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Re: Lute tablature

From: David Raleigh Arnold
Subject: Re: Lute tablature
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 18:15:16 -0400

On Thursday 22 May 2003 11:43 pm, clive CATTERALL wrote:
> > As for every lute player in the world preferring not to have
> > notation, Thurston Dart, Diana Poulton, and others would be very
> > surprised to hear it.
> Diana Poulton wrote in her booklet "An Introduction to Lute Playing"
> in 1961:
> "Except for a small amount of music written in the last years of the
> popularity of the lute, all its music is written in a special
> notation called tabulature.  This notation came into being to answer
> the special needs of the lute and other instruments of the same type,
> and for this kind of instrument it has a number of advantages over
> staff notation in representing precisely the composer's intention. 
> When it has been mastered it is much easier to read onto the lute tan
> staff notation.  Familiarity with its working also frees the student
> from dependance on modern transcriptions and provides the key which
> opens the door to the great wealth of lute music both English and
> foreign in its original form.
> I strongly advise every beginner to make the initial effort to learn
> this notation.  It will repay the slight extra trouble.
> There is however, one weakness in tabulature which is a serious
> drawback to the novice.  It has no means of distinguishing the
> individual parts which are combined together to form the harmonic
> structure of a composition.  This was probably of no consequence to
> the 16th or 17th century player who, soaked in the idiom of his time,
> would at once perceive the movement of individual parts.  To the
> beginner, this charectaristic aspect of the music may not be
> immediately obvious.  Transcriptions into staff notation have
> therefore been added to all the pieces, to make clear what cannot be
> expressed in the tabulature."
> Sort of covers everything doesn't it?


>  Can we draw this aspect of the
> discussion to a close now, as IMO the merits of tabulature itself are
> a little off topic?

And they were not discussed.
> If people want to use tabulature why should we not want to produce
> it?

Nobody argued that.  DaveA

The biggest losers of all are the winners of an unjust war.
The wars are not over.  Just the winning part is over.
Bush lied.  Thousands died.  dra@

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