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Clone of Early notation group - third session

Submitted by Katherina Weyssin on September 8, 2019 - 9:55pm

Thanks to everyone who came this time (Saturday September 7th), or expressed interest in coming a long in future. 

Below are some notes on what we did and what we learned in this session. Next session, we'll work on similar material. See my first post for the pieces we'll be working on, links to music, and links to more resources. 


  • Questa e mia
  • A dio signora
  • Oime el cor
  • In Eterno

Source: Petrucci's first book of frottole, Venice (1504), pp86-87


  • alto recorder
  • bass recorder
  • violin
  • treble viol

Questa e mia and a dio signora

We've played these before, so we were just brushing up. No novelties.

Oime el cor

First time for some of us. 

Things to know:

Top line will have a sharpened leading note - the second-to-last note of the piece will be C-sharp (even though the sharp isn't written in). The fouth-to-last might be sharp too - depends on your personal taste. 

Tenor line definitely has some sharps, and can have quite a lot (again, depends on taste). Sharpened leading notes before the first repeat sign, the first phrase line, the second repeat sign and just before the end of the first line. Optional sharpened Cs to give a picardy third in 5-6 semibreves in (end of first short phrase) and where the same phrase repeats later in the music. 

In eterno

First time for this group. This is a harder, longer piece. It's on my "second set" - same clefs in the outer parts as in our starting set, but it's a bit more challenging.



Why? At the end of the piece it says "ut supra" (as above) and then underneath "Sio dovesse &c". That tells us that we go back not to the beginning of the whole piece, but to the beginning of the second phrase, which starts "Sio dovesse". The custos confirms it - it matches the "Sio dovesse" phrase, but not the start of the piece. 

As for finishing at the end of the second section: there's a double line and a long, in all paers. That looks like a finale to me!

Finally, the text in the verses printed below matches this pattern: there's a whole verse, the "Sio dovesse" is the repeated line at the end of each. The printed verses match the metre of the "CCD" music (the repeated section with two sets of words, and the next bit).

So from the text it looks like, if you were to play or sing all three verses, you would sing that first phrase only once, and thereafter would repeat back to 'Sio dovesse' after each verse, concluding with a finall 'Sio dovesse' - AB (CCDB)x3.

Accidentals written in the music


The top part has a sharp written at the end of the first line. It looks a bit like a tilted hash sign. 

Sharps don't have to appear on the same line or space as their note (they can be vertically separated), but they're usually next to the note they modify (they are not horizontally separated). In this case the two Fs are sharp, but the sharp-sign sits between them, and much lower on the staff. How do I know it's both Fs? Because they're both part of the same cadence, doing the same thing. If you didn't need two syllables you could replace them with a sinlge note, and it wouldn't make much difference.


The tenor part has several flats written in. The look like modern flats.

They're all b-flats (as you'd expect - most common flat by a long way; you could even say "only common flat"). Flats always appear on the right line or space (they are vertically correct - indicate the pitch required) but they're not necessarily next to their note (they can be horizontally separate). The first flat in the tenor line is right by the B, the second one is followed by four more notes before you get a B. The final one is written with the custos, even though, again, there are four notes before the next B.

Summary: flats are always written at the expected pitch, but you might have to read on to find a note at that pitch to flatten. Sharps can be squeezed in wherever there's space on the staff, but they'll always be close to the notes they modify. 


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