Finding facsimiles of older music?
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Suggestions for sources for older music in original form? I was looking for Byrd's Ave Verum Corpus, in particular, and find many modern editions (with questionable, to me, musica ficta choices) but not, so far, any images of an early publication.

    Thanks,

    William
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    The David Fraser editions of Byrd's complete choral music, published at CPDL, are the authoritative work of an acknowledged Byrd scholar.

    See his edition of the Ave verum corpus, or try to locate the source mentioned in the editorial notes added at the end of the edition.

    It's no wonder you find many "modern" editions with questionable (or outright wrong) notes and musica ficta choices. That's one of the points David makes, and it was, in part, motivation (along with pure scholarship) for undertaking the monumental task of preparing accurate editions of Byrd's opus.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Thank you, Chuck, for helping to sort out the relative authority of music posted at CPDL. I question even David Fraser's work on the Ave verum corpus, bars 1-4. Either the F#s, superius, bar 2-4, are ficta, or possibly the Bnat, tenor, bar 4. One or the other can work, but I see both as erroneous .... would love to look at an early edition if such can be found.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,061
    It's #5 in Gradualia, book 1. If you're at a university and have access to Early English Books Online, it's there. I didn't find any free source, oddly enough.

    There is quite a bit of free stuff out there though. Your go-to should probably be imslp.org. I have some sources (facsimile and not) listed at http://researchguides.case.edu/aecontent.php?pid=52997&sid=388513, but it's badly in need of revision. Several European countries have collections of digital materials, such as Italy's Internet Culturale

    Re editions: If somebody has gone to the effort of using above-note ficta (actually quite easy in Finale) then they have probably (but not necessarily) been careful about the explicit accidentals, and you can decide, based on your own knowledge of performance practice, if they make sense to you. That is to say, a good edition will show you what's in the source, other useful info provided by the editor, and will make clear the difference between the two. Not every edition in cpdl does that, though.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,038
    Just curious why both the F-sharps and the B-natural in the first four bars would be spurious (if found together)? I don't recall any seeing any edition of Bryd's Ave Verum - or any recording for that matter - that didn't follow Fraser's edition in the first four bars.

    As it turns out, Byrd scholar Kerry McCarthy reproduces the first four bars of the superius in her article on the motet in the Spring 2006 issue of Sacred Music, which can be found here (see page 22). It has all three f-sharps.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    Search the International Music Score Library Project: IMSLP. They have many, many original editions and autographs.

    It's wonderful that you can read original part-books of Lassus' Motets and Bach's autograph of the B Minor Mass from the comfort of your lay-Z-boy, rather than travelling to Berlin.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,038
    Salieri beat me to it. A list of the facsimiles on IMSLP can be found here.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    IMSLP, like CPDL, is a good resource. But in this case, no early editions, and no editions that I found that indicate what are editorial ficta and what if any are Byrd's.

    Thanks, Rich, that McCarthy reproduction verifies the superius. The tenor, then, remains in question ... I'll have to find a way to visit a good music library, maybe.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    Either the F#s, superius, bar 2-4, are ficta, or possibly the Bnat, tenor, bar 4. One or the other can work, but I see both as erroneous
    Hogwash!! Why on earth would you be able to see these as erroneous? ... because they don't fit your intonalist theories?

    Fraser didn't add any accidentals that weren't already in the original in the first four bars. Period. Look it up in the 1610 source. Byrd added the accidentals himself ... they did that in those days, ya know.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    From Fraser's comments on his Byrd editions, which should dispel any doubts as to his scholarship and the accuracy of accidentals that appear (emphasis mine):
    Accidentals

    The interpretation of accidentals poses few problems in Byrd's printed sources. The following editorial practice has been adopted:

    Accidentals in the source are indicated by normal-sized symbols. These are not repeated within the bar in which they occur. Unless clearly erroneous (and so noted in the editorial commentary), all the printer's accidentals are included, either in the music or in editorial notes.

    Editorial accidentals are indicated by small symbols before the note, repeated as necessary within a single bar. These are provided to correct (what seem to the editor) obvious omissions, to avoid severe and uncharacteristic harmonic clashes and to indicate preferred readings from manuscript sources. They are also used in editions from Byrd's earlier publications (1575-91) for notes in octaves other than those affected by the key-signature, where no accidentals occur in the source, since it appears that, in the 16th century, key-signatures applied only to the pitches at which they were placed. Later publications (1605-11) appear generally to adopt the modern practice, so these editorial accidentals are not employed here.

    Cautionary accidentals are indicated by full-sized bracketed symbols. These are used:

    For what is hoped will be the convenience of performers, where a different accidental has been recently employed;

    Where, in accordance with 16th-17th century practice, a previous accidental would not apply, such as where repeated notes are separated by a rest or line-break.

    Editorial or cautionary accidentals are not employed where the practice of the time seems to assume the persistence of a previous accidental: for repeated notes where there is no harmonic change and in cadential figures.

    A particular textual problem needs specific mention: the D sharps leading to "augmented 6th" harmonies in the motets Tristitia et anxietas (II.102.1), Ne irascaris Domine (I.96.1) and Domine exaudi orationem meam (III.34.1, I.94.1). Modern critical opinion is against the acceptance of these D sharps, despite their appearance in the printed sources, on the grounds that they are stylistically inconsistent and do not appear in manuscript sources. However, the following points could equally be made in favour of their acceptance:

    Incorrect accidentals are extremely rare in the two books of Cantiones sacrae, and tend elsewhere simply to be misplaced from adjacent notes;

    The printed editions are otherwise incomparably more reliable than manuscript sources;

    The printed editions incorporate numerous corrections and improvements to earlier manuscript versions;

    The argument from stylistic consistency seems to deny Byrd the opportunity to make any harmonic experiments whatever.

    Performers are of course at liberty to retain or omit these accidentals. An admirably balanced and informed discussion may be found in Watkins Shaw's article A Textual Problem in Byrd: A Purely Accidental Matter (Musical Times, Vol.102, No.1418 (Apr, 1961), pp.230-232), in which the writer's conclusion is against their acceptance.

    The accidentals in the first four bars are all normal size, hence they occur in the source. David uses Sibelius, not Finale for his editions.
    Thanked by 1MarkThompson
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,061
    FWIW, The Byrd Edition (current scholarly Urtext) has all # and naturals under discussion, as explicit accidentals. I don't understand why the sharps in the superius would preclude the natural in the tenor (such a figure occurs in any Renaissance cadence with a sharpened third). And none of the manuscript sources for this work have readings at that place which vary from the printed text. An augmented sonority might raise an eyebrow, but they're fairly common this late...and one doesn't appear here anyway. And there's the very English cross-relation in m. 2...which MAKES that phrase.

    Keep calm, and sing some Byrd.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    Hogwash!! Why on earth would you be able to see these as erroneous? ... because they don't fit your intonalist theories?


    YMMROFLCOPTERS!
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Thanks for the help; I didn't see Fraser's notes referenced from his Byrd edition at cpdl: http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/images/c/c0/BYRD-AVC.pdf As posted by CH Giffen, if they apply to this piece, they are pretty clear.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    From another CPDL discussion: "... When I'm back at work in a few weeks I'll be able to check the Dow version from my facsimile volumes and look up Byrd's print from one of the PDFs I've got of the complete printed works of Byrd, and probably fish out a copy of BE12 if the Cathedral Choir library has it (which I suspect it does). I'm not sure about your opinion on the sharp before IV.13.2 and its conjectural application to more than the note it precedes. I think you are correct in your transcription in assuming that the following F is indeed a natural, but I think that the melodic contour is common enough in this sort of music to have a number of variants. I agree, the Es should be naturals and not flats (if one should want to suppress the augmented 6th), but I'm not sure that the F# beforehand makes this necessarily so. You're absolutely right about the C#-B(flat)-C#, where the B flat in the key signature is assumed to be a natural in this melodic progression - I've seen a lot of this in editing Byrd, Sheppard, Tye, Parsons, White, Tallis, Mundy, Strogers et al. from the Dow partbooks. There are very few singers I know who would wish to negotiate the interval of an augmented second in performance! The long and short of it is that I'm just over 6,500 words into writing an article defending the inclusion of augmented sixths in Byrd (and a rebuttal of Watkins Shaw's article condemning them). I'm by no means finished, but there'll be much more to write once I've delved into the relevant musical sources..."

    I don't think questioning accidentals on musical bases should offend anyone: I might be right, I might be wrong ...
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 653
    Why on earth would you be able to see these as erroneous? ... because they don't fit your intonalist theories?
    Yes, of course. IMO, music is either excellent and our theories must be made to fit it (Mozart, Josquin, probably Byrd) or it is made by not-so-great composers (Tallis, Dvorak, ...) and we shrug and say it isn't the best music. YMMV.

    For the moment, as I prepare a tuning chart for the Byrd, I'm accepting the tenor B natural with a footnote. It requires a strange, large minor second, 134 cents, in progression to the next note, but if the tenor delays and tunes to the bass and the other voices it might work. The Bb would be unproblematic ... more to come.

    Singing an augmented second, parenthetically, is no more of a problem than singing a diminished fifth: both normal, natural melodic events in the life of a singer.