics and Debussy-like expression statements.
Koczirz did not seem to have read what Ecorcheville had written about the lute’s pitch level, and his argumentation was based mainly on a transparent disdain for the guitar and specifically, the Pseudolautenisten in Munich such as Heinrich Scherrer to whom he refers by name, mentioning his re-transcriptions of Chilesotti’s work. One can imagine what sort of discussions took place at the event, in open session or privately, when both Chilesotti and Ecorcheville were present. Be that as it may, the lines in the sand were already drawn.
A full, official report of the lute committee was published in 1912. It opens with a eulogy of the researchers who had opened the way:
The study of tablatures is a recent thing. Modern history, preceded by Dr. Kiesewetter, and encouraged by valiant researchers such as Michel Brenet. Oswald Koerte, Oscar Chilesotti, finally penetrates resolutely and methodically in this open domain of musicology.Kommission für Erforschung der Lautenmusik. Avant Propo. Zeitschrift der Internationalen Musikgeselleschaft, Heft. 1., Vierzehnter Jarhgang, 1912, 1-8.
It is ironic that the invocation of Kiesewetter’s name failed to note his respect and admiration for the guitarists of his time, two of whom he mentioned by name—Simon Molitor and Mauro Giuliani. The report deals with the many subjects discussed during the conference, from history, to bibliography, to preservation to transcription. Not a word about the possible revival of the lute as a living culture.
The mandate this Commission set out for itself was awe-inspiring. They were planning to establish a complete data-base of all available lute sources, and to embark on a transcription program which will convert the entire heritage of the lute into pitch notation thus making it available to the rest of the musical world. For this, they had to come to grips with the problems involved in transcription. Thus, the section on transcription is the most extensive in the report, indicating that this was the main topic of discussion during the deliberations of the Commission. The text seems to be a compromise of the different factions, giving a little bit to each, suggesting that the model should be the one presented by the Austrian and German Denkm¨ler, and at the same suggesting that the purpose of transcription is to: “ . . . regain the honor, if possible, [my emphasis] of the ancient instruments such as the guitar and the lute, by offering professionals the scientific elements of this restoration . . .” The report does not specify who are those professionals to whom this work is, or will be offered.
Tablature and music are two different equivalents of the same auditive reality. . . Our principle, then, was this: the transcribed piece must be this that would result from its direct notation when heard performed from the tablature . . .
I. General principles.
Tablature is the notation of a manual practice, while our pitch notation is the realization of an auditive phenomenon. The transcription, then, consists here in transforming the signs used for a physical execution in an idealized graphic representation, to talk to the intelligence instead of talking to the fingers, at the same time taking into account the instrumental technique which the tablatures represent, and of the conventions on which our usual notation rest.
The work transcribed into pitch notation must be musical, that is to say, intelligible to the musician to whom it is addressed. On the other hand, it must conserve to the scholar all the elements which make up the music when it was still in tablature. The transcriber must then reconcile the following principles:
1º) That his musical text was the faithful notation of the work as it would have sounded on the instrument when played from the tablature.
2º) That, with the aid of a proper [critical] apparatus, the essential characteristics of the transcribed tablature are protected.
Then the report goes into myriad technical matters, deciding that transcription should be made, as much as possible, on grand-staff systems and that in the case of polyphonic pieces, the top staff, treble or alto, should carry the higher voices, and the staff with the bass clef should carry the lower voices. Except that when there is no transposition (?) of the original in existence, one might use a single staff. Also, when transcribing guitar tablatures, it is permissible to use the notation employed by guitarists for this instrument today. The report goes further into some arcane details of formalized transcription, but it seems that except the members of the Commission who wrote it, no one paid attention to it.
In the popular market for the German lute, transcribers such as Hans Dagobert Bruger and others continued to use Chilesotti’s methodology with various degrees of complexity of notation. Scholars such as Adolf Koczirz and Johannes Wolf followed the Commission’s recommendations more closely, since, obviously, these recommendations were mainly based on Koczirz’ own ideas as expressed in his 1909 paper. Nevertheless, it appears that in their own work, some of these transcribers, Johannes Wolf for example, allowed themselves to ignore the principle that “[the] musical text was the faithful notation of the work as it would have sounded on the instrument when played from the tablature” and even enhanced their transcriptions with their own imagination of what the polyphony could have been, had the music been written for the piano.
The transcription of the fifth measure in this example from the Wolf book,Johannes Wolf, Handbuch der Notationskunde, Vol. II, Chapter 2. Leipzig: 1919. Reprint by Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim: 1963. can be easily played on the piano. But if you try to sustain the A of the fourth course for the full indicated value on the vihuela, the lute or the guitar, you will come to the obvious conclusion that Herr Wolf was indulging in what Thomas Heck once called wishful thinking—a theoretically correct polyphony which can be demonstrated on the piano, but never possible on the original instrument.Thomas F. Heck, “Luis de Milán. El Maestro, Edited, Translated and Transcribed by Charles Jacobs,” 1971. Review in JAMS, XXV, No. 3, (1972). Koczirz himself was a bit more circumspect in his transcriptions. Nevertheless, as we can see in this example, his writing style was driven by the keyboard’s LH-RH paradigm, and not by the lute’s physical attributes. Suggesting that this transcription is meant to be played on the lute, by stating so at the beginning and by adding course and position markers, is a misrepresentation of the notation.Adolf Koczirz, “Österreichische Lautenmusik zwischen 1650 und 1720,” in Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich, Jahrg. XXV.
These academic squalls in a goulash soup bowl did no go unnoticed elsewhere. In his Cancionero Musical Popular Español,Felipe Pedrell published a considerable number of transcriptions from the vihuela and Spanish baroque guitar literature. Many of those, like the pieces from El Maestro by Luis Milan, are plainly free arrangements for piano, with sometimes little resemblance to the original tablature. Here is for example, a transcription for piano of the famous Españoleta from Gaspar Sanz’ Instrucción.Felipe Pedrell, Cancionero Musical Popular Español, Valls, Cataluña: Eduardo Castells, 1922. Tomo Cuatro, p. 143.
This is not a practical transcription meant to be played in public, on either the piano or the guitar. It is an exercise in academic interpretation as part of a larger compilation of folk tunes, where faithfulness to the instrumental intricacies of the original are of no concern. One cannot even begin to imagine how this transcription might have looked like, if Pedrell had considered the possibility that Sanz’ guitar was tuned in re-entrant! What we have in front of us here, the earliest known transcription of pieces by Sanz, by the way, is a demonstration of a transcription which totally disregard the technical aspects of the original instrument. Whether Pedrell was familiar with the 1909 Lute Conference and its edicts regarding transcription, or had come to this methodology all by himself, his transcription reflects the same academic disregard to the technical possibilities of the original instrument that we have seen in the work of Wolf and Koczirz, and in many other academic transcribers until quite recent times.
Leo Schrade’s motivation in proposing his version of the literal transcription was based on the idea that a notational system must be directly related to the instrument for which it was originally intended, even if the symbols used have changed. This corresponded exactly to the principle expressed by the 1909 Commission report. His idea was mainly a reaction to the theoretical extravagance taken by some interpretive transcribers in the piano manner, and to the convolutions demonstrated by single staff transcribers, and in particular, Hans Dagobert Bruger. Here is a transcription by Bruger of the Fantasia No. 25 by Fuenllana.Hans Dagobert Bruger, Schule des Lautenspiels, Georg Kallmeyer Verlag, Wolfenbüttel, 1924.
Theoretically speaking, it might be possible to bring out the four voices depicted here with some degree of clarity, though I am not sure why it was necessary to indulge in this degree of picayune pedantry in notating them. If the idea was to prove that it is possible to portray a full four voice polyphony on a single staff, Bruger only succeeded in giving ammunition to those who argue for double-staff transcriptions. Had he considered the possibility that knowledgeable players would be able to realize the correct polyphony, even if they were not offered this degree of pretentious niggle, he might have produced something more readable. When we see this type of affectation, we must admit that Leo Schrade may have had a point.Libro de musica de vihuela compuesto por Luis Milan, in der Originalnotation und einer Übertragung herausgegeben von Leo Schrade. Leipzig: Brietkopf und Hãrtel, 1927.
The point was amazing in its simplicity. The original tablature assumes that the knowledgeable player can, and will realize the inherent polyphony extemporaneously. When one knows the style of the period, and is familiar with the basic tenets of lute technique, voice leading and polyphonic realizations become a second nature. Let us, then, simply replace the tablature’s ciphers, letters or numbers, with a musical notation which duplicates all the elements of the original tablature as to pitch and duration, without forcing on the reader an idealized polyphonic realization which may or may not be indicated in the original. Thus, reading the new, stick type notation, would still require the player to be knowledgeable and to realize the polyphony extemporaneously, without having to be spoon-fed by a transcriber. As we have seen in the 1908 example from the Ecorcheville article, Schrade was not the first one to use this system. He simply chose a known methodology which worked well for lutenists.
It did not work well for scholars who did not play the lute. Obviously, the system seems rather awkward as keyboard notation, and of course, it was not keyboard notation at all, but rather music for the vihuela notated in normal musical notation. Since many of the scholars who were busy researching the lute’s repertoire at the time, were not active lutenists, the usage of a grand-staff for any other instrument other than their cherished pianos was almost blasphemous. In the 1920s and 30s, practicing lutenists, people who played double-strung lutes tuned in a nominal G tuning, gut frets or metal, were an endangered species of which only a few isolated specimens subsisted in widely isolated habitats. There were many more non-playing lute scholars, and they were not happy with the Schrade notation.
The main argument expressed by Otto Gombosi in his 1931 review of the Schrade book,Otto Gombosi, “Milan, Luys, Musikalische Werke. In der Originalnotation und einer Übertragung hrsg. von Leo Schrade.” Review in Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft, Vol. XIV, p. 185. 1931. was that the transcriber completely ignored the alleged recommendations of the 1909 Commission that scholarly transcription must be completely removed from a dependence on the topography of the lute’s fingerboard or its technique, and that an elaboration of the polyphony must allow that each note in a given voice be sustained as long as possible, provided that: 1) it appears to be musically logical, 2) it does not continue through a rest, 3) voices do not cross each other, and, 4) a voice does not cross a string which is already occupied by another voice. I have not been able to trace any of these ideas in the available literature of the 1909 Commission. Is it possible, then, that these ideas must have been formulated by Gombosi himself? Here is for example, a page from the Capirola lute book transcribed by Gombosi.
It is clear from the tablature that both the B and the F cannot be sustained for more than a dotted eighth, yet Gombosi assigns to them decidedly ostentatious durations. It’s a clever invention, but it cannot be played on the lute. It cannot be played on the piano either. One would need to employ a string quartet to give the correct duration to all the voices in this fragment.
This aspect of formal transcription by people who cannot play the lute was taken up by Michel Podolski and André Souris in the 1957 Neuilly-sur-Seine Colloquy. Souris tells us:
The obsession with duration, in the attitude of certain transcribers, is such that it adulterates the very idea of the sound of the plucked string . . . When applied systematically, this conception leads to a “polyphonic” redaction of the several voices, where the duration of the sound depends only on melodic shifts, i.e., a typically vocal redaction which totally ignores the possibilities of the lute . . . André Souris, “Tablature et Syntax. Remarques sur le probleme de la transcription des tablatures de luth.” Le Luth et Sa Musique, Neuilly-sur-Seine, 10-14 septembre 1957. Etudes réunies et … Continue reading
Evidently, this is a point of view which recognizes that Capirola is not Palestrina and Dufaut is not Dufay. Many scholarly transcribers since 1957 ignored this malediction, preferring to follow Gombosi’s doctrine, whether the result can be played on the lute or not. This is to say that Sacred Cows can have a strong seductive power, even when they are really doltish female bovine. I would be remiss if I did not also point out that the Gombosi tidal wave was mainly a Western European and American phenomenon. Transcribers of lute music in Eastern block countries adhered to Schrade’s system as late as the 1980s. Here is, for example, a page from the elusive Lviv manuscript.Tri Fantazii dlia liutni z L’vivskoi tabulaturi XVI st. Rozshifrovka i transkriptsia dlia strunogo orkestry M. Skorika. (Three Fantasies from the 16th century Lviv tablature, transcribed and … Continue reading
The 1956 Neuilly-sur-Seine Colloquy report also contains an interesting article by Michel PodolskiMichel Podolski, “A la recherche d’une méthode de transcription formelle des tablatures de luth” in Le Luth et Sa Musique, op. Cit. pp. 278-84. in which he examines the virtues and faults of various methods of transcription, i.e., grand-staff interpretive transcription (which he refers to as formal), single-staff transcription an octave higher that actual sound, and single-staff transcription at a transposition interval of a major sixth higher (which he refers to as guitar transcription). Like Koczirz before him, Podolski does not discuss, and does not take into account the fact that the nominal pitch of G, either at what purports to be the original register, or the octave transposition thereof, is nothing more than a formal convenience which does not necessarily represent the actual pitch level produced by the ancients. If, for example, the actual G pitch of the lute was based on an A=415hz, the transcription for guitar, when played on a guitar tuned in A=440 would be much closer to the original pitch level than a transcription for keyboard tuned at the same reference pitch. And as Ecorcheville already pointed out in 1908, the actual pitch level, or tonality if you will, is always an unknown. Therefore, any comparative choice of a transcription system based on the idea that one is better than another only because it gives a more accurate representation of the original tonality, is logically faulty. Podolski, to his credit, also discusses the issue of legibility and he seems to prefer single-staff notation. He also makes an interesting proposal which allows for two different kind of transcriptions, depending on whether the transcriber is a player or a non-player scholar.
Another interesting narrative which bears on this subject, was the round table discussion at Neuilly-sur-Seine. The participants were Leeb, Dart, Binkley, Dorfmüller and Podolski. Their ideas regarding the subject of transcription methodology, cover the entire gamut of opinions so far expressed since 1833.
A similar reiteration of these ideas occurred in the 1974 Chicago meeting of the American Musicological Society, November 10, 1973, in a session organized by Thomas F. Heck.Thomas F. Heck, Lute Music: “Tablatures, Textures and Transcriptions” in Journal of the Lute Society of America, 1974, Vol. VII. Pp. 19-30. The session included editors of recently published transcriptions of lute music and reviewers of the same, invited by the organizer. The idea of such a colloquium was obviously motivated by the Podolski article mentioned above and so stated in the organizer’s report. The first question posed to the participants was this:
Subsequent to the “Luth et sa musique” colloquium of 1958 (v. Podolski article), the scholarly community has been in general agreement that lute transcriptions should be “interpretive” (not literal, as Schrade had recommended earlier) and appear in keyboard notation with parallel tablature. Yet a persistent and respectable minority still transcribe for classic guitar. What is your position today, in brief, with respect to scholarly editions? Can transcriptions on one staff (for guitar) be satisfactory? Are two-staff (keyboard) transcriptions always preferable?
Addressing this question, in 1973, to people who during the previous few years had published various transcriptions of lute music, would obviously elicit from each the same viewpoint which guided him or her in making their transcriptions. The scholars involved were more or less equally divided between non-playing scholars on the in hand, and active guitarists on the other hand. The first group consisted of Charles G. Jacobs, editor of El Maestro by Luis Milan, Masakata Kanazawa, editor of the complete works of Anthony Holborne, Carol MacClintock, editor of the Bottegari Lutebook, Arthur J. Ness, editor of the complete works of Francesco da Milano (double-staff transcription). The second group consisted of Ruggero Chiesa, editor of the complete works of Francesco da Milano (single-staff transcription) and many other transcriptions, Peter Danner, archivist of the Lute Society of America, music editor, and reviewer, Thomas F. Heck, archivist of the Guitar Foundation of America, music editor, and reviewer, and Robert Strizich, editor of the complete works of Robert de Visée.
The non-playing scholars, invariably, voted for double staff transcription, with some allowances for special thin textures that might work well on a single staff. It was some of the active guitarists who gave, in my opinion, the more coherent and well-founded justifications for their choice. Peter Danner said:
“Transcription” here has two meanings: from one notational system to another and from one instrument to another. Editions must never be divorced from music’s purpose: performance. The guitar is closer to the spirit of the Renaissance lute than keyboard. . . . . Insistence on keyboard transcriptions is based more on fashion than necessity. Two-staff notation usually implies two separate tactile functions as in piano music where each hand is notated separately. . . Thus, a two-staff transcription may actually give a misleading impression of the performing procedure. . . .
Robert Strizich said:
. . . . A keyboard transcription is of use only to the musicologist, whereas an accurate guitar transcription serves both guitarist and scholar. . . .
Ruggero Chiesa said:
I think that transcription on one staff (for guitar) is preferable for two principal reasons: to favor the great majority of lute players who, at least in Europe, come from the study of the guitar (thus interesting at the same time all the guitarists) and to maintain the musical notation only on one system (as the tablature).
The second question asked of the participants, goes to the core of the debate which has been going on since the 1909 Vienna SIM Lute Commission. It was this:
Should a modern editor transcribe lute tablature at the level of notation, as a theoretical exercise, or should he try to project through his transcription the sound that would be heard if an expert lutenist played the tablature? In other words, should the peculiarities of the lute and its playing technique be reflected in the scholarly transcription?
Charles Jacobs had this to say:
In my opinion the logic (that is, sense) of the music supersedes all considerations, including those of limitations of the instrument and its technique. [my emphasis!] The composer’s imagination is not necessarily limited by the limitations of his instrument (or an instrument).
I am not sure how Mr. Jacobs could have reached any conclusions about the composer’s imagination, the latter being a few centuries in the grave. Obviously, this must be either a misprint in the report, or a Freudian slip by Mr. Jacobs. Did he mean to say the transcriber’s imagination is not necessarily limited by the limitations of the instrument he is transcribing?
A more reasonable attitude was presented by Arthur Ness who said:
If the tablature is provided, it might be preferable to show the contrapuntal basis for the intabulation-to the extent that the transcription does not thereby misrepresent completely the sounds produced on the lute. A compromise is possible and advisable.
Yes indeed: a compromise is possible and advisable. Nevertheless, many passages in Ness’ 1970 transcription of the works of Francesco da Milano do not exhibit this degree of compromise.The Lute Music of Francesco Canova da Milano (1497-1543), Edited by Arthur J. Ness, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1970. P. 94. Here is one example that was the subject of lengthy thread on the lute mailing list:
This is quite hard if both a’s and the c (assuming g lute) are tied, when g goes to f sharp! . . . To let the bass stop (first finger jumps from lower a to f sharp) feels good, but is clearly against the rule of tying . . . Arto Wikla, message posted on Jul 30, 1998.
I am not sure I know what Arto Wikla referred to as the “rule of tying” but it is easy to surmise that he meant something about the need to sustain the notes to their full written duration. If so, then the problem does not lie in the original tablature, but in the transcriber’s choice of note duration. A proper transcription which recognizes the limitations imposed by the instrument and by the human hand, might be one in which the bass note is notated as an eighth, with a corresponding rest on the following down beat. It might be that the transcriber did not mean his notation to be taken literally. But there is nothing in his Editorial Procedure section of the Introduction to his book which allows this. Obviously, Mr. Wikla, and a few other practicing lutenists, found this passage difficult to play, if not unplayable as written. This is not the place for a complete compendium of unplayable passages in this, or in other works published by members of the 1974 colloquium. But the point is that a transcriber is always faced with a conscious choice on how to proceed. Sometimes, adherence to a given philosophical or political sentiment, becomes more important in making editorial decision than the need to produce a usable transcription.
Here are a few more relevant opinions from the guitarists side of the group:
Strizich—Even if an editor is not a lutenist, he should learn about the capabilities of the instrument and try to take them into account. A transcription must be “interpretive,” but should reflect the way the music would sound if played by an expert performer; it should not be a theoretical exercise. Modern keyboard transcriptions often “overdo” voice-leading and thereby actually present a distorted picture of the music.
Danner—The transcription should reflect the peculiarities of the lute (not add anything), but not to the point of obstructing legibility. Staff notation is not a description of the music, but a prescription of a procedure from which comes the music.
Heck—In principle I would recommend transcribing the sound. The editor must use his judgment in the matter of voice-leading and the duration of undampened strings. But notes that would be dampened in the course of performance on the lute should be reflected in the transcription by a skillful and tasteful use of rests. The page need not be unduly cluttered with rests.
Prior to the session, participants were given three tablature fragments and were asked to transcribe them. Here is one of them.
The JLSA article provides detailed analysis by Thomas Heck of these various approaches to the same piece of tablature. I will only add a short analysis of my own. The treble open string at beat 1 of the tablature, can only sound until the same string is struck again five digits later. Hence, the only transcriptions which portray a simple texture based on the actual sound produced are those by Kanazawa in the double-staff and Strizich and Danner in the single-staff.
The entire session, and the article which described it, as interesting as they are today as a historical document, do not seem to have made much of a difference in the publishing of lute music. The major scholars involved, MacClintock, Kanazawa, Ness and Jacobs, have not produced any major works since then. Perhaps the only person of the guitarists side who had produced anything of major proportions is Robert Strizich whose recent transcription of the Sanz book is a model of, to paraphrase Arthur Ness’ words, possible and advisable compromise. Outside this small group of scholars and editors, the rest of the world carried on as if this conference never took place. There were many different editions of transcribed music published since, some with the same tired epistemologies of the previous generations, some with totally off the wall ideas. No one seems to have adopted, for example, John W. Duarte’s transcription of the Varietie of Lute Lessons by Robert Dowland, made in collaboration with Diana Poulton, where he notated a theoretical voice which cannot possibly be sustained.Robert Dowland, Varietie of Lute-Lessons (1610). Transcribed by John W. Duarte and Diana Poulton. Ancona: Berbèn, 1971, Vol. IV, Fantasias, p. 17.
The cross hatching on the ties between the middle b’ notes in the alto voice, are meant to indicate, as the transcribers state in their preface, that indeed this voice is unplayable as notated. What exactly is accomplished by this notation escapes me altogether.
Another French Colloquy was assembled in the city of Tours in 1980. It included some of the same people who participated in the 1974 Chicago group, and a few European and American who did not. The general course of debate had achieved by this time a rather predictable polarity but with the absence of any guitarists, there was not much of a debate on the core issues of transcription. The only new element which had crept into the scene was a proposal made by Douglas Alton SmithDouglas Alton Smith, “Editing XVIIIth Century Lute Music: The works of Silvius leopold Weiss.” Le Luth et Sa Musique II, Tours, Centre d’Etudes Supérieurs de la renaissance 15-18 septembre … Continue reading to adopt the Kolhase system that uses the double staff format used by Schrade where there is only one ledger line between bass and treble, but with a limited degree of polyphonic elaboration, stressing readability and playability above a theoretical rectitude. The resulting transcription is actually quite similar to Strizich and Danner’s transcriptions of the sample in the Chicago group above, except that is spread on a grand-staff in stead of on a single-staff. Smith’ reasons for this choice was based, so he said, on the fact that any single staff transcription looks too much like guitar transcription and that’s not acceptable to him.
An interesting approach to lute transcription was proposed by Dieter Kirsch in his 1989 edition of the music of Santino Garci da Parma.Dieter Kirsch, (ed.) Santino Garci da Parma Lautenwerke, Gesamtausgabe in Tabluatur und Übertragung. Cologne, Gitarre & Laute, 1989.
The edition is not presented as a transcription for guitar, but rather as a transcription for lute which uses guitar notation. Kirsch achieved a unique blend of clarity and readability. As Chilesotti before him, Kirsch recognizes that information about note duration remains the same, even when notes of different durations occupy the same stem.
We all recognize the primordial role played by transcriptions in the efforts to familiarize the musical world with the treasures of this literature. Allow me to leave you with a wistful thought. Would it that lutenists themselves should come to grips with these problems. Perhaps it is up to musicians to throw a permanent bridge on the gulf which separates the lute from its public, and at the same time, respond to Perrine’s challenge that all musicians should speak the same language. But this is a question which exceeds the rather modest limits of this article.
Copyright © 2000 by Editions Orphée, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
|This article is an extended version of my paper on this subject given at the Le Luth en Occident colloquium in Paris, May, 1998. The article does not purport to be a complete history of transcription. Some sources, known by literary reference, were not available to me and attempts to secure them via Inter-library loans have not been successful. Should any one wish to refute conclusions made here and support their argument with such sources, I would be happy to post in this forum such articles with whatever graphic representation were needed.
|Perrine, Livre de Musique pour le Lut, Paris, 1679-82. This, and all subsequent translations are mine.
|Michel Brenet, Notes sur l’Histoire du Luth en France, Torino, 1899, p. 78.
|Campion identifies Maltot as his predecessor at the Academie Royale de Musique and as the inventor of the system of continuo accompaniment to which his book is dedicated. One of the pieces in Campion’s Nouvelles Decouvertes sur la Guitarre of 1705, a book Campion mentions in the quote, is a Tombeau for Monsieur Maltot.
|François Campion, Traité d’accompagnement et de composition selon la regle des octaves de musique…., Oeuvre second, Paris, 1716, Chez la Veuve G. Adam. p. 22. I am indebted to Alain Reiher for his assistance in translating this passage.
|F.W. Marpurg, Kritische Brief über die Tonkunst, I. Berlin: F.W. Birnstiel, 1760, p. 498. Quoted (in French translation) by Claude Chauvel, “Quelques aspects de la renaissance du luth dans les pays germaniques”, Luths et Luthistes en Occident, Actes du Colloque 13-15, Mai 1998. Paris, Cité de la Musique, 1999.
|See: Herfried Kier, Raphael Georg Kiesewetter (1773-1850) Wegbereiter des musikalischen Historismus. Regensburg: Gustave Bosse Verlag, 1968.
|Raphael Georg Kiesewetter, “Zweyter Artikel. Die Lauten-Tabulatur.” AMZ, No. 9, March 2, 1831, pp. 133-145.
|I am indebted to Brigitte Zaczek and Klaus Heim for their assistance in translating these quotes from Kiesewetter’s article.
|Kiesewetter, it should be notes, was not a stranger to Viennese guitar music. He was the dedicatee of the Serenade Op. 26 for flute, viola and guitar by Wenceslaus Matiegka, and surely would have been familiar with the other leading Viennese guitarists and their music. See: Matanya Ophee, Beethoven-Matiegka Serenade op. 8, Editions Orphée, Boston, 1980, preface. (In which I mentioned Kiesewetter’s interest in tablature).
|For further details on this isusue, see: Matanya Ophee, “New Light on the So-called ’Modern’ Guitar Notation” in Guitar and Lute magazine, No. 27, March, 1983. See also: “Die Entstehung der ’modernen’ Gitarrennotation in neuem Licht”, in Gitarre & Laute V/4, July-August, 1983.
|Gottfried Johann Dlabacz, Allgemeines Historisches Künstler-Lexikon für Böhmen… Prague, 1815. Modern reprint by Georg Olms verlag, Hildesheim, 1973.
|François-Joseph Fétis, Bibliographie Universelle de Musiciens, 1841, “Strobach” entry.
|I am indebted to Tim Crawford for directing me to this source.
|See: Robert Wangermée, François-Joseph Fétis Musicologue et Compositeur, Bruxelles, 1951, p. 305.
|Pierre Baillot (1771-1842), LA / ROMANESCA / Fameux Air de Danse / de la fin du XVIe. Siécle … 6. Violon avec acc. de 2 Violons, Viole, Violoncell / et Guitare obligeé… PARIS: CHOUDENS, Editeur, Pl.no. C. 211 (Nº 6), Copy in the Vahdah Olcott-Bickford collection, University of California at Northridge. (VOB 3659).
|Napoléon Coste (1805-1881) La Romanesca / Fameux Air de Danse de la fin du 16ème Siècle. / Arrangée pour la Guitare par Nap. COSTE. / A Paris chez S. Richault, Editeur de Musique, Boulevarde Poissonieres, Nº 16, au Premier. Pl. Nr. 3393.R.
|In: MÉTHODE / complète / pour la / GUITARE / par / FERDINAND SOR, / rédigée / et augmentée / de nombreux exemplaires et leçons, suivi d’une notice sur la 7e. Corde / par / N. COSTE. Paris, Schonenberger, Boulevard Poissonieres 23. Pl. Nr. 1726. Reprinted by Lemoine, Pl. Nr. 15655 HL.
|Datable to 1879 by reference to the Ricordi Plate Number list in: James J. Fuld, The book of World Famous Music, New York, 1971.
|I would be grateful for a precise identification of the source.
|Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski, Geschichte der Instrumentalmusik im XVI Jahrhundert, Berlin, 1878.
|Da un Codice / Lauten-Buch / del Cinquecento / trascrizioni in notazione moderna / di / Oscar Chilesotti. Lipsia, Breitkopf & Härtel. Pl. No. 18821. Copy of the original 1890 edition is in my collection.
|See: Stefano Toffolo, Oscar Chilesotti 1848-1916 Un intelletuale veneto tra cultura e musica, S. Pietro in Cariano: Gabrielli Editori, 1998.
|Da un Codice / Lauten-Buch / del Cinquecento / trascrizioni in notazione moderna / di / Oscar Chilesotti / Ausgewählte Perlen / für die Guitarre eingerichtet / von / Heinrich Scherrer / k. bayer. Kammermusiker. Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel. Pl. Nos. 25073/77. Copyright 1905.
|Guillermo Morphy, Les Luthists espagnoles du XVIe Siècle (Die spanischen Lautenmeister des 16, Jahrhunderts), mit 5 Tafeln und einem Vorwort von F.A. Gevaert. Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel, 1902.
|Oscar Chilesotti, “Notes sur les tablatures de luth et de Guitare, XVIe et XVIIe Siècle” in Encyclopédie de la Musique et Dictionnaire du Conservatoire de Paris, A. Lavignac (ed.) Ier partie, 1912, 6-84.
|Jules Ecorcheville, “Le Luth et sa Musique,” Bulletin français de la S.I.M., Vol. 4, 1908, 131-64.
|III. Kongreß der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft, Wien, 25. Bis 29. Mai 1909. Sektion Ie. (Lautenmusik), Vienna, Artaria & Co., 1909, 211-23.
|Kommission für Erforschung der Lautenmusik. Avant Propo. Zeitschrift der Internationalen Musikgeselleschaft, Heft. 1., Vierzehnter Jarhgang, 1912, 1-8.
|Johannes Wolf, Handbuch der Notationskunde, Vol. II, Chapter 2. Leipzig: 1919. Reprint by Georg Olms Verlag, Hildesheim: 1963.
|Thomas F. Heck, “Luis de Milán. El Maestro, Edited, Translated and Transcribed by Charles Jacobs,” 1971. Review in JAMS, XXV, No. 3, (1972).
|Adolf Koczirz, “Österreichische Lautenmusik zwischen 1650 und 1720,” in Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich, Jahrg. XXV.
|Felipe Pedrell, Cancionero Musical Popular Español, Valls, Cataluña: Eduardo Castells, 1922. Tomo Cuatro, p. 143.
|Hans Dagobert Bruger, Schule des Lautenspiels, Georg Kallmeyer Verlag, Wolfenbüttel, 1924.
|Libro de musica de vihuela compuesto por Luis Milan, in der Originalnotation und einer Übertragung herausgegeben von Leo Schrade. Leipzig: Brietkopf und Hãrtel, 1927.
|Otto Gombosi, “Milan, Luys, Musikalische Werke. In der Originalnotation und einer Übertragung hrsg. von Leo Schrade.” Review in Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft, Vol. XIV, p. 185. 1931.
|André Souris, “Tablature et Syntax. Remarques sur le probleme de la transcription des tablatures de luth.” Le Luth et Sa Musique, Neuilly-sur-Seine, 10-14 septembre 1957. Etudes réunies et présentées par Jean Jacquot. Paris, 1958. 285-89.
|Tri Fantazii dlia liutni z L’vivskoi tabulaturi XVI st. Rozshifrovka i transkriptsia dlia strunogo orkestry M. Skorika. (Three Fantasies from the 16th century Lviv tablature, transcribed and arranged for a string orchestra by M[iroslav]. Skorik. Kiev: Muzichna Ukraïna, 1981.
|Michel Podolski, “A la recherche d’une méthode de transcription formelle des tablatures de luth” in Le Luth et Sa Musique, op. Cit. pp. 278-84.
|Thomas F. Heck, Lute Music: “Tablatures, Textures and Transcriptions” in Journal of the Lute Society of America, 1974, Vol. VII. Pp. 19-30.
|The Lute Music of Francesco Canova da Milano (1497-1543), Edited by Arthur J. Ness, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1970. P. 94.
|Arto Wikla, message posted on Jul 30, 1998.
|Robert Dowland, Varietie of Lute-Lessons (1610). Transcribed by John W. Duarte and Diana Poulton. Ancona: Berbèn, 1971, Vol. IV, Fantasias, p. 17.
|Douglas Alton Smith, “Editing XVIIIth Century Lute Music: The works of Silvius leopold Weiss.” Le Luth et Sa Musique II, Tours, Centre d’Etudes Supérieurs de la renaissance 15-18 septembre 1980. Etudes réunies et présentées par Jean-Michel Vaccaro. Paris, 1984. 253-60.
|Dieter Kirsch, (ed.) Santino Garci da Parma Lautenwerke, Gesamtausgabe in Tabluatur und Übertragung. Cologne, Gitarre & Laute, 1989.