22Dec22: Completed work on arrangements for lute and voice of 33 songs and consort pieces by Henry Tudor (Henry VIII). All are from GB-Lbl British Library Add. ms. 31922 (1515), except for a solo version of "Pastime with good company", arranged from Add ms. 5665 (1612). All must be fairly early works, since he was born in 1491 and thus must have been 24 at the time of the ms. I suppose his life became overfilled with events for him to have composed stuff later. Nonetheless, he shows himself to be a competent, if not stellar, composer. My intabulations are literal ones. I have not tried to insert lutenistic ornaments or passagework, partly because I don't know what would really be appropriate for that time period. The harmonies could be filled out a little, as I have seen being the case for some harpsichord arrangements of the consort pieces. Sometimes, I have had to change the key and put the top part up an octave to make a suitable lute solo.
12Dec22: Completed S-Skma_Music_och_Teaterbiblioteket/ms_Sacks_samling_Tabulaturbok_c.1590. This last half has 9 passamezzos, some that are difficult, and ends with some easier dances and a few vocal intabulations.
05Dec22: Did first 25 pieces from S-Skma_Music_och_Teaterbiblioteket/ms_Sacks_samling_Tabulaturbok_c.1590. This ms has a rich sampling of mostly fairly difficult but rewarding pieces, including dances and intabulations of motets, chansons, lieds, and madrigals.
22Nov22: Completed work on BSB mus.ms.267. Rainer Boldhaus and I have not chosen to transcribe ff 42v-45v and 47v-49v, which are blank or filled with fragments. In a different hand, ff. 46-47 contain an intabulation of Jean Richefot's motet "Peccata mea" and ff. 50-53 contain intabulations of chansons. In a third hand on ff. 54-54v there is an untitled cara cossa and another untitled piece.
18Nov22: Completed work on another German tabulature source, CH-SAM Ms. FP M2 (1550). It contains 8 easy pieces, 6 intabulated lieder and 2 dances with a drone on the 5th course, retuned to Bb.
10Nov22: Completed work on a German tabulature source, CH-SAM Ms. FP M1 (1563). It contains many popular dances, similar to those found in the Hans Newsidler volumes, as well as some vocal intabulations and a few preludes. Most of the 45 pieces are easy to medium difficulty.
10Nov22: Completed a very early MS, the Amerbach Lute ms, ca. 1520, encoded by Rainer Boldhaus. It required some substantial editing. The MS contains only 3 lute pieces. Notable is an early version of "Amy Souffrez".
04Nov22: Completed Pseaumes de David.
31Oct22: Posted the next 25 pieces from Pseaumes de David.
27Oct22: Posted the next 25 pieces from Pseaumes de David.
27Sep22: Posted the next 25 pieces from Pseaumes de David.
22Sep22: Posted the next 25 pieces from Pseaumes de David.
15Sep22: Added 9 pieces that kindly pointed out that I had inadvertently skipped in Herbert of Cherbury's Lute book, #s 207-215. These have now been done and include some really nice fantasias by Jakub Reys, Vincenzo Pinti (the Knight of the Lute), and Diomedes Cato.
28Aug22: Completed work on a short lute ms from the German National Museum in NÃ¼rnberg, encoded by Rainer Boldhaus. This ms is beautifully calligraphed in two different colors, with all lines drawn with a ruler, extremely easy to read. However, several of the pieces are extremely flawed, with rhythm flags thrown in rather haphazardly, to a point that they cannot be rendered into playable form. The ones that I could "fix" have the original version in an appendix; The ones I couldn't fix I left in unedited form for other, more stalwart, souls to try to deal with. Also, it appears several pages are missing, and the original numbering of the pieces does not folow the pagination of the ms. Most of the pieces are simple vocal intabulations of Lutheran hymns.
25Aug22: Completed work on the Bottegari Lute Book, except for #129: "Tre leggiadre ninfe", where I have not yet figured out the text underlay. These are all quite simple pieces. The lute part is not challenging, the melodies simple, but the words are enchanting. One in particular, #111: "Sciacchier' Ã¨ diventato lo mio core" describes how Love is playing chess with his heart and using each piece to undo him.
19Aug22: Completed another 25 songs from the Bottegari Lute Book. The text underlay on one of the pieces, "Dura legge d'Amor" was especially challenging. I got some useful help from John Griffiths in sussing it out.
15Aug22: On Rainer Boldhaus's suggestion, I posted my translation of MatthÃ¤us Waissel's rather extensive lute tutorial, which seems to have gotten lost somehow, under sources/waisselM. This ia a very detailed account of German tab and left and right hand fingerings.
12Aug22: Completed work on D-KA:Badische_Landesbibliothek/Mus.A.678_Karlsruhe_MS_c.1600. These are pieces in German tab consisting of vocal intabulations of many hymns and several lieder, encoded by Rainer Boldhaus. They are mostly fairly simple pieces. A surprise, though, is the presence of an intrada in the form of a lute duet that imitates antiphonal choirs.
08Aug22: Completed another 25 songs from the Bottegari Lute Book. Of particular note is an excellent song, "", by Ippolito Tromboncino.
05Aug22: Completed another 25 songs from the Bottegari Lute Book. These are a mixture of religious and secular works.
01Aug22: Did a fairly extensive reorganization of the site, mainly checking all files for accuracy in the citation of source location (source, document, page. I also moved some stuff from composers to sources, notably Bach and the Dowland songbooks. Collected Dowland solos remain under composers, as do collected Milano, Holborne, and Cutting pieces and lute ensemble pieces.
Also, completed the first 25 songs from the Bottegari Lute Book. These are somewhat difficult to suss out at times because of some illegibility in the source document. Also, some pieces appear to be arbitrarily transposed into unexpected keys. I have rewritten the vocal parts to fit a lute in G. As is my policy on vocal pieces, I have gone ahead and done the text underlay for all the various verses, which in most cases has been easy to do, as the pieces appear mostly to have 11 syllables per line. The lute part for all these is quite simple.
01Jul22: Completed the first 31 pieces (some are collections of fragments) from BSB mus.ms.267, ably encoded by Rainer Boldhaus. Contents consist of several motets, a ricercar, and some intabulated chansons. Also, the scribe seemed to spend a lot of time trying to work through the Battle, as there are numerous fragments that seem to be sketches of parts of it. All in slack tuning. We have converted these into a 7-course version. One of the motets is also arranged for 7 courses. The ms was quite a challenge to suss out, but most of the pieces are written competently.
27Jun22: I finally managed to find and post a readable copy of the Bottegari Lute book, thanks to the considerable efforts of John Griffiths, AndrÃ© Nieuwlatt, and Francesco Tribioli. To Dinko Fabris also for his thorough introduction and contents. This is a very rich source of Italian lute songs from the mid 16th century, which will nicely complement our already rich collection of English, Spanish, and French ones.
12Jun22: Posted the next 25 pieces from Pseaumes de David.
05Jun22: Completed the first 26 pieces from the 1620 edition of "Pseaumes de David". This book contains a total of 166 pieces, starting with a prelude and followed by psalms. Each psalm is presented in a relatively simple fashion first, then a second section is more ornamented. Unlike in the 1619 edition, no vocal part or text is included, but the ornamented part has certain chords marked with an asterisk underneath them to indicate that the top note is part of the vocal line. I have chosen, for greater claity, to instead follow the practice of certain Spanish composers by highlighting these notes in red. Where there is an asterisk but no apparent top part in that chord, the next note or the note after that is usually the psalm melody note and should be highlighted. This can be checked against the simpler version in the first part of the piece.
Vallet explains in his preface that it would be too tedious to include a separate vocal part, the text of which would have to be translated into different languages. At the beginning of the piece he shows the first two or three words in Latin, French, German, and Dutch. Text underlay is left up to the singer, who presumably could read the tablature, or perhaps the lutenist could helpfully sound out the notes for them. Presenting the psalms in this manner is certainly a space saver, but since the top part is highly decorated, it means that it perhaps leaves less room for the kind of enhancements of the other parts that we see in the 1619 version. Judging from that version, it seems that the top part would be left unadorned for the vocalist. In any case, a mensural part can easily be constructed from the tab, and the text in the language of your choice could then be underlaid.
The pieces are mostly of moderate difficulty, although a few have very rapid passagework in places.
31May22: Completed the 1619 edition of "Pseaumes de David", which includes the vocal part and lute accompaniment. The superius part of Claude Le Jeune's mensural version of 1627 is almost identical to Vallet's vocal part. Probably they both follow the same earlier vocal model. The music in quite easy for both parts, but also quite beautiful.
12May22: Completed "Le Secret des Muses", v. 2 (1616). The pieces in this volume are fairly easy. Vallet skips the left hand fingering in this one. Contents are mainly dances -- courantes, galliards, passamezzos, pavanes, and ballets -- but there is an excellent fantasia by Charles de Lespine and an even more interesting "response" to it by Vallet. At the end of the volume are six lute quartets, for D-descant, A, G and D-bass 10-course lutes. Several of these can be played with 8-course lutes on some of the parts, with a little creative tuning. I made a very few changes to these to avoid some of the more egregious cross-relations. In one case (the galliard) I had to add a bar to the superius part to make it come out right. At the very end of the volume is an interesting version of variations on Luther's "Vater unser im Himmelreich", like the one in the Hove MS.
04May22: Completed "Le Secret des Muses", v. 1 (1615). On to v.2(1616).
02May22: Posted another 25 pieces from "Le Secret des Muses", v. 1 (1615). These are all courantes, and all meticulously notated by Vallet for right and left hand fingerings, barrÃ©s, tenuto lines, etc. Some of the left hand fingerings were difficult to read, as the dots are very small and often difficult to read. I did my best with them. I am sure most are correct, enough to give a very good idea of fingerings of the time, which I find quite logical and doable. I note that most of the courantes have a last bar in which the final beat is missing (half note instead of a dotted half). At first I thought it might be laziness or carelessness on the part of the scribe, but after an interesting discussion with Francesco Tribioli, we came to the conclusion that this indicates an indefinite number of repeats of the piece. If dancers were involved, one time through would make for a very short dance, so it seems likely that these pieces were played many times through.27Apr22: Posted the next 26 pieces from Nicolas Vallet "Le Secret des Muses", v. 1 (1615). These consist mainly of dances, including some brilliant passamezzos, as well as some excellent variations on a few Dowland pieces. Some of the later pieces in this batch are exhaustively notated with left and right hand fingerings, and tenuto lines, including noting when one should use a barrÃ© (the only place I have seen this noted in Renaissance sources). First and second fingers of the right hand are all noted, and the composer states that any notes not so marked should be played by the thumb. In his preface, Vallet states that this volume is intended for beginners, so that explains the didactic nature of these notations, which should also be useful for any lute students in our time.
19Apr22: Posted the first 25 pieces from Nicolas Vallet "Le Secret des Muses", v. 1 (1615). These are mainly simple to moderate difficulty preludes and fantasias for 7,8,9, and 10-course lute. They share with the Milano ricercars the quality of being wonderful but not too difficult. One piece, "La mendiante", is of particular interest in that it rivals Dowland in its chromaticism. GÃ¶ran Crona encoded this one years ago.
12Apr22: Posted A-Wn_Austrian_National_Library_Music_Collection/mus.hs.8967 (1565). This German tab source has only 5 pieces in it, but they are of good quality, though containing a number of errors. They include an intabulation of Arcadelt's "Quando io penso al martire", two fantasias, and a fragment of a motet. The pieces are fairly difficult, with frequent use of upper positions.
06Apr22: Posted the remainder of the pieces in Hove ms. These are mostly fairly easy passamezzos, galliards, and vocal intabulations of ballettos by Giovanni Gastoldi, with a few other dances thrown in.
04Apr22: Posted the remainder of the BSB mus.ms.272. More vocal intabulations of chansons, motets, etc., plus a few popular dances.
25Mar22: Posted another 25 pieces from the Hove ms. Included are two remarkable and virtuosic intabulations of Striggio madrigals: Hove's intabulation of "Nasce la pena mia" and Lorenzino Tracetti's intabulation of "Chi fara al cielo".
22Mar22: Posted the next 25 pieces from the Hove ms, mostly consisting of dances: courantes, galliards, pavanes, but there are a couple of toccatas and some vocal intabulations. Mostly very high quality pieces, and mostly of easy or medium difficulty.
18Mar22: Posted the first 25 pieces from the Joachim van den Hove autograph ms, most of which appear to be his own compositions. The ms is remarkable for its complete lack of errors. I have never before encountered such a meticulously written source. It has an unusual format, consisting of long, narrow pages, each having only 3 systems on it. The quality of the music is high, consisting (so far) of fantasias, toccatas, many courantes, voltes, a couple of galliards, and a few vocal intabulations. One remarkable piece is a set of six variations on Luther's hymn, "Vater unser im Himmelreich".
14Mar22: Posted the first half of BSB mus.ms.272, skillfully encoded by . The music is of moderate difficulty and includes ricercars and vocal intabulations, mostly of familiar songs. Many of the titles are somewhat mangled. We have identified most of the titles and composers with help from Markus Lutz and Tristan von Neumann, but a few are still shrouded in mystery, namely #s 21. 22. and 24. Any help on these would be most appreciated.
06Mar22: Completed The 1525 Blindhamer Lute ms. It consists of 20 pieces, mostly vocal intabulations, but also contains 2 preambles and a fantasy. This is one of the very earliest German tab sources. It represents significant challenges because of the generally poor quality of the ms, the lack of bar lines, and the somewhat inconsistent use of rhythmic symbols, especially in the very long preamble that starts it off. I spent most of my time on this one piece, in fact, relying heavily on the work of Martin Kirnbauer and Dick Hoban, who did careful editions of the entire ms and wrote extensively on it. Their work is much appreciated. I checked everything against the original ms and hope to have eliminated all the errors, but, as always, I welcome feedback. For any errors that may remain, I take full reesponsibility. I had to get a little creative in some places where there were missing notes or other imponderables. All of the pieces are of medium difficulty and of relatively high quality, especially for such an early ms. The prelude, in particular, is well worth playing.
19Feb22: Completed Schele lute ms (1615). The source ends with two very interesting untitled fantasias in a very unusual tuning, playable on an 11-course Baroque lute.
14Feb22: Posted another 50 pieces from the Schele lute ms (1615). More courantes and voltes, a few fantasias and several Dowland pieces. I also corrected the endings on several courantes in this source, based on help I received from Ron Andrico, Rainer aus dem Spring, Jean-Marie Poitier, and Matthew Daillie.
04Feb22: Posted another 50 pieces from the Schele lute ms (1615). These include many courantes and toccatas by Joachim van den Hove, Robert Ballard, and others, three "farewells" by Hove, as well as Dowland's La mia Barbara and an amazing intabulation (by Hove?) of Verdelot's Ultimi miei sospiri.
28Jan22: Posted the first 50 pieces from the Schele lute ms (1615). This is a wonderful collection of passaggios, preludes, fantasies, and an occasional courante. It includes a Dowland pavane that is a great piece after some errors have been repaired, Fortune my foe and Une jeune fillette variations by Dowland and some beautiful works by Hortenzio Perla, Antoine Francisque, Diomedes Cato, Joachim van den Hove, and others. It surely one of the best collections of late 16th C lute solo music.
In making the current edition of the Dowland pavane, I reviewed note by note the prior editions by Diana Poulton and John Robinson and also received some very helpful suggestions from Markus Lutz and Jussi-Pekka Lajunen, all of which I believe led to a version of the piece that is well worth playing.
12Jan22: Posted Dominico Bianchini Intabulatura de Lauto. v.1 (1546), consisting of ricercars, vocal intabulations of chansons and madrigals, and a few religious and dance items thrown in. There are very few errors in this source. All pieces are of moderate difficulty. None are actually hard. The ricercars I find pleasant but not really exciting. The vocal intabulations are good but relatively simple, in contrast to those found in the recent German tab sources I have worked on. One interesting feature of this source is that instead of tenuto marks residing on the notes to be held, they are placed between notes, showing the voice leading. Thus they are more similar in function to the diagonal lines used in other sources, and I have taken the liberty of indicating them in that way.
09Jan22: Posted the remaining pieces from D-DEl, ms.BB.12150. Similar content, but the ms ends with several brief vocal intabulations of lieder.
07Jan22:Posted the first 4 Pavanas with their saltarellos from Borrono Intavolatura di Lauto, v.8 (1548), in collaboration with Robert Barto. That completes the work on that volume.
04Jan22: Posted another 25 pieces from D-DEl, ms.BB.12150. Still very high quality stuff, though the copy was a bit difficult to read in places.
19Dec21: Posted the first 25 pieces from D-DEl, ms.BB.12150. These are of comparable quality and similar to those found in the KrakÃ³w lute ms (c1600). These include vocal intabulations, mostly of Lasso motets, including a highly ornamented version of the anonymous motet Angeles ad Pastores that was found in KrakÃ³w. Also included are 6 ricercars by Melchior Newsidler, one of which is a ricercar on Susanne un Jour.
05Dec21: Posted a version of Jan P. Sweelinck's Chromatic Fantasia, arranged by AndrÃ© Nieuwlaat for two unequal lutes. The piece is truly spectacular.
03Dec21: Posted the last 15 pieces from the Krakow lute ms (c1600). These are up to the usual high standards of this document. Of particular note is a highly virtuosic and amazing Doulce Memoire"intabulation of Pierre Sandrin's "Doulce Memoire" by Valentin Bakfark, hiding under the title "Albo juss dalei". There is also an alternate version of this piece. The scribe has inserted left and right hand fingerings, apparently realizing that this is a difficult piece.
23Nov21: Posted another 25 pieces from the Krakow lute ms (c1600). Many of these have 2-3 layers of emendations scribbled in on the ms. I have tried to show all versions. 15 pieces left.
13Nov21: Posted another 25 pieces from the Krakow lute ms (c1600). Along with the intabulations are a few passamezzos. Some of the pieces are quite long. I am now well over half way through the document.
02Nov21: John Robinson's careful work on the important fantasias at the beginning of the Krakow lute ms (c1600) has inspired me to recheck John's version of them and my own against the original facsimile and correct some errors. I believe that the version of these fantasias on my site is now quite accurate. Also, where I have introduced editorial changes, they are noted, with the original provided for comparison. In a few places, the scribe has included left and right hand fingering notations, which I have also noted. On many or most of the fantasias, someone has scribbled in corrections or enhancements onto the ms. My edition follows the corrected/enhanced versions (although the original bars are included). In one case (#24), there are so many emendations that I have made two editions (one original, one revised) of this fantasia. In many or most of the intabulations that follow the fantasias in the Krakow ms, there are so many revisions that I have had to follow the same practice. The intabulations, so far, are of comparable quality to the fantasias.
30Oct21: Posted another 25 pieces from the Krakow lute ms (c1600). These are the first of many vocal intabulations of madrigal, chansons, and religious pieces, all of very fine quality and mostly rather virtuosic. Half of them have alternate or corrected versions scribbled onto the ms, somewhat challenging to read. The original versions are perfectly fine as is; the alternates appear to be afterthoughts.
15Oct21: Posted first 26 pieces from the Krakow lute ms (c1600). These are all long, magnificent fantasias by Valentin Bakfark, Melchior Newsidler, and many unattributed ones. Most are virtuoso pieces, but a few are somewhat easier. These are amongst the best fantasias I have ever seen.
28Sep21: Completed Uppsala by posting the last 25 pieces, all of which were villanellas.
14Sep21: Posted another 25 pieces from Uppsala . This includes Some fantasias and ricercars by Milano and Albert de Rippe, followed by a number of short villanellas.
31Aug21: Posted another 25 pieces from Uppsala . Many of these are settings of several Psalms of David, by Pierre Certon.
16Aug21: Back to working on Uppsala after a long hiatus. Posted another 26 pieces. All vocal intabulations, of good quality, mostly medium to fairly hard. The last several ones are settings of parts of the famous Arcadia poem by Jacopo Sannosaro. I am not entirely sure of the composer, though they have been attributed to Simon Boyleau.
16Jul21:Posted another 25 pieces from Uppsala HS 87 (c1570). The quality of the intabulations gets progressively more interesting as we go through the MS, with an increasing use of diminutions.
20Jun21: Posted the Arpinus lute ms (c.1600), ably encoded by Rainer Boldhaus. This is a book in German tab containing 80 mostly fairly simple pieces and appears to be directed at students. The pieces are mostly dances of one kind or another, with a few vocal intabulations. Many of the piece titles appear to be in (Renaissance) Polish or Czech.
19Jun21: Posted first 50 pieces from Uppsala HS 87 (c1570). These are vocal intabulations of chansons and madrigals, with a motet by Jean de la Fage thrown in. The document is quite free of errors, mostly because the scribe wrote in frequent corrections and emendations onto the manuscript. One idiosyncrasy of this MS is that the scribe often avoided dotting the rhythm flags and instead inserted a blank space under the following flag instead, making it appear as a rest. To make it more confusing, in looking at the vocal models, some of these are supposed to be actual rests. I have tried to follow the vocal model, where available, in making this judgment. The intabulations are good but not quite as skilled as Hove's, adhering fairly closly to their vocal model, with occasional diminutions and cadential ornaments. one of them is by Francesco da Milano, with an intabulation of the same piece (Martin menoit) by Clément Janequin. Many intabulations are of pieces by Vincenzo Ruffo, with other pieces by Arcadelt, Jacques Clément, etc.
06Jun21: Completed Joachim van den Hove Florida (1601). The remaining pieces are dances (courantes, allemandes, galliards, and pavanes with a spagnoletta thrown in) and a few popular melodies. Hove continues with his skillful diminutions of some Dowland and Bacheler favorites. Most of the pieces in this part of the book are fairly simple.
28May21: Back to Joachim van den Hove Florida (1601). Posted 8 passamezzos with accompanying galliards and three lute duets by Giovanni Gabrieli, Luca Marenzio, and Ippolito Baccusi. All good stuff.
26May21: Posted the complete Tabulatura Nova (1584) by Gregor Krengel, carefully encoded by . Each piece in this German tab book is given in one key, then transposed by Krengel down a second, a third, or a fourth. The transposed versions are almost identical to their counterparts. They are mainly intabulated madrigals and motets, mostly by Gregor Lange, Orlando di Lasso, and Jacob Regnart. At the end are a series of 7 paduanas, each accompanied by one or two lieder that Krengel thinks are a good fit for that paduana. There are a moderate number of errors in the pieces, but these are not difficult to correct. Also, the lieder toward the end have repeats which are notated in a difficult way and require some judgment calls. I hope I have made good ones but am very open to correction if I have screwed up. The pieces are of moderate difficulty, though the intabulations mainly consist of chord after chord with little passagework and thus might be a little tiring, especially for the left hand, and the sound comes out a bit "chunky".
13May21: Posted the remainder of the madrigal scores from Joachim van den Hove Florida (1601). There are 46 in all. Still very labor intensive, partly because there are a few errors in the original and partly because I don't know Italian that well, especially Renaissance Italian, and the word boundaries are not well delineated. I got some good help, in this respect, from , , , and .
25Apr21: Posted Milano and Fiorentino Intabolatura de Lauto, v.3 (1547), which contains many pieces (fantasias and vocal intabulations) by Francesco da Milano but also many by Perino Fiorentino. The Fiorentino pieces were ably encoded and edited by . These latter pieces are of a similar quality to the ones by Milano that we are more familiar with.
17Apr21: Posted first 25 pieces from Joachim van den Hove Florida (1601). The first 8 pieces are very nice fantasias; then 12 madrigals and one motet intabulated. Hove also provided the Basso and Canto parts as mensural staves. The lute part of each contains the material in the mensural staves, often with divisions and other ornaments. These pieces can also be played as lute songs, with or without a viol or bass voice. The vocal pieces have been very labor intensive. It has been a challenge matching up the various staffs and handling discrepancies among them, to a point where they sound good together. I have had to correct many errors in the originals, sometimes correcting the vocal parts by reference to the lute part, sometimes vice versa, and to make the musica ficta match among the different parts, but the result is quite beautiful, IMO. It has been especially interesting to see where the tablature part has illuminated the placement of musica ficta in the mensural parts.
29Mar21: Completed work on Delitiae Musicae. The second half of the book consists mainly of dances, starting with passamezzi antici and moderni with their galliards in several keys, followed by a variety of other dances, including 4 galliards attributed to Dowland but not included in Poulton's collection. These dances are mostly fairly easy pieces, but still of high quality.
21Mar21: Completed the first 50 pieces from Joachim van den Hove Delitiae Musicae. This is a rich collection of preludes, 4-, 5- and 6-part vocal intabulations: madrigals and motets, by Lasso, Marenzio, Nanino, and many others, and various dances, including a unique setting of a Holborne pavane. The intabulator has done a good job of not just slavishly following the originals, but has taken pains to make them playable without losing their beauty. 08Mar21: More corrections to the Craus lute ms (>1540), including a renumbering. Thanks for help from .
07Mar21: Made some corrections to the Craus lute ms (>1540) and added some missing pieces.
03Mar21: Finished the Craus lute ms (>1540). It consists of 53 pieces in German tab, most of which are fairly simple and unremarkable, consisting of vocal intabulations, dances, preludes, a ricercar, and what looks like one fantasia and one motet. Several of the last pieces, oddly, consist of a single line in octaves or, in two cases, just single lines. I am grateful to for identifying an untitled piece for me (#8. Pavana alla Venetiana).
21Feb21:Finished work on a MS from Basel University Library. This is a very colorful and artistically drawn MS that only contains 7 pieces: 5 preambles, one by Wolff Heckel, another by Matthäus Waissel, and three anonymous. It contains two settings by Wolff Heckel of the hymn "Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist", in two different keys. The last setting is incomplete, indicating that the MS may have originally been longer.
20Feb21: I just found out that had previously encoded the Reymann book into fronimo format, so apparently this was somewhat of a duplication of effort. If you want to see Douglas Towne's version, it is available here. It's a lot of work, so I appreciate Douglas' effort, even though I was not able to benefit from it.
19Feb21: Made some corrections, put in some composer attributions, and completed right hand fingerings in Judenkünig's Ein schone künstliche Underweisung (1523). I am grateful to for a correction to "Trop plus secret" in that book.
18Feb21: Finished the Reymann book. The last part contains pavanes, galliards, and choreae with triple sections. These are a bit easier to play, but continue to be of very high quality.
13Feb21: Posted the 12 Passamezzi with variations from the Reymann book. Ordinarily, passamezzi can be dull and repetitive, but that does not apply at all to these. They are in 12 different keys, some quite remote. Each is a gem, yet strictly adhering to the 16-bar passamezzo pattern. Each one has 6 variations, 3 duple and 3 triple time, and a Reprisa, also in triple time. I consider this the apotheosis of the passamezzo.
04Feb21: Posted the preludes and fantasias from Mathias Reymann Noctes Musicae (1598). This is truly an exceptional source: virtually error-free. There is sometimes difficulty in distinguishing c's from e's, but it is usually fairly clear from the context. The material is of exceptional quality as well. All are original works by Reymann and all quite virtuosic and very beautiful. Reymann is shaping up to be one of my very favorite composers. Several are very inventive fantasias on popular Lutheran hymns.
26Jan21: Posted the MS Tänze, Lieder und Lautentraktat (c.1575), compiled by Ludwig Iselin. This is a challenging MS from an editing viewpoint, though less so than the Ulm lute book. The pieces were ably encoded by . It contains mostly German dances, with a few vocal intabulations thrown in. Most of the 41 pieces are extremely easy.
21Jan21: Posted the Ulm lute book (1556). This is a poorly written source, rife with errors. It has no bar lines, and rhythm flags are somewhat random and sometimes absent. My edition is therefore, at times, more of a reconstruction than I like it to be. Pieces are uniformly easy, however.
15Jan21: Completed work on Matthäus Waissel's 1591 Tabulatura Allerley küstlicher Preambulen. These consisted of 16 more galliards, 8 padoanas, 4 pavane-galliard combinations, and 8 branles. Some of the branles are recognizable from LeRoy (1551).
11Jan21: Posted 36 Polish dances, 8 passamezzi and 8 galliards from Matthäus Waissel's 1591 Tabulatura Allerley küstlicher Preambulen. The Polish dances and galliards are mostly quite easy; the passamezzi and accompanying saltarelli are lengthy and more difficult.
05Jan21: Posted the 8 preambles and 40 German dances from Matthäus Waissel's 1591 Tabulatura Allerley küstlicher Preambulen. These are mostly relatively easy pieces, apparently composed by Waissel himself. Also in this book are numerous Polish dances, passamessi, galliards, padoanas, pavanes, and branles.
01Jan21: Posted the Iselin lute book. This consists mostly of very easy pieces, mostly dances + a couple of hymns. The pieces were encoded by .
23Dec20: Posted 5 handwritten additions to Newsidler 1536 v.2.
04Dec20: I posted a good facsimile copy of the Schele Lute book on my site, straightened, cropped, and broken out by page number, as is my custom.
29Nov20: Completed work on Francesco Vindella, Intabolatura di liuto, v.1 (1546). This book consists of 17 vocal intabulations of madrigals, mostly by Arcadelt, but one anonymous and two by Jacquet de Berchem. For some reason, they are numbered 2-18 in the original. I chose to keep this numbering. The pieces are not too difficult ("challenging") and of uniform very high quality, with very few errors.
25Nov20: Completed the rest of the Raimondo Lute MS., which has similar content.
16Nov20: Completed first 50 pieces from the Raimondo Lute MS. These are an assortment of relatively easy dances (branles, galliards, correntes and voltas) with some more difficult fugas and fantasias, and easier toccatas and entratas. All very charming and of good quality .
06Nov20: Completed the remaining pieces from . These consist of several vocal intabulations of chansons, madrigals, hymns, as well as three passamezzi. Some of these pieces are a bit simpler than the others in the book.
01Nov20: Completed first 25 pieces from Sixt Kargel Newerlessner fleissiger Lautenstuck (1586), which were encoded by . This MS starts with 6 fantasias, the first of which is by Francesco da Milano, which are excellent and of medium difficulty. The rest of the pieces in this half of the MS are intabulations of 4- and 5-part motets by Lasso, Meiland, Crécquillon, and others. These are well written but mostly rather difficult to play.
17Oct20: Posted Matthias Waissel's Tabulatura Guter gemeiner Deudtscher Tentze (1592), which was intabulated by . This consists of 8 easy lute duets, each a Tanz and a Sprung for lutes a fourth apart.
14Oct20: Completed remaining pieces in Eysert. These include more hymns and psalms, plus a few Hassler vocal intabulations, and 4 more duets.
05Oct20: Completed another 50 pieces from the Eysert MS. These were mainly short and relatively easy hymns and psalms, many by Martin Luther. Also a set of 8 6-part intratas by Alessandro Orologio, a few madrigals and some dances.
29Sep20: Completed work on Jobin v.2 (1573). This volume consists entirely of different dances: Several passamezzi, galliards, branles and teutsche tänze, mostly quite simple., also based on the labors of .
25Sep20: Completed work on Bernhard Jobin, Newerlessner Lautenstück, v.1 (1572), based on the hard work of . This volume contains mostly vocal intabulations, although there are 4 fantasias at the beginning and 3 passamezzo/saltarello pairs at the end. The vocal intabulations are mostly quite difficult technically though well done (similar to Eysert). They are madrigals, chansons, and lieder, with a few motets thrown in. Many of the pieces are intabulations of Lasso works.
Also, I got rid of those nasty giant PDF icons that everybody seems to have been kind enough not to complain about.
20Sep20: Completed another 51 pieces from Eysert. Many vocal intabulations, a few dances and at the end, 5 quite densely textured duets. Thanks to for help with composer names.
03Sep20: Completed the next 50 pieces from Eysert. Many thanks to and for help with figuring out the meaning of the red notes in this MS. I checked all the pieces and find that the red notes in all the pieces appear to indicate a lute tuned a whole note lower, except that in 18.Verbum caro factum est and 23.Quis novisg, the second lute appears to be tuned in unison. The first 50 pieces have been corrected to reflect these changes. The content of the second set of 50 pieces is similar to that of the first, except that there are more madrigals.
15Aug20: Completed the first 50 pieces from the Eysert Lute Book (c.1600). Thus far, what I have mainly seen are vocal intabulations of choral works (mostly motets) by Giovanni Gabrieli, Hans Leo Hassler, and others. These are many-voiced works (several are 8-voiced!). The unknown intabulator, however, has done a good job of creating playable and decent-sounding lute pieces, though the texture is of necessity rather dense. There is also a smattering of intabulations of madrigals and a few pavanes and galliards. Thanks to John Robinson for directing me to John Ward's article, JLSA 10 (1977) Appendix S , pp. 138-139, for help in identifying the English pieces in Eysert.
26Jul20: Completed another Hans Gerle volume: Musica und Tabulatur (1546), again based on the excellent work of . Apart from one Milano Ricercar (Ness #3), a short Josquin piece, and a saltarello, this volume contains many vocal intabulations, a few German lieder, but mainly intabulations of French chansons. These are competent intabulations but they suffer a bit from a rather formulaic approach to ornamentations and especially cadential formulas.
13Jul20: Finished work on v.3 of Hans Newsidler Lautenbüchlein (1544). That completes my collection of Hans Newsidler. This book consists of 9 motets by Maffon, Morales, Senfl, Carpentras, and Isaac, each artfully intabulated by Newsidler. Again, well encoded by .
12Jul20: Completed work on Simon Gintzler's 1547 Intabolatura de Lauto. This is a marvelous collection. It starts with 6 ricercars by Gintzler, followed by intabulations of vocal works: 4, 5, and 6-voice motets by Josquin, Verdelot, Berchem, Jachet, Senfl, Willaert, Lupus, and Arcadelt. These are by far the best intabulations I have found. They adhere closely to the vocal models, yet are inventive and very lutenistic. The intabulations of madrigals by Verdelot, Arcadelt, and Jachet, and of chansons by Sandrin and Villiers are also very well done.
06Jul20: Completed work on the solo works from Wolff Heckel Discant Lautten Buch (1562), again expertly encoded by . The solo works in this volume include mostly well intabulated chansons, madrigals, and lieds. The duets in this volume are for another time.
02Jul20: Completed Spinacino v.2. Similar content; also very high quality.
25Jun20: Having obtained the source for Attaingnant Dixhuit basses dances, I was able to go back and correct my edition of that work, adding a few missing pieces and putting the pieces in the right order.
23Jun20: Completed work on Francesco Spinacino Intabulatura de Lauto, v.1 (1507). This is apparently the earliest printed lute book, printed by Ottoviano Petrucci, also the publisher of Odhecaton. Despite its early provenance, the music is quite sophisticated, and the printing is very clear and relatively error free. The pieces are generally of medium difficulty, with only a few easy and a few challenging items. The book contains many well put together intabulations of songs from Odhecaton, hardly surprising since they share the same publisher. It also contains 5 lute duets, which are rather a nightmare to edit, containing many gratuitous dissonances. I have not tried to correct these, and I present them in all their original ugliness. Perhaps I will take on the project of attempting to make these playable in the future, or maybe someone else has taken on or will take on this burden, in which case I could use the help. There has been a fronimo encoding of these pieces and of those in v.2 that has been hanging around for over 20 years. I have never been able to obtain permission to use these files, so I have decided to bite the bullet and work directly from the source facsimiles without consulting those files, since this is one of the most important lute books, and it's high time it got out into the public domain.
18 Jun20: Completed the solo works from Wolff Heckel's Tenor Lautten Buch (1556). Again these were expertly encoded by . These are mostly quite simple German dances, similar to those found in Newsidler's books, but there are a few other dances thrown in, as well as some fantasias, including one by Francesco da Milano (which Heckel claims as his own) and another that might be by Milano ("Millanew"). There are also 40 tenor duet parts in the book that go with the Discant Lautten Buch (1562), which has the discant parts, as well as many more solo works, but these are for another day.
11Jun20: Completed Antonio Becchi Intabulatura de Lauto, v.1 (1568). This is a high quality work, starting with 4 very long pazzamezzi, followed by a romanesca, a moresca, several intabulations of canzone Napolitane, madrigals, and chansons, followed by 9 fantasias and recercars, one by Milano and three by Spinacino.
04Jun20: Completed 21 lute pieces from Gerle Musica Teusch (1532), meticulously encoded by . Similar fare to Tabulatur auff die Laudten.
03Jun20: Finished Tabulatur auff die Laudten, the last 9 pieces being rather nice 3- and 4-part intabulations of motets by Josquin, Isaac, Senfl, etc.
31May20: Completed the first 41 pieces from Hans Gerle Tabulatur auff die Laudten (1533). These are the secular works from the book and comprise about half of it. They are mostly pretty easy.
did an almost flawless job on the encoding and most of the editing and formatting as well. I just did a proofread against the original and a few little touches. The book starts with 5 quite uninspired preambles, followed by one from Francesco da Milano; the rest consists of reasonably good vocal intabulations of popular lieds and chansons of the time. The other half of the book consists of liturgical motets in 3 and 4 parts, next on the agenda.
21May20: Completed work on Hans Newsidler Ein New Künstlich Lauten Buch, v.1 (1547). This was encoded and mostly edited and formatted by Rainer Boldhaus, who produced an almost error-free edition. Kudos! This volume was mainly directed toward very young students and contains very simple pieces.
18May20: Completed work on Bernadino Balletti Intabolatura de Lauto (1554). All dances, mostly galliards. I have been unable to identify who did the work of encoding these pieces, but whoever it was did a terrific job of producing almost completely error-free editions.
16May20: I corrected my edition of Alonso Mudarra's Tres Libros de Musica en Cifras (1546). The original edition was kicked off from a posting by Michael Graham, for whose work I am grateful. All the pieces have now been carefully corrected from the source facsimile. The vocal parts have all been transcribed to fit a lute in G, which sometimes leads to vocal parts in rather remote keys. Mudarra's work is careful and altogether splendid, and generally of moderate difficulty.
15May20: Posted a beautiful 5-part Thomas Tallis motet, arranged and intabulated for 6-course lute by Jacob Heringman. Also posted: editions by Heringman of Dowland's My Lady Hundston's Puffe, Mistriss White's Choyce, and Lord Strang's March, with thorough fingering notations.
02May20: Completed edition of Robert Dowland's Varieties of Lute Lessons. This consists of 42 pieces of the highest quality, by a variety of composers. It is arguably the best collection of Renaissance lute music in existence. These are also some of the most virtuosic pieces I have ever seen. Mostly English composers, especially John Dowland, but a large number of continental composers as well.
26Apr20: Completed edition of Borrono Intavolatura di lauto, v.8 (1548). This is well known for containing several Milano fantasies, but it also include two by Borrono, as well as some very nicely intabulated French chansons.
23Apr20: Completed work on "Il liuto", by Bernardo Gianoncelli. This was carefully encoded by , formatted and edited by myself, with substantial help from François. It consists of pieces for 14-course archlute arranged by key, mostly courantes and galliards, with one bergamasca thrown in. Each courante and galliard has a "spezzata" section appended, which gives the same piece in style brisé, and many are preceded by one or more "tastegiatas" (which I interpret as "toccatas"). The music is charming and graceful and not overly difficult to play.
20Apr20: Completed work on Hans Newsidler Ein new künstlich Lauten Buch, v.2 (1549). did all of the hard work of encoding into fronimo and some of the editing. I did some of the editing as well. Some of the stuff in this book are also found in other Newsidler books, but much of it is new material: dances, vocal intabulations, and even a Battle. We think there is a v.1 from 1547 with a slightly different title, which could be our next project..
14Apr20: Made some major changes to the site and its software. There may be some broken links resulting from these changes, which I hope to fix soon. These changes were required in order to introduce a change to the spreadsheet, which now gives links to the local source facsimile, where present, next to the link for each fronimo file. About 3/4 of the fronimo files on the site have local facsimile sources. These are useful for easily comparing the fronimo edition against the original. In the future I also hope to put in links to recordings for the pieces, as I discover them on youtube, etc.
07Mar20: Added Hans Newsidler book, 1544, v. 2. did most of the work on this one, a very careful and thorough job which is much appreciated. It contains many dances and intabulations of popular songs of the time. As with all of Newsidler's editions, they are extremely clear and precise, with very few errors, and his intabulations are also very good and playable. This book also contains a couple of blockbuster battle pieces and the obligatory lengthy passamezzo antico variations. The first part of this book contains exhaustive fingering specifications for right and left hand.
06Mar20: Added composer attributions to Hans Newsidler 1536 v.1 and v.2.
02Mar20: Completed Marsh Lute Book.
06Feb20: Another 50 pieces from the Marsh Lute Book. Includes several lute duets by John Johnson. Also very high quality stuff.
21Jan20: Took a break from Marsh to do an edition of the Simancas vihuela MS. The copy I had to work with was of poor quality, the text was hard to read, I do not know Renaissance spanish, and the last piece (la Morada) had no bar lines or rhythm flags, so my edition is fairly iffy. Any suggestions are welcome.
19Jan20: Completed first 50 pieces from the Marsh Lute Book. Very high quality, sometimes virtuosic, material from both Europe and England.
10Jan20: Completed Hans Newsidler Ein newes Lautenbüchlein (1544), v.1. I also have ultra clear facsimiles of both v.1 and v.2. V.1 was a pleasure to do after the hardships of Fabricius. In the entire book, I only found about 7 errors, and 5 of them were an upside down (but otherwise correct) 2 in the German tab. The pieces are delightful, consisting of hofftanz's and accompanying hupff auffs, along with many vocal intabulations of lieds and chansons. This is a rich source of delightful, well written, but easy pieces.
31Dec19: Fabricius completed.
30Dec19: Rechecked and re-posted #s 1-200 of Fabricius. I found a copy of Ralf Jarchow's massive 2013 tome on the subject of this lute book in U.C. Berkeley's library, so was able to add composer names to the files. #s 201-301 still require some editing and database entry but should be out soon.
27Dec19: Completed Fabricius, but I have taken the whole book offline to give it a final checkover. I hope to have it back online soon.
09Dec19: Another 50 pieces from Fabricius. Some decent galliards, padoanas, and pavanes, here.
01Dec19: Another 50 pieces from Fabricius completed.
16Nov19: Finished another 50 pieces from Fabricius.
07Nov19: Finished first 50 pieces from the Fabricius lute book. Mostly intabulations of lieder, but a few dances thrown in. The tab is surrounded by a great deal of text, apparently mostly addressed to a variety of women. Work was slowed down by power outages from the California fires. We were evacuated for a week, but all is good.
19Oct19: Completed Berlin State Library ms. 40588 (1552). A disappointing collection of 62 fairly primitive pieces, but does contain some intabulated Martin Luther hymns. A lot of very easy pieces here, though, for the new lutenist.
14Oct19: Revised Milan El Maestro vocal pieces to show colored notes in the tab and correct a few errors.
08Oct19: Completed edition of the Willoughby Lute Book, containing a version of the "Goodnight" lute duet by John Johnson, and 45 other pieces, mostly of high quality. It also contains 8 consort parts for cittern.
17Sep19: Finished the rest of the Herwarth pieces, bringing the total to 170, most of them of very high quality.
20Aug19: Completed another 50 pieces from Herwarth, mainly vocal intabulations of chansons by Sandrin, Sermisy, etc. Most of these pieces were initially encoded and edited in fronimo by Harald Hamre. On these items, I simply did some proofreading against the original and reformatted them in my favored format. I also received substantial help on locating composer names from Tristan von Neumann, and also from Art Ness's 1984 dissertation specifically on the Herwarth MS, which goes into great depth on the MS.
04Aug19: I have just started work on the Herwarth lute MS #266 (1570). Just completed up to item #50. Most of the MS so far appears to have a minimum of errors compared to Wurstisen. The first part has most of the extant dal'Aquila ricercars, plus other ricercars, miscellaneous dances, popular pieces (like Cara Cosa and La Traditora), etc.. The material is mostly of very high quality. Oddly, all of the Aquila pieces and many of the others appear to have been crossed out in the MS (diagonal lines through them), but I have included them anyway. Fingerings, including occasional left hand fingerings, are in the original.
15Jul19: Completed v.8 of Wurstisen, which consists mainly of hymns and psalms, some by Martin Luther, who apparently was also a lutenist. There are also a few allemands, galliards, and pavanes, which are mostly of high quality. Kemp's jig appears in a couple of places. John Robinson helped me to identify this piece. That concludes Wurstisen.
07Jul19: Completed v.7 of Wurstisen, which consists mainly of galliards, with a few other types of pieces thrown in. In contrast to the less interesting pieces in v.6, many of the galliards are really quite beautiful and mostly unique to this source. John Robinson helped me identify the cara cosas from this volume.
20Jun19: Completed Wurstisen v.6. Mostly German dances/allemands, but a few galliards, pavanes, voltes, etc. 174 pieces.
06Jun19: Finished another 50 pieces from Wurstisen v.6. Same type of pieces.
03Jun19: On a suggestion from Michael Stover, I took a break from Wurstisen to compete work on Robert Dowland's A Musicall Banquet. This contains a Dowland galliard and 20 excellent English, Italian, Spanish, and French songs, many of which were not previously on my site.
21May19: Completed 1st 50 pieces from Wurstisen v.6. This volume consists of dances, mostly very simple ones but challenging to edit because of their many errors. Nothing earth-shattering.
12May19: Completed Wurstisen v.5.
26Apr19: Finished the 1st 53 pieces from Wurstisen v.5, consisting of passamezzos, often paired with galliards or saltarellos. These are generally of moderate difficulty. While these pieces contain a similar number of errors to those in earlier books, they are easier to correct because the strict passamezzo pattern in them gives helpful guidance.
09Apr19: Completed v.4 of Wurstisen, consisting of mostly vocal intabulations of European composers, with a few ricercari, battles, and entradas thrown in. Again, the profusion of errors make this a slow process. It is especially challenging to suss out unica with no or faulty barring and rhythm flags.
16Mar19: Completed v.2 of Wurstisen, consisting of 4 motets, 3 by Lasso and one anonymous. the Lasso ones are particularly beautiful. All the pieces required major error corrections. The presence of many line errors and overstrike errors leads me to believe that they were rather carelessly copied over from Italian or French tab sources.
10Mar19:Completed v.1 of the Wurstisen Lute Book, consisting of mostly very simple preludes and preambles, an exception being one by Vincenzo Pinti (the Knight of the Lute).
24Feb19: Completed work on v.3 of the Wurstisen Lute book. This volume, one of 8, contains 22 fantasias by various composers, including some by Milano. This is a massive work of German tab. Although the notes are quite clear, there are many mistakes, reminiscent of the Cavalcanti Lute Book. Most of these are in rhythm flags. John Robinson was very helpful in tracking down composer attributions.
04Feb19: Completed work on Hans Gerle "Ein newes sehr künstlichs Lautenbuch" (1552). Most, if not all, of the pieces in this book appear to have been taken from Italian tab sources and rendered into German tab. Many were taken from Rotta (1546), Crema (1546), Bianchini (1547), Gintzler (1547), and especially Castigliono (1536). But obviously Gerle put a lot of time and thought into his editions, which are not merely copies but display his own hand in adding some embellishments, filling out some chords, and putting in some different musica ficta, as well as correcting obvious errors, so that the Gerle version of many of these pieces are, in my opinion, actually better than the sources they were taken from. The book starts with 31 "preambles", which in other editions are called ricercars or fantasias, and then "Italian pieces", consisting of dances: passamezzoz, padoanas, galliards, and saltarellos, and a couple of pavanes.
12Jan19: Completed work on Sulzbach MS, v.2 (1536), another primary Milano source. This one is in Neapolitan lute tab (Spanish tab with all numbers one higher). The Sulzman sources are sometimes more error free than others, such as the Siena Lute Book, Paris MS.rés.429, and Milano (s.d). Thanks to Arthur Ness, who told me that ties across a bar line are indicated in the Sulzman sources as a simple repeat of the chord in the second bar. He also helped me identify a piece (16.ricercar in Sulzbach) as Ness #95.
04Jan19: Completed work on the Sulzbach MS, v1 (1536), a primary source of Milano works.
31Dec18: Completed work on Benedikt Drusina, Tabulatura continens... (1556), a German tab source. The source is extremely clear and relatively error-free. Arne Keller and Jason Kortis intabulated the work in fronimo format several years ago, saving me a great deal of work. For my part, I proofread the work against the source, did some minor editing, and changed it over into the preferred format for my website. So kudos to Arne and Jason for this and their many other major contributions to getting lute music out.
16Dec18: Corrected version of Thistlethwaite, based on the John Ward's inventory, which identifies most of the pieces and gives a careful account of each. Many thanks to Andre Nieuwlaat for turning me on to this inventory and for locating a title that is not in the inventory.
12Dec18: Posted the Thistlethwaite Lute Book. Mostly high-quality English stuff. A few anonymous fantasias that are really nice, plus a couple by Francesco da Milano. John Robinson and Art Ness were very helpful in producing this edition..
15Nov18: Completed work on Welde Lute Book, not widely available. This contains iconic English pieces, some very virtuostic. Included are some lovely fantasias by Alfonso Ferrabosco I, and three John Johnson duets.
20Oct18: Completed work on Berlin State Library mus.ms.40632,. This is a MS in German tab, with fairly high quality stuff, including some interesting pieces by Senfl, Lasso, Isaac, Segni, Milano, etc. It mostly consists of vocal intabulations for 6-course lute of sacred works, chansons, German songs, and madrigals, all of fairly moderate difficulty. Particularly of note are a couple of anonymous fantasias, which are quite fun. Helpfully, the rhythm notations are completely regular, and there are only a noderate number of errors. Often, it seems the scribe intabulated vocal works without putting in all the musica ficta, so a large number of my emendations consisted of putting them in.
19Oct18: I've been offline for awhile because I have been downsizing from a 3000 sq ft house to a 1000 sq ft cottage, which is charming but cramped. But now that I am back, I have m ade several corrections on Paris Réservé 429, based on valuable information from Arthur Ness. I have also renumbered the pieces.
19Jul18: Just completed work on Paris Réservé 429, consisting of 494 pp. of lute solo music in Italian tab. The quality of the music is very high, and relatively free of errors compared to many other sources. This source also contains many ricercare by Milano, as well as several intabulated chansons and madrigals, and passamezzi, galliards, and saltarellos. In the facsimile I have, many pages are difficult to read because they are extremely faint, but paying for the effort in eyestrain, and using a very large screen, I believe I was able to suss them out correctly. Again, Art Ness was extremely helpful with this project. Any errors, however, are my own.
31May18: Just completed Cavalcanti. Whew! I received significant help from Art Ness, who corrected several errors in titling and attribution of composers.
27May18: I got some very significant help from Richard Falkenstein on the one missing piece from Bossinensis v.2 (1511), namely "Quando andaratu al monte". That was the one piece that had completely stumped me, but Richard totally figured it out. It turns out to be a very racy dialog between a shepherd and shepherdess. It would be a lot of fun to perform--for an adult audience.
16May18: Posted another 50 pieces from Cavalcanti. This lot contains some excellent fantasias by Francesco da Milano, various dances, and several vocal intabulations with underlaid text. As usual, there are many errors, including many that appear to be due to the fact that Cavalcanti copied from vocal scores and failed to put in the appropriate musica ficta. At other times, he put in inappropriate ficta. I have been greatly helped by , who kindly sent me portions of his 1997 PhD dissertation on the Cavalcanti MS. This dissertation contained valuable information on composer names and the location of vocal models.
22Apr18: Posted another 50 pieces from Cavalcanti. Most of these are vocal, with text underlay below the tab and extra stanzas scribbled in the margins or at the end of the page. The text seems to follow the bass line. The text was very difficult to read. In some cases, I found the text elsewhere, but otherwise I gave it my best guess. The tab and rhythm indications in many of these were fairly unreliable, so more guesswork was involved to try to make sense of them.
31Mar18: Got some great help from on #27 and from , on #63. Mysteries solved!
28Mar18: Posted the next 50 pieces from Cavalcanti. I had to punt on #63, a contrapunto that appears to be in 12/8 time, but it's hard to make it fit. Again, any help is appreciated. Many pieces in Cavalcanti are noted as being by "Giovanni". Others are probably by Giovanni B. Borrono. Could this be the same Giovanni?
15Mar18: Posted the first 50 pieces from the Cavalcanti Lute Book. As mentioned below, it has been a major problem to edit this material. In one case, I punted on trying to rationalize a piece (Canario, #27) and come up with something plausible. helped me figure this out. Most of the pieces in this first part of the MS are short dances of one kind or another. has been very helpful in providing his table of contents for the MS.
08Mar18: Posted a cleaned-up facsimile of the Cavalcanti Lute Book (c. 1600). This is a 210 p. document, containing many fantasias and ricercars of Francesco da Milano, plus many dances of one kind or another, in Italian tab. Cleaning up the MS was a considerable challenge. Although the notes and staff lines are fairly clear in most places, they are also festooned with multiple random scratches and scribbles, smudges, dots, and inkblots. Rarely, notes are lost off the edge of the page, and the last ½ of the MS looks as though it were subjected to a gray watercolor wash. I believe, however, that my result is fairly readable. I plan to do an edition of the MS next. The absence of bar lines in most of the MS will probably make that more difficult.11Feb18: Posted the last 43 pieces from Barbarino. Short dances, but also a piece with multiple variations on "Une Jeune Fillette". That completes Barbarino.
05Feb18: Posted another 50 pieces from Barbarino. Mostly short dances, but also a very substantial battle piece.
30Jan18: Posted cleaned up copies of Barbetta Intavolatura de liuto (1585) and Intavolatura di liuto (1603).
28Jan18: Posted another 50 pieces from Barbarino. Mostly galliards and a few courantes.
21Jan18: Posted another 50 pieces from Barbarino, including a couple of new (to me) fantasies by Milano and other really good stuff.
03Jan18: Completed the encoding of a charming set of modern pieces in renaissance style for 6-course lute, mostly of moderate difficulty, by Laudon Schuett.
24Dec17: Completed another 50 pieces from the Barbarino Lute MS including passamessos, galliards, and romanescas. This includes some very nice fantasies, toccatas, and tientos by Lorenzino Tracetti and others. I am past the ½ way mark, now. Merry Christmas!
11Dec17: Posted an edition of Giacomo Gorzanis' 5th book, a very clear but not error-free autograph MS dated 1567. Also posted a cleaned-up copy of the MS. The MS has 16-bar passemezzi antici and moderni in all keys, with their 16-bar saltarellos, as well as several napolitane and one ricercar.
03Dec17: Posted pages 51-100 of the Barbarino Lute MS, which takes up up to p. 131 of the document.
18Nov17: Posted Gorzanis Gorzanis v.4 Opera Nova de Lauto (1579) This starts with 6 interesting fantasies.
10Nov17: Posted cleaned-up facsimile of Gorzanis v.4 Opera Nova de Lauto (1579).
06Nov17: Posted pages 1-50 of the Barbarino Lute MS (c. 1600). There are close to 300 large pages in this MS, of which I have posted 72. The MS is rather difficult to read, but not impossible. It has many errors, and several missing pages, meaning that some pieces are fragmentary. The first 50 pieces include a wide variety of types -- many vocal intabulations and liturgical pieces, a few fantasies, exercises, etc.
05Nov17: Posted Gorzanis third volume (1564). These required significnt re-barring, which Douglas Towne has done very well.
03Nov17: Posted Gorzanis v.2 (1563). It has similar content. For this volume, I have started with Douglas Towne's intabulation, checked against the original, and found to be virtually error-free. Also, I find that Towne has shown excellent taste and judgment in his editorial decisions, almost all of which I agree with.
30Oct17: Posted Giacomo Gorzanis Intabolatura di liuto, v.1 (1561). It consists mostly of dance suites: passamezzos, padoanas, and saltarellos, but there are four very nice ricercars at the end, the last three of which were expertly encoded by Douglas Towne. He has actually fully encoded all three Gorzanis books, but I only found his work when I was nearly done with v1.
06Oct17: Posted a cleaned-up version of the Barbarino MS, a 320 pager in Italian tab. A fronimo edition is my next project.
08Sep17: Posted an edition of v3 and v4 of Galilei's 1584 MS, thus completing the work on this MS. V3 consists entirely of 55 galliards by Galilei. According to Luis Gasser, the galliards might be intended as a fourth piece in a suite composed of passamezzo, romanesca, and saltarello. The galliards are not tied to any particular suite of passamezzo, romanesca, saltarello, so the performer is presumably free to pick whichever he or she wants. Galliard 53, entitled "Fiordiligi", appears to be an "homage" to, or parody of, Crécquillon's "Ung gay bergier". In v3, Galilei fully wrote out all repeats instead of using repeat marks. To save space and to help clarify the structure of these galliards, I have substituted repeat marks for repeated sections. V4 contains random airs, galliards, and allemands. These are titled as "di diversi" but otherwise not attributed to any particular composer. If anyone can identify the composer of any of these, I would appreciate the help.
30Aug17: Posted intro to Luis Gasser doctoral thesis on Galilei's Libro d'intavolatura di liuto. This is a very valuable resource for those who want to put together a performance of Galilei's music.
26Aug17: Posted v2 of Galilei's Libro d'Intavalotura di liuto (1584). As v1 was a collection of passamezzi antici, with paired romanescas all minor keys, with paired saltarellos, v2 contains the corresponding passamezzi moderni, with corresponding romanescas, in all major keys. The saltarellos meant to be paired with these are the same ones, correspondingly, as the ones in v1.
17Aug17: Posted 2 additional lute ensemble pieces (allemandes) by Tobias Hume, encoded by : Hatton's Choice and George's Delight. Also posted several pieces that had been missing from my edition of Galilei's Fronimo (1584) and added edited midis produced by , who also kindly kindly pointed out the omissions. The midis on my site are all auto-generated from the fronimo software and serve mainly to give a general idea of what a given piece might sound like.
14Aug17: Posted my edition of Vincenzo Galilei's autograph MS Libro d'intavolatura di liuto (1584), v. 1. This includes a romanesca in AbM with 100 variations, grouped in sets of 4. If you consider it a single piece, it is arguably the longest lute piece ever written. However, it is best to think of all these passamezzos and romanescas, with their many variations, as something that a performer can pick and choose from to put together a performance. Galilei clearly demonstrates a genius for an infinite variety of unique settings of the passamezzo and romanesca pattern. In 1991, Luis Gasser did a careful analysis of the 1584 Galilei MS as a DMA thesis. I hope to post this soon.
14Aug17: Posted an arrangement for theorbo by of an Elaias Reusner Passacaglia, originally written for Baroque lute.
14Jul17: Posted cleaned up copy of v.1 (of 4) of Vincenzo Galilei's autograph MS Libro d'intavolatura di liuto (1584)., consisting of 131 pages of Italian tab, consisting of a variety of passemezzos, romanescas, and saltarellos in every possible key,. Galilei was demonstrating that the lute was best conceived as an equal-tempered instrument, as Bach did with his "Well-Tempered Clavier".
11Jul17: Posted some beautiful reconstructions by of Barbetta pages that had the corner torn off.
10Jul17: Posted cleaned-up copy of Phalèse Theatrum Musicum (1571). A massive collection (250 pages) in very clear French tab. The copy I had to work with at first was very low-resolution and barely legible. Thanks to Arne Harder and Jean Bernard Roy for directing me to a much better copy.
03Jul17: Posted cleaned up copies of Phalèse "Chansons reduictz en tablature", vs. 1, 2, 3, and 5. V.4 appears to be missing, but if anyone has it, I'd like to have a copy! As these are very legible and already in French tab, I do not feel a great urgency to do fronimo editions of them. I have done an edition of v1
01Jul17: Completed Giulio Cesare Barbetta Novae Tabulae Musicae (1582). High quality stuff, though mostly a bit challenging to play. Barbetta's intabulations are well put together. Because a rather large corner was ripped off the book, I had to do some fancy reconstruction of the last 4 pieces, but fortunately, there were other
23Jun17: Did transcriptions for lute of the 5 bandora fantasies from British Library MS 31392. Also, posted cleaned up facsimile of Giulio Cesare Barbetta Novae Tabulae Musicae (1582). Lovely pieces. Working on an edition of same, about ¼ of the way through.
16Jun17: Added 5 bandora fantasies from British Library MS 31392. Thanks to Anne Burns of LSA for providing the additional pages.
12Jun17: Completed Vincenzo Galilei "Intavolature de lauto", v. 1 (1563). The facsimile is in very rough shape -- barely--but at last--legible. I include a majorly cleaned-up copy of it, which amounts to a reconstruction in places. It contains intabulations of 24 madrigals by various composers as well as 6 ricercars by Francesco da Milano. The music is of high quality, remarkably error-free and moderately difficult.
26May17: Completed Volume 13 - Sacred songs. That completes the entire Dlugorai lute book.
22May17: Completed Volume 12 - Latin and Italian songs. I am indebted to John Robinson and Catherine Liddell for helping me identify some maddeningly familiar but heretofore unidentified pieces.
06May17: Completed Volume 11 - German songs.
13Apr17: Completed Volume 10 - Chorea. The word "chorea" means "dance" in Latin. So it could be a fairly non-specific label. However, most of the pieces in this collection appear to be allemandes, though there are also some Polish dances, and some of the pieces have a triple second section, a "proportio" or a saltarello.
26Mar17: Completed Volume 9 - Voltes.
21Mar17: Completed Volume 8 - Ballets. A ballet in this time period appears to be a short, light-weight dance, usually in duple time like an allemande but sometimes triple or with triple sections. Thanks to Catherine Liddell for pointing out other instances of ballets in Ballard (1609-1622), Vallet (1616), and one in Francisque (1600), f. 31vb. Also, many thanks to John Robinson for his careful preparation of concordances and other helpful comments on the pieces in this volume. This volume, like the others, is rife with errors, but with a little imagination it is possible to suss out what was probably intended. There are so many errors in rhythm flags that at times I have not notated all of my corrections as the piece would then be hard to read. I have noted any errors in notes.
14Mar17: Back on the Dlugorai Lute book. Completed Volume 7, the section on courantes. As with the rest of this volume, I had to struggle with careless and corrupt scribery (rhythm flags were pretty arbitrary), but there are many charming pieces in the volume nonetheless.
05Mar17: Completed the third and final volume of Donaueschingen, with 120 pages of German tab, as well as its facsimile. It consists of a few dances and fantasies, but mainly consists of vocal intabulations of pieces by many European composers.
09Jan17: Completed the second Donaueschingen volume, consisting of 162 pages of German tab. I have also posted the original v2 facsimile. V. 2 contains 136 pieces., many intabulations of works by Cipriano de Rore and Orlando di Lasso. It also includes copies, in German tab, of all of Matelart's 1579 volume, including his added parts to create duets to Milano pieces and 13 solo fantasies of his own., as well as miscellaneous pieces by other composers. Again, I am grateful to Arthur Ness and John Robinson for invaluable assistance in sorting out puzzling aspects of the work and for help in finding related source documents.
21Nov16: Completed the first of three volumes of the Donaueschingen Lute Book. This is a very large German tab source, consisting of three volumes of about 150 large pages each, written for lutes of 6 to 8 courses. I am also including a cleaned-up version of the original v1 facsimile. The handwriting is unusually clear, and the music has very few errors. It was apparently compiled and written by three doctors of the time. The first volume contains 117 pieces, including many secular and religious vocal intabulations, as well as some fantasies and many dances. The tab format is somewhat ususual in that the notation allows accessing any position of the 8 courses on the fingerboard. In many of the pieces, it also contains tenuto marks (dots or small crossed before the notes to be held) and also right hand fingering dots. In putting out this edition, I have received significant help and encouragement from Arthur Ness, John Robinson, and Catherine Liddell, who is the one who turned me on to the MS.
11Oct16: I took a break from Dlugorai and completed work on Attaingnant's collection: Dix-huits Basses danses. This is a collection of 63 pieces, including various dances, mostly very easy ones. Jason Kortis did the encoding, which was entirely error-free, so far as I could tell, and I edited it to my preferred format.
16Sep15: Completed work on the 6th section of Dlugorai, containing galliards. Herbert Speck also set these pieces, and John Robinson set several of them. I completed my versions before consulting theirs, then checked mine against theirs. In those cases where I thought they had a preferable version to mine, I noted the editorial changes with their initials [hs] and [lhr]. In doing this section of Dlugorai, I received considerable help and encouragement from John Robinson and Catherine Liddell., which is much appreciated. I should also mention that John Robinson has been very helpful in providing tables of contents for all the Dlugorai sections and for identifying composers, common titles, and concordances for many, if not most, of them.
31Aug16: Completed work on the 5th section of Dlugorai, consisting of "intradas". After a discussion with John Robinson and Catherine Liddell, I have come to the conclusion that, for purposes of this lute book, an intrada is simply a piece that can be used to start of introduce something, not otherwise a specific type. That being said, most of the pieces in this section of Dlugorai appear to be allemandes, accompanied by a lesser number of galliards and other triple time pieces, and a few vocal intabulations. The quality seems still to be quite poor, but there is an occasional gem to be found here.
23Aug16: Completed work on the 4th section of the Dlugorai Lute Book, devoted to pavanes.
29Jul16: Completed the first three sections of the Dlugorai Lute Book, a massive MS consisting of 530 pages of music for 8-course lute, in a somewhat idiosyncratic form of German tablature, divided into different sections. The first section consists of preludes and various exercises, samples of cadential endings ("cadentia" and "finales"), etc. The second consists of "fugae", which seem more like preludes than fugues, and passamezzi. The third consists of fantasies plus one galliard. The scribe is quite careless, especially in the placement and value of the rhythm flags, so a fair amount of interpretation and modification has been necessary to produce a reasonable result. Frequent line errors indicate that some of the pieces may have been copied from sources in French or Italian tab.
After I completed my edition of these first three parts, I discovered that John Robinson had covered much of the same ground in his editions for LSA and Tree. In comparing our editions, I found that we agreed on about 90% of the corrections, which was very reassuring, because John is a very able and experienced editor. In those spots where I liked his corrections better than mine, I put his initials [jhr] in the footnotes documenting the corrections. I retain full responsibility for any errors in my editions, however. I hope they are few.
19Jul16: Completed the Barberiis Lute book (1549), v.10. This contains fantasies and vocal intabulations. It also contains two duets and some pieces for alternate tunings, as well as four pieces labeled as fantasies for 4-course guitar, but which are probably branles. In general, the book is of poor quality, with a number of errors. Also, the composers fantasies are not particularly interesting. The duets required a lot of work for the parts to be even playable with each other, and even so the result is marginal. I have provided version of the alternate tuning pieces for normal tuning.
12Jul16: Completed v.6 and v.7 of Silva de Sirenas, which completes the book. V6. contains, on the whole, simpler pieces. There are 22 "sonetos", which appear to be vocal intabulations, not particularly related to the sonnet form or the Italian sonnetto. V.7 contains more difficult and lengthy pieces, including variations on conde claros, guardame las vacas, and la folia ("Pavana").
09Jul16: Completed v.5 of "Silva de Sirenas", consisting of 33 fantasies, mostly of very high quality and strictly contrapuntal. These include several parodies of liturgical works.
06Jul16: Completed v.s v.3 and v.4 of "Silva de Sirenas". V.3 consists of motets and cancions. Here the vocal part is written out in mensural notation. The text underlay is a little hard to read and not accurately aligned with the notes, so it's a bit of a challenge and involves some guesswork. I did my best, but welcome any corrections. V.4 consists of lute duets. Only 3 of them are for equal lutes; the others are for lutes a minor third, a fourth, and a fifth apart. For these, I have provided arrangements for equal lutes, the lower lute having 7-9 courses. Luckily, the volumes in "Silva de Sirenas" are incredibly accurate. So far I have encountered only a handle of errors in the entire work.
24Jun16: Completed v.s v.1 and v.2 of Valderrábano's "Silva de Sirenas". These are polyphonic pieces, including many settings of liturgical pieces of one kind or another, burt also some villanellas, sonetos, and romances.. For each piece, the composer has specified a line in the polyphony to be sung. Notes to be sung are colored red, and the words are given underneath. In v.1, these are given without words. In v.2, where the bulk of these pieces reside, I have created a mensural staff above the tab, with what I hope is reasonably accurate text underlay. Fortunately, Valderrábano has been pretty careful in his placement of the words. The source facsimiles, somewhat cleaned up, are also available on my site.
19May16: Completed all 120 fantasies from Mertel. These are very high quality stuff. The authorship of all the Mertel materials is not specified by Mertel. Robert Spencer and others have found the composer of about a third of the materials. I have tried to incorporate these data into my files.
31Mar16: Completed all the preludes from Hortus Musicalis Novus (1615). Just a note on right hand fingerings: I did not attempt to alter or correct these, although on rare occasions they appeared to be wrong. I did, however, correct what I took to be wrong or missing notes or incorrect rhythm markings -- also quite rare, as the volume is very accurate.
24Mar16: All 222 pieces from Danzig MS 4022 (1621) are now posted. I would like to reiterate the wonderful job Magdalena Tomsinska has done in helping me edit these pieces. She has gone through all of them meticulously, correcting my many errors and making many crucial suggestions. As I mentioned, I have also posted a facsimile of the MS.
13Mar16: First 100 Mertel Preludes now posted. Also, posted a facsimile of the original. Starting at #72, Mertel introduces the double dot in his right-hand fingerings. A study of these fingerings is interesting in showing how the middle finger of the right hand is used. The middle finger appears always to be used on an accented beat, while the index finger (denoted by a single dot) is usually on an an unaccented beat, except when the forefinger is used for convenience in hitting a higher string next to a lower one, in which case it may appear on an accented beat.
11Mar16: Posted a couple of instructional videos on using the fronimo tab editing software. The first shows how to set up convenient shortcut keys; the second is a live demonstration of the entire process of editing a medium-length lute piece in fronimo. I recommend you watch these in full screen mode.09Mar16: Posted the first 20 preludes from Mertel's "Hortus Musicalis Novis" (1615). Göran Crona has already done an elegant PDF edition of the Mertel. Mine will be in my own preferred format, will be done directly from the original facsimiles, will include the original right hand fingerings and slur marks, and will have the original version noted wherever I have made a correction.
07Mar16: Posted v.6 (1615) of "Airs de differents autheurs", thus completing the collection.
01Mar16: Posted <>v.5 (1614) of Bataille's "Airs de differents auteurs".
26Feb16: Posted v.4 (1613) of Bataille's "Airs de differents auteurs".
20Feb16: Posted v.3 (1611) of Bataille's "Airs de differents auteurs". Another editorial point: In the original, all of the airs end in a long (quadruple semibreve), with a fermata or corona over it. It seems clear that it would have made no sense to sing the songs this way, so I assume this was just a way of showing that it was the end of a piece. This means the individual performer will have to decide what to do about the length of the final note. I have given my interpretations, but the performers should take these with a grain of salt.
16Feb16: Posted v.2 (1609) of Bataille's "Airs de differents auteurs". Editorial note addendum: I continue to put in dotted bar lines and time signatures. The sparse bar lines in the originals are not very meaningful rhythmically, since they only mark the beginning of text lines, and many text lines begin with a pickup note or two, and where this is the case, I have left them out. I think early music performers are used to seeing modern editions with bar lines and time signatures where these are not present in the original and have learned not to take them too seriously.
10Feb16: Posted v.1 (1608) of Battaille's "Airs de differents auteurs". I also corrected some text underlay issues in v.7.
05Feb16: Posted v.7 (1622) of Bataille's "Airs de differents auteurs", containing 64 airs de cour. This is the last of 7 volumes put out by Bataille, each containing a large number of airs, the total number being 422. These were painstakingly and very accurately encoded and edited by Douglas Towne, who also put in the text underlay for the pieces--altogether a monumental piece of work. In their original form, these are mostly unmeasured. I have taken it upon myself to insert dotted bar lines and time signatures. As a performer, I have found these visual aids helpful, though others may find them annoying. Those who prefer the unmeasured versions can find them in the very clear and accurate source facsimiles.
31Jan16: Mynshall Lute Book (1599) posted, along with its cleaned-up facsimile. This book may be useful in providing concordances but contains very little that is new. Also, its scribe is extremely sloppy about barring and rhythm flags, so there are multiple errors per page. Some pieces were actually indecipherable (by me); others required a lot of work.
27Jan16: Posted a cleaned-up facsimile of the Brogyntyn Lute Book.
26Jan16: Brogyntyn Lute Book (c. 1600) completed. This source has a number of familiar dances and some lute duets, but the bulk of the MS consists of lute song accompaniments. It appears to have been intended as "Part Book 2" of a collection, the other parts of which are lost. However, most of the other parts of the songs and duets are available elsewhere. I have brought in these other parts from other English MSS and especially from Philip Brett's book of consort songs to make for complete pieces. So reconstructed, the lute songs are excellent pieces. There are also many where I was not able to find the other parts, so if anyone has access to these, I would appreciate the help. I have posted a cleaned-up copy of the source facsimile.
25Jan16: Posted #'s 1-100 (out of 222) of the Danzig MS 4022 (1621). I have been most pleased to collaborate with Magdalena Tomsinska on this edition as co-editor. As she has studied these pieces extensively, I consider her the leading expert on the MS. The MS is notable for its extensive collection of Polish music and other European pieces and a few English ones. Almost all of the pieces are dances of one kind or another or vocal intabulations. They are written for Renaissance lute of 6 to 9 courses. I have also included a cleaned-up facsimile of this document.
05Jan16: Posted the complete Hirsch Lute Book (1595). This is a rich source of English lute music, but also of European pieces. All but two pieces are for 6-course lute. All are untitled, but many are familiar pieces by Dowland, Byrd, Allison, Holborne, Milano, etc. About half of the pieces in the MS are fantasies; 14 are anonymous. Many of these are very interesting, beautiful, and well put together. I have also posted a cleaned-up version in facsimile.16Dec15: Completed work on Paladin's second book, Livre de tablature de luth (1560). This contains vocal intabulations of madrigals and chansons, as well as some well-crafted fantasies and parodies. and a few dances. I also posted a cleaned-up version of the facsimile in Italian tab.
24Nov15: Completed work on Jean Paul Paladin Tabulature de Lutz (1549). Most of the pieces are fairly simple. There are some vocal intabulations of French chansons, followed by some good fantasies and dances, presumably by Paladin himself, ending with a lengthy "battle", intended for 6-course lute with the 6th course down a whole note. I have also made an arrangement for 7-course lute. I have a cleaned up version of the source facsimile, as well.
30Sep15: Completed work on the Siena lute book (ca. 1590). It contains 155 pieces, mostly by Francesco da Milano and contemporaries with a similar polyphonic style -- a truly wonderful collection. I am greatly indebted to Jason Kortis, who encoded the vast majority of the pieces in 2003 -- a major piece of work taking more than four months -- to Arthur Ness, John Robinson, and others, who helped me finding source documents for the pieces and helped identify many of the untitled or unattributed pieces. Most of the pieces are fantasies or ricercars, but there are 22 intabulations of French chansons and a very few dances. Only some of the pieces are titled or attributed, but many have been identified from other sources. All the pieces are for 6-course lute, except at the end of the MS there are several unmeasured pieces for 7-course lute which present a considerable interpretive challenge, as they also contain many puzzling rhythm notations. I did the best I could, but I also included unmeasured versions of these pieces that are unedited apart from a few corrections of wrong notes.05Sep15: Posted an edition of John Danyel "Songs for the lute, viol, and voice" (1605), with its facsimile. These are songs of amazing quality, quite comparable to Dowland at his best. It is a shame that so little of Danyel's music survives. His lyrics are very interesting and intelligent , and his settings display an excellent sense of counterpoint, in which each part has its own interest, yet all easily playable. Also, his text underlay is meticulous; the poetry fits the words perfectly, in all the parts. A couple of the pieces use alternate tunings. I have made arrangements of these in standard tunings.
27Aug15: Completed work on Corkine's Second book of ayres (1612), containing 18 lute songs and 12 pieces for lyra viol, including one duet. I made arrangements of these for 7-course lute. This includes one rather extraordinary lute song, and which the singer tries to dissuade a maiden from her vow of life-long chastity. The argument is that if she does not put out, she is doomed to the eternal shame of dancing in hell with bob-tail apes, and that she would be better off lying with every passing peasant than to suffer that fate. There is also a vocal intabulation of the popular tune "Come live with me and be my love", with words attributed to Christopher Marlowe. I took the liberty of creating a lute song version of this piece.20Aug15: Posted an edition of William Corkine's First booke of ayres (1610). This contains 12 lute songs and 12 solo works for lyra viol, all high quality and relatively free of errors. I also made arrangements for 7-course lute for the lyra viol pieces. I also posted facsimiles of his first and second book of ayres. These are of quite poor quality, necessitating some judgment calls in making the edition.
08Aug15: Posted Sixt Kargel's book (Novae Elegantissimae... 1574) in French tab, and a very clean facsimile of same in Italian tab. The book has very few errors in the original. It starts with 4 fantasies by the composer and proceeds with vocal intabulations of chansons, madrigals, napolitane, motets, and passemezzi. Most are by Ordando di Lasso. All are somewhat challenging to play because of the diminutions and occasional high positions they contain, but of high quality. It includes an interesting version of Susanne ung jour, written in a major "key" instead of the customary minor.
19Jul15: Completed edition of Antoine Francisque's Trésor d'Orphée. It starts with a highly ornamented version of Susanne un jour and contains a few passamezzos, preludes, fantasies, gavottes, and a number of voltes and courantes. Some pieces are in an alternate tuning. I also have the original facsimile, which is in excellent shape.
10Jul15: Completed work on all but one frottola from Bossinensis Tenore e Contrabassi, v.2, 55 in all. The one I have not yet been able to figure out is #40 Quando andaratu al monte, by G.B. Zesso.The structure of this piece is hard to figure out, partly because it has 2 "da capos" in it, and it is not clear what should be done about them. Anybody have any ideas?25Jun15: Completed my edition of the works of Francesco da Milano, filling out the collection to include all the pieces in the Ness volume as well as others that surfaced after its publication, kindly provided by John Robinson, who also encoded many of the pieces. Carlo Stringhi also contributed many of the pieces in the collection. I have been able to check all but a handful of the pieces against source facsimiles, which I hope has minimized any errors. This collection includes many duets not previously on my site as well as many of Milano's vocal intabulations, which are very well constructed. Some pieces are ornamented versions of the basic work. I have put an "o" in the file name to designate these. Others are parodies or works based on a known Milano piece. These are marked with a "p". Works of questionable attribution that might be by Milano, I have marked with a "q" and, finally, new works not contained in the Ness volume, I have marked with an "x". Of course I, and the entire lute community, owe Arthur Ness a great debt for the excellent scholarship found in his 1971 edition of Milano's works. Ness has also been very helpful to me in answering several queries I have had in connection with the work on the Milano project. 26Apr15: Posted facsimile of Bossinensis Tenore e contrabassi v.2 (1511). 13Apr15: Posted edition of Franciscus Bossinensis Tenore e contrabassi (1509). This contains 12 short ricercari, but the bulk of the work consists of 70 frottole of different types -- strambotti, barzellette, odes, sonnetti, and capitoli. These formes fixes present non-trivial problems in their repeat structure and text underlay. I was greatly aided by consulting Benvenuto Disertori's (1954) work on the subject, La frottola nella storia della musica, and William Prizer's (1975) article in the LSA Journal, as well as some very useful tips from . With this help, I was able to identify the structure of most of the frottole in the collection. For the outliers, I did what seemed logical. I have been as careful as I know how to be, but please let me know if you find any errors in my editions. The 26 short ricercars found at the end of the work serve as introductions to the various frottole.
18Mar15: Posted edition of Ochsenkuhn Tablaturbuch auff di Lauten (1558) in German and French tab. did most of the heavy lifting, having carefully and painstakingly encoded the entirety of the 200+ pages in German tab. I have double-checked it against the original facsimile and also cleaned up the facsimile a bit more for easier readability. All the pieces are very high quality stuff, and there are almost no errors in the original. All the pieces are polyphonic vocal intabulations, including several secular works Ochsenkuhn was unique in using the capability of German tab to separate the parts of his pieces by putting each part on a separate line. If 2 or more parts play the same note at the same time, Ochsenkuhn duplicates the note on all the lines that are playing it at that moment. This makes this book valuable in showing how parts in tab are separated, and would, in theory, make it possible to reconstruct the mensural polyphonic model of each piece. It certainly also serves as a useful guide to playing the pieces. If you want to see the German tab, you can find it here, or you can check out the facsimile.04Mar15: I know it's a bit late, but I posted lute song versions of "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" and "Have yourself a merry little Christmas", a couple of my faves. These were for a Christmas gig. 18Feb15: Posted facsimile of Ochsenkuhn Tablature auff di Lauten (1558). I did a little cleanup to make it more readable, though I expect few will read it, as it consists of over 200 pages of German tab, mostly vocal intabulations of religious works. I am working with Arne Harder on a French tab edition. 12Feb15: Completed edition of Vincenzo Galilei Fronimo Dialogo (1584).Göran Crona did careful work in creating his edition of this work. I have added a few pieces not present in that edition, proofread each piece note for note against the original facsimile and by listening to each, and inserted the copious number of tenuto marks that are found throughout the work. Also, this edition, like all of mine, is in French tablature, which some may find easier to read then the original Italian. Unfortunately, the facsimile I had to work from was of very poor quality, with an excessive number of smudges, drop-outs, bleed-throughs, and, sadly, many dark lines vertically spanning all the pages from scratches on the microfilm. I have also posted that facsimile, on which I have attempted some cleanup, though it is still in rough shape. Arne Harder provided a better copy, which I have yet to post, as it still needs cleanup, and I am on to the next project. Fronimo contains over a hundred pieces, all of excellent quality. It mostly consists of intabulations of 3 to 6-part vocal pieces of the time, but it also contains a few lute duets, and ricercars in every conceivable mode. There are a couple of "puzzle fugues", one in mensural notation, the other in tab. I could not figure out how to make sense of these, but was finally able to with the help of Arne Harder.
25Jan15: Posted somewhat cleaned up facsimile of the Braye Lute MS from Yale University Beinecke Library.21Jan15: Posted cleaned-up edition of Bossinensis Tenore e contrabassi, v. 1 (1509). This contains an amazing number of frottole as well as 25 ricercari, all in Italian notation. The ricercari appear to be intended as intros to the various vocal pieces. 18Jan15: Posted edition of Rotta's Intabolatura di lauto, v.1 (1546). For this, I am greatly indebted to , who did an excellent edition of this work in Spanish tab and thus saved me a lot of work on data entry. For the volume of encodings he has produced over the years, Jason is surely one of the unsung heroes of creating accessible lute music. My edition, in French tab, contains the massive, perhaps obsessive, quantity of tenuto marks present in the second edition of this volume (rendered as X's after the notes to be held).. These give a crystal clear view of the voice leading in the pieces. The pieces range in difficulty from fairly easy to challenging and include padouanas, passamezzi, galliards, saltarellos, ricercars, and vocal intabulations. All were checked against the originals. There are few errors in the original document and few in Kortis's edition, which was obviously done with great care. 14Jan15: Posted cleaned-up copy of Rotta's Intabolatura di lauto, v.1 (1546). It is in Italian tab. Fronimo edition will follow. 09Jan15: Posted an edition of Chansons reduictzs en tabulature de lut (1546). Most of the pieces are fairly easy. An exception is the massive Battle piece, which is one of the most ambitious of type I have seen.. 02Jan15: Posted cleaned-up copy of Phalèse Chansons reduictzs en tabulature de lut (1546). This contains intabulations of many popular tunes, as well as fantasies, praeludia, and a very long bataille. The pagination is a bit wonky. Rather than trying to correct it, I have let the file names reflect the page numbers given in the original. Thanks to for pointing out the error in page numbering. 08Dec14: Completed edition of Castigliono Intabolatura de leuto (1536). This contains some excellent pieces by dall'Aquila, Borrono, and Milano. It contains fantasies, toccatas, pavanes, and saltarellos. There are very few errors in this source, which makes life easier. 24Nov14: Posted cleaned-up facsimile of Castigliono Intabolatura de leuto (1536), for those that like Italian tab. French tab edition to follow. 14Nov14: Completed edition of Emanuel Adriaenssen Pratum Musicum (1584). I could not find a clean copy of the 1592 printing. Included are 60 vocal and lute ensemble pieces by various composers. It is unclear which of these pieces may have been originally composed by Adriaenssen himself. I have to commend Alain Veylit for the excellent work he did encoding these pieces, especially the songs and lute ensemble pieces, which require a lot of work in aligning the different parts. His solutions are always careful and musical. I also checked the pieces against the facsimile original and found very few errors. I took the liberty of making lute songs out of the vocal pieces by creating lute accompaniments that do not double the top vocal line. 28Oct14: Posted a cleaned-up facsimile version of Emmanuel Adriensen Pratum Musicum (1584). 21Oct14: Completed edition of the Doni Lute MS (1640), as well as a cleaned-up but low-res version of the source. This is a collection of solo pieces for 14-course archlute, though most of the pieces can be played on instruments of fewer courses. The collection contains 80 pieces: many courantes, galliards, and toccatas, and a smattering of other types of pieces, such as chaconnes. Some of these pieces, especially the chaconnes, have few or no bar lines and rhythm flags, which makes interpreting them rather difficult., so I have set these aside for the time being and have included only those I feel reasonably certain of interpreting correctly. The pieces vary greatly in difficulty. Some of the toccatas are especially interesting and difficult, including two by Kapsberger. I should mention that I have been getting very significant help from , , and in interpreting some of the idiosyncrasies of this and the de Bellis MSS. 03Oct14: Completed edition of the de Bellis MS (1615). I also provide a cleaned-up grayscale source for this MS. This MS contains mostly quite easy pieces for 13-course archlute, although many of the pieces can be played on lutes with fewer courses. There are several corantos, allemands, sarabandas, etc. Mostly rather light fare. It was a very difficult MS to clean up and to read, since it is light and of low contrast, and covered with artifacts. It is particularly of interest because more than half of the pieces are meticulously fingered for left and right hand and also contain ornaments and tenuto marks. I have included these fingerings and marks in my edition. 27Aug14: Completed my edition of Piccinini Intavolatura di liuto, v.2 (1639). I have also provided a cleaned-up version of the source. As in the first edition, all the pieces appear to be by Piccinini himself. The pieces in this volume are mostly fairly easy, some being written for 10-course lute and archlute up to 13 courses, but many for lutes with fewer courses. Some of the toccatas and ricercars are quite interesting and beautiful, reflecting a transition between renaissance and baroque styles. These are highly contrapuntal, yet with more baroque-like harmonies. 24Aug14: John Robinson kindly made available a link to an important Italian tab MS in high resolution, the deBellis MS of 1615.
05Aug14: Completed Terzi's v.2 (1599). Also posted a cleaned-up source for v.2. Volume 2, unlike v.1, is thoroughly notated as to right hand fingering and also as to tenutos. Terzi shows the latter by putting a + just to the right of the exact note or notes which is/are to be held. This is more specific than the more general practice of just putting in a line to show a tenuto. In my edition of this volume, I have used lines, but I have made sure that they start on the exact note that had the + next to it and have tried to guess where the note should end. This gives an unusually clear picture of the voice leading in the pieces.
27Jul14: Completed 50 pieces from Terzi's v.2 (1599) (halfway there). Content is similar to v.1.
20Jul14: Added a tutorial on rapidly encoding tab files using Fronimo.
01Jun14: Completed edition of Giovanni Antonio Terzi Intavolatura di liutto, v.1 (1593). Also posted a cleaned-up source for this volume, for those that like to read Italian tab. This volume contains several religious and secular vocal intabulations, mostly in 5 or 6 parts, so the harmony is sometimes rather thick and difficult to play. It also contains several great duets. One part of most may also be played as a solo. There are 11 Merulo canzones, which are excellent, and several fantasies by Terzi. These are not overly difficult, compared to the vocal intabulations. Also, there are several very inventive passemezzi, galliards, allemands (balli tedesci), courantes, and saltarelli.
12May14: Added different intabulations of the Lochamer Liederbuch, done by , mostly for 5-course lute in G.
16Apr14: Completed an edition of Robinson's Schoole of Musicke (1603). This is a delightful collection of mostly quite easy English pieces, some of them exhaustively notated as to right and left hand fingering. I have preserved the fingerings in my edition.
13Apr14: Completed my edition of the Euing Lute Book. It consists almost entirely of famous English lute pieces, 71 of them. The spreadsheet has also been updated to include all recent postings.
07Apr14: Corrected the Lochamer Liederbuch pieces and added pieces from the Buxheimer Orgelbuch and the Breslau MS, all intabulated by for an alternate tuning in C with the 4th course lowered a half-step; I have also arranged these for normal renaissance tuning.
05Apr14: With the kind help of , I have reviewed and corrected my edition of the da Crema pieces against the source facsimiles.
03Apr14: Posted cleaned up copy of Giovanni M. da Crema's Intabolatura (1546). I have moved my Fronimo edition of this work to sources/crema/intabolatura_de_lauto_1546.S
31Mar14: Posted cleaned-up copy of the lute solos from the Euing Lute Book. These consist of the first 68 pages from the book. The remainder of the folios are tab chord diagrams for different figured bass notations on theorbo. This copy of the Euing book was one I obtained in the early '60s. I am posting it, as it is much clearer than any I have found online.
25Mar14: Completed Testudo Gallo Germanica.
19Mar14: Another 50 pieces of Testudo Gallo Germanica posted. Not too many left.
15Mar14: Posted some intabulations of keyboard pieces from the Lochamer Liederbuch (1460), done by , for an alternate tuning with the 4th course down a ½ step. These fit very nicely onto a 6-course lute. I have also rearranged these for normal Renaissance tuning.
13Mar14: Posted another 50 pieces of Testudo Gallo-Germanica. Well over ½ way.
26Feb14: Posted first 50 pieces of Testudo Gallo-Germanica. Many errors in this document, particularly in the English pieces. The c and the e look almost identical and have required a lot of judgment calls. Also the rhythm flags are extremely sloppy as to value and placement. More judgment calls.
16Feb14: I posted all the missing pages of Testudo, including the intro.
15Feb14: Wow! several people have sent me the missing pages, specifically Neil Morrison, Arne Harder, and Sigmar Salzburg. Many thanks for this help, which will enable me to complete the project. Arne Harder pointed out that Bayerische Staatsbibliothek also has an online version
13Feb14: Posted a cleaned-up facsimile of G.L. Fuhrmann Testudo Gallo-Germinica (1615). This is a much clearer copy than anything I have found online, but it takes a lot of work to get rid of spots, etc. According to Julia Craig-McFeely, there should be 6 more pages, #s 185-190. They are missing in my copy and in the ones I have found online. Does anyone have these?
10Jan14: Completed Herbert of Cherbury book. One of the many great finds from this book are some wonderful fantasies by one Cuthbert Hely.
26Dec13: Posted another 100 pieces from the Herbert of Cherbury book. Only 43 left! Merry Christmas!
13Nov13: Posted the first 100 pieces from the Herbert of Cherbury lute book.
28Oct13: Posted complete facsimile of Herbert of Cherbury lute book. This is a rich source of English lute music (180 pages), including many pieces unique to this source by Philip Rosseter, Jakub Reys, Robert Johnson, Daniel Bacheler, Charles Bocquet, René Saman, Diomedes Cato, Laurenzino Tracetti, Vincento Pinti, John Coprario, Gabriel Bataille, Ennemond Gaultier, and others. The copy is sometimes barely legible, with some pages later in the MS missing staves at the bottom, requiring a bit of creativity in the editing. Alain Veylit made a beautiful edition of it in PDF format awhile back. I plan to make my own edition. It's going to take awhile, but it's worth it.
23Oct13: Completed posting a cleaned-up and paginated copy of Gabriel Bataille's "Airs de Differents Auteurs", volumes 1-7. This is a treasure trove of airs de cour in French tab, several hundreds of them. Preceding the first bar of each piece the tab shows the first note to be sung in the voice part. Sometimes, this implies a lute tuned to A. Or it may simply be transposed.
05Sep13: Completed a major revamp and correction of my nearly 10,000 files. I have standardized the library notation, adding library sigla to my designations. Alternate names for a document or library are now separated by colons. Footnotes are simplified to omit comments. They are in three parts: 1. Publisher or library 2. Document 3. Editor and encoder credits. These are separated by double spaces. Comments and remarks are, along with other data, contained in the Section Annotation part of Fronimo (go to edit/secions/section annotations). This may not make a great deal of difference to many users, but the standardization should make it easier to construct the database for this site.
26Jul13: Completed edition of Margaret Board Lute Book consisting of 192 pieces. The first part of the document is very accurate; a little over half way through, a different scribe takes over, and then it becomes very sloppy, with many wrong notes, absent or incorrect rhythm flags or flags with missing dots, and many line errors. In this section, there are also a number of pieces with alternate tunings. Despite the inaccuracies, though, many of these later pieces are quite lovely, and most are fairly simple.
25Jun13: Posted cleaned-up facsimile of the Margaret Board Lute Book.
08Jun13: Completed edition of Kapsberger's Intavolatura di Liuto, v.1 (1611), consisting of 8 toccatas, 12 galliards, and 12 correntes. All very unusual pieces, especially the toccatas, which are quirky and unlike anything else I have encountered from that time period -- or any time period. None of the music is especially difficult to play, especially the dances, which are generally quite easy and charming. About half are playable on 7 courses; the rest can be played on a 9- or 10-course instrument.
05Jun13: Posted facsimile of Kapsberger's Intavolatura di Liuto, v.1 (1611) thanks to , who kindly sent it to me from Brazil.
04Jun13: Completed edition of the Barley lute book. This contains the usual flowery dedication, but if I were Lady Lucie Sussex, I'd be embarrassed by it. The pieces are great -- fine versions of popular galliards, pavanes, and allemandes by Francis Cutting and John Dowland. But there were so many errors that it was obviously a quick and dirty job. The right hand fingering is very erratic and often wrong, and there are many line errors -- notes, and even whole chords one line too high or low. Plus many wrong notes. Obviously, printing standards were much lower in the 16th century, and Barley never bothered to proofread it. Nevertheless, the music is great.
02Jun13: Posted cleaned-up facsimile of the lute section of William Barley's "New booke of Tabliture".
30May13: Posted revised version of mus.ms.1512. This source contains 77, mostly very easy, pieces, originally encoded by , and now proof-checked against the original, with some editorial additions. I discovered that what looks like a firmata sign is actually a sign for a breve or dotted semibreve, depending on the meter of the piece. That explains the oddity of seeing what looks like a lot of firmatas all over the place in these pieces. Also, there is a peculiar + sign over certain notes which I have interpreted as a tenuto mark. This MS is pretty amazing, in that there are no cross-outs or corrections on it, yet there are only a handful of errors in the entire 142-page document. This must have been some copyist, considering that most manuscripts, and even printed works, contain at least an error per page, on average.
24May13: Posted cleaned-up facsimile of Bayerischer Staatsbibliothek mus.ms.1512.
16May13: Completed edition of Melchior Newsidler's Intavolatura, v. 2, containing 12 vocal intabulations, 2 passamezzi, and 4 ricercars. All fairly hard. The last ricercar is particularly interesting.
10May13: Completed edition of Melchior Newsidler's Intavolatura, v. 1, containing 16 vocal intabulations, 2 passamezzi, and 4 ricercars. All high quality stuff. Many errors were corrected on the original by an unknown helpful person, blotting out what was in the original. However, the corrections seem valid. Next: v.2
01May13: Posted cleaned-up facsimile of Melchior Newsidler's Intavolatura, v.1 and v. 2 (1566).
22Apr13: Posted French tab edition of Melchoir Newsidler's Teutsch Lautenbüch., containing a number of religious and secular vocal intabulations, three fantasies by Newsidler, and three very inventive passamezzi/saltarelli. Although the source is very clear, the letters Newsidler uses in his German tab bear little resemblance to ordinary letters. t looks like l, h like g, d like nothing in particular, e quite like o, g like p. r, s, and v look quite alike. He also has a way of intabulating for 7-course lute, which took me a little time to figure out. Fortunately, the original contains relatively few errors.
30Mar13: Posted cleaned-up facsimile of Melchoir Newsidler's Teutsch Lautenbuch (1574) in German tab. A French tab edition is upcoming.
12Mar13: CUL Dd.5.78.3 completed. A lot of wonderful favorites, here. I would like to give special thanks to Neil Morrison, who gave me a great deal of help with pieces by Daniel Bacheler, many of whose pieces are uniquely represented here.
20Feb13: Half way through CUL Dd.5.78. 77 of 155 pieces. The source is posted online. Many fewer mistakes in this source.
08Feb13: Completed my edition of CUL Nn.6.36b. It contains excellent stuff, including many Daniel Bacheler pieces of exceptional quality not found anywhere else. I am working on providing an even better version of the facsimile of this MS. Next major project will be CUL Dd.5.78., of which I expect to post the facsimile soon, once I have neatened it up.
16Jan13: Completed my edition of CUL Dd.9.33c.
05Jan13: Posted facsimile of Thomas Robinson's Schoole of Musicke_1603.
20Dec12: Posted facsimile of CUL Nn.6.36b. The original version of this had the top line of each page mostly or entirely blotted out. Thanks to the good offices of , I got hold of a better copy of this, and in this copy the MS is almost all there, so I have posted a cleaned-up copy of it. I am working on a fronimo edition of Nn.6.36. Neil has been very helpful in clarifying some sticky points.
04Dec12: I just finished a little more than half of CUL Dd.9.33c (ff. 1-50v of 95), including 74 pieces, so far. The MS is in terrible shape (worse than Dd.2.11), with edges and bottom sometimes torn off or illegible, so I had to work with concordances and sometimes guesswork to fill in the missing bits. But the quality of the material is extremely high.