Minor Coloration Revisited: Notes

1    Facsimile published in Perkins & Garey 1979, i. 112.

2    Apel 1953, esp. 46, 107, 128–30, 136, and 142.

3    Wolf 1904; Wolf 1913–19; Wolf 1922–3; Riemann 1878; Riemann 1881; Riemann 1910; Bellermann 1963 [1858] ; Praetorius 1905.

4    Wexler & Plamenac 1992.

5    See Blackburn 1991, esp. 280–9. Aaron is also one of a number of writers who exclude the reversed groupbsbfrom the dotted interpretation, as well as acknowledging pragmatically that metrical or tempo considerations may play their part (Appendix (c)).

6    'Imperficitur nota imperfecta; quae imperfectio fit quo ad quartam partem, et fit tantum in duabus notis, scilicet in brevi et semibrevi, hoc modo: si in tempore imperfecto brevis, aut in prolatione imperfecta semibrevis, denigratur, ammittit [sic] quartam partem sui valoris, et tunc semper post illam notam imperfectam, si brevis fuerit, propter restitutionem numeri ammissi per colorem sequuntur duae semiminimae, quae valent unam minimam, ut sic:bbmm. Et si semibrevis imperfecta fuerit quo ad quartem partem, semper post eam sequitur una semiminima vel duae fusae propter restitutionem numeri ammissi per colorem, ut sic:bsmuel sic:bsfsfs.' (Quoted in Praetorius 1905: 50–1 (punctuation slightly altered).)

7    '... licet ibidem [sc. in reliquis imperfectis non signatis] color etiam tertiam partem auferat in tactu, non tamen perfecte id facit in motu.' (Gerbert 1784, iii. 364)

8   Gafori 1496.

9    Principally in his Proportionale musices: see Seay 1975, iia. esp. 19–25; also Woodley 1982, i. 176–81.

10   Gafori 1496, trans. Miller: 155; trans. Young: 167.

11   Seay 1975, iia. 36. In Seay's edition, this example is erroneously and inexplicably duplicated in the Liber de arte contrapuncti (ibid., ii. 29); I am most grateful to Bonnie Blackburn for pointing out Seay's error.

12   See Wegman 1999: 185 n. 19. Wegman now believes that the word 'animadvertere' is part of the syntax of Tinctoris's sentence ('ut patet ... animadvertere'), rather than a citation of Busnoys's title; I am not myself yet convinced of this, and my presentation of the text here retains the latter, previously-held assumption, even though as an incipit the text remains obscure. If the word associated with the passage does occur in the middle of some other text-setting, the reasons underlying the curious phraseology of Tinctoris's citation are nevertheless difficult to unpick; one can only assume that he was working from incomplete notes taken at an earlier inspection of the work, or from memory, rather than from a first-hand copy of the whole motet. Or, again, perhaps such notes contained some kind of scribbled 'animadverte[...]' annotation, intended to draw attention to the notational solecism itself.

13   Seay 1975, iia. 52; Woodley 1982, i. 205: text based primarily on Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, MS II 4147.

14   See Gafori 1496, trans. Miller: 178; facs. edn., sig. ggiiv.

15   'Aut he minime non solum sed cum maioribus se notis, tamquam eis subiecte, sunt implete, et tunc suarum maiorum naturam, sive per huiusmodi impletionem imperficiantur sive reducantur sive duplentur sive sesquialterentur, totaliter imitantur.' (Seay 1975, iia. 22; Woodley 1982, i. 178–9).

16   Seay 1975, iia. 23; Woodley 1982, i. 179.

17   The adjective 'distonitus' is a rare technical term involving misplaced commixture of modes: the only other fifteenth-century reference seems to be in Tinctoris's Liber de natura et proprietate tonorum, Chapter 18: 'Voluntate vero fit toni commixtio, sive in simplici sive in composito cantu, quando prefata necessitate cessanti compositor ea uti voluerit. Debet attamen accuratissime cavere quomodo eam ordinet; nihil enim est quod cantus distonitos efficiat quam commixtio ipsa, si fuerit inordinata.' (Seay 1975, i. 81) The noun form distonatio also occurs once in the Liber de arte contrapuncti (Book 3, Chapter 5), where the fifth general rule of counterpoint states that 'above absolutely no note, whether middle, upper, or lower, should a perfection be set up through which distonation of the music might occur. And this, I believe, should be entirely left to the judgement of the ears ...' (' ... quod supra nullam prorsus notam, sive media sive superior sive inferior fuerit, perfectio constitui debet per quam cantus distonatio contingere possit. Quodquidem penitus aurium iudicio relinquendum censeo ...' (ibid., ii. 150 [punctuation altered]; see also Blackburn 1987: 245)).

18   Schreuer 1989; Ellsworth 1984; Anselmi 1961; Guilielmus 1965; Ugolino 1959; Ramos 1901 [1482] .

19   Bent 1969, esp. 216–24.

20   Examples 8 and 9 are notated after Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Gall. 902 (olim Mus. MS 3192), whose provenance seems particularly close to the Burgundian court, and hence Binchois himself, around the early 1440s.

21   Rehm 1957.

22   Bent 1981: 27. For a related discussion, in the context of Binchois and EscA, see also Kemp 1990, esp. 5–17.

23   See, most recently, Fallows 1999: 38.

24   See also Perkins & Garey 1979, i. 100–1.

25   For example, ibid., i. 17–26, and Van Benthem 1982: 24–9.

26   A simple, if now infamous, instance of this problem is the mensuration sign at the start of Okeghem's L'autre dantan, as presented in Mellon. Whilst this sign (ostroke3) is clearly at odds with Tinctoris's theoretical prescriptions, it could certainly be interpreted as a compromise solution (even if, swayed by the rhetoric of his treatises, we may be reluctant to think of Tinctoris the theorist as a compromiser) between what he believed to be the correct sign (ostroke) and what he believed to be Okeghem's 'authentic' text (o3). For a recent discussion of this and related issues (which does not, however, entirely agree with the foregoing), see Blackburn 1998; also Woodley 2005.

27   It is certain, indeed, that this process of normalization began, in some senses, even earlier, when one looks at, say, the copying habits of continental European scribes working on English repertory in sources such as the Trent codices: see, for example, Bent 1979. Such re-editing of coloration to dots in this context is not, of course, an indication that the two notations were considered synonymous, even by the copyists themselves.

28   Fallows 1998: 303 and 315.

29   The only other musical source for Bel acceuil, Dijon 517, presents a very slightly different patterning of dots and colour, with the central coloration area pre-echoed just once immediately before the medial cadence (in the Contratenor), and picked up one last time immediately before the final cadence. Whether or not either of these patternings represents Busnoys's 'original', I would suggest that Tinctoris's (?) recension in Mellon conveys a conscious awareness of the musical potential involved in the rhythmic differentiations.

30   Another similar instance of this can be seen in Pour prison, though here the source pattern, involving Pavia 362, Escorial IV.a.24, Laborde, and Paris, Bibl. Nat., nouv. acq. fr. 4379, is chronologically more complex.

31   Fallows 1978. I am grateful to Professor Fallows for pointing this out to me.