Some provisional principles for the musical transcriptions. Author: Richard Freedman
Musical Transcriptions. The base text in all cases is from the Chansons nouvelles series of Du Chemin. By far the majority of the works issued in this series were first editions; many appear uniquely in this set. [Note: the Music Encoding Initiative (www.mei.org) will eventually make it possible to combine features of the single-text approach with those of a critical edition, at least for those compositions appearing in other sources of the sixteenth century.]
- In the musical transcriptions we have retained the original note values, and of course both added bar lines and arranged the individual parts in score format. One tempus in the original notation thus corresponds to one measure in the modern transcription.
- Modern clefs are used in the transcriptions; original clefs can be seen via the incipits. The incipits include original notation up to and including the first note of the given part.
- Flat and sharp signs appearing on the staff itself are found in the original sources. Those appearing above the staff in the modern transcription are implied by contrapuntal contexts—in order to avoid forbidden intervals with other signed alterations, or in order to create complete cadences.
- Ligatures have been marked above the notes they connect, and serve to confirm text underlay by preventing a change of syllable.
- Coloration in the original notation (indicating a shift from duple to triple mensuration at a given level) has been transcribed without special indication.
- Repeat signs in the original parts have been retained in the modern transcriptions. First and second endings have been regularized among the voice parts.
- Emendations to correct obvious errors or missing notes are recorded in the critical commentary for each piece.
- Most of the chansons are unique to the Du Chemin Chansons nouvelles series. For compositions appearing in other sources of the 16th century, we note concordances and variants (if any) in the critical commentary for each piece.
Text Underlay. Text underlay follows a number of basic principles:
- In all cases we use Du Chemin’s books as a guide. His typesetters had a careful eye for the alignment of text and musical notation as it is known in some music-theoretical writings of the mid sixteenth century.
- Phrases proceed syllabically, saving extra notes for the penultimate syllable of the line.
- The last note of each phrase normally receives the last syllable of the poetic line.
- Repetitions of words, or parts of poetic lines, are sometimes indicated in the original sources (either through written out repetitions or by ii. These appear in roman type in the modern editions. Repetitions in italic type are modern editorial interventions undertaken according to ideals set out in theoretical writings of the period.