The Lute Works of John Johnson (Tablature) edited by John M. Ward

Published by Legacy of Matanya Ophee on

Editions Orphée, 1994

Errata List, compiled by Ron Andrico


The Lute Works of John Johnson represents another major contribution to lutenists on the part of John Ward, who has brought to light so many other important works for plucked strings. Likewise, Editions Orphée has done the growing ranks of lutenists an immeasurable service by publishing this high quality edition consisting of transcriptions into keyboard and guitar notation as well as lute tablature.

The tablature fascicle of The Lute Works of John Johnson joins several other important works such as A Varietie of Lute Lessons (Dowland, 1610) and Thesaurus Harmonicus (Besard, 1603) in falling victim to gremlins, introduced in the engraving and printing process and resulting in a number of misprints. To the seasoned lutenist, this should present no difficulty, since we are more than used to correcting errors in barely legible facsimiles as we play. As an aid in making the edition more easily usable, I have created the following errata list in the sincere hope that the edition will gain wider recognition as a Wne edition of important lute music.

Notes and Abbreviations

In developing the following errata list, I refrained from making any editorial decisions. That John Ward’s editorial choices are exemplary goes without saying. In cases where I compared questionable passages of music to the originals, Ward seems to have sorted out obvious errors but chose not to “improve” the music, thereby leaving such decisions up to the performer. Any additional errors introduced by this errata list are my own.

Most of the misprints in the tablature involve missing or misplaced rhythm symbols. I have attempted to clearly indicate the location of the misprint and to give the correct reading. The correct reading is based on comparison with the keyboard and guitar fascicles of the same edition, both of which are remarkably error-free, as well as reference to a facsimile of the source when necessary. I ignored redundant rhythm signs present in the tablature. The identifying number in the left column corresponds with the number of the piece in the Ward, 1994 edition. The editor’s original source is indicated in parentheses following the title in cases where more than one version is present in the edition.

Rhythm signs are described as single stroke (semibreve), 1-flag (minim), 2-flag (crochet), 3-flag (quaver) 4-flag (semiquaver). Placement of rhythm signs corresponds to the number of beats in the measure as indicated in the time signature for each piece in the Ward, 1994 edition. For example, when the piece is in common time, locating beat 3 in a measure that consists of all semiquavers (4-flags) requires counting the number of semiquavers equivalent to three minims in order to ascertain correct placement of the rhythm sign.

Placement of tablature ciphers on the stave is described with the tablature letter followed by the line number on the stave (equivalent to course number on the lute). For example, [a1] indicates an open 1st course notated on the top line of the stave, [h6] indicates the sixth course fretted at the seventh fret notated on the bottom line of the six-line stave. Vertically aligned tablature ciphers are described as chords for clarification. Many thanks to Rainer aus dem Spring for kindly drawing my attention to misprints I overlooked in 15b, the bandora setting by Holborne.

Copyright © 2000 by Editions Orphée. All Rights Reserved.


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