Tinctoris edition: new texts added

We are pleased to announce that we have now added to our online Complete Theoretical Works the edited Latin texts, English translations, and manuscript source transcriptions (with facsimile images) of Tinctoris’s treatises De alteratione notarum (Tractatus alterationum) and De regulari valore notarum.

The project team are currently working hard to complete Books II and III of the extensive Liber de arte contrapuncti, which we expect to be available within the next few months.

We are also in the process of creating an innovative interface for displaying technical commentary material for the notation treatises, such as De imperfectione and De punctis, which will enable users to understand more clearly, on a note-by-note basis, the often complex mensural examples offered by Tinctoris in his work, and the relationship between his Latin text and the notational detail of the music itself. We expect the first fruits of this commentary material to be available on the site by around Easter 2016, and, as always, we very much welcome feedback from users on all aspects of our edition.

You may also like to know that the two research students attached to this project, Christian Goursaud and Adam Whittaker, have now submitted their PhD dissertations to Birmingham City University for examination. Christian’s thesis, ‘The Neapolitan Presentation Manuscripts of Tinctoris’s Music Theory: Valencia 835 and Bologna 2573’, is a detailed codicological and palaeographical examination of two of the principal sources of Tinctoris works; Adam’s thesis, ‘Musical Exemplarity in the Notational Treatises of Johannes Tinctoris (c. 1435–1511)’, looks in wide-ranging detail at the relationships between the Latin texts and musical examples in Tinctoris’s treatises, and considers some of the larger historical issues of readership and modes of reading with material of this kind. We wish them all the best for their examination.

Finally, the project team would like to record their thanks to the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, Birmingham City University, of which Birmingham Conservatoire is a constituent School, for their continuing support and funding of this project, and for enabling the appointment of Christian Goursaud as Research Fellow for the academic year 2015–16.

Ronald Woodley, Jeffrey J. Dean, and David Lewis

Tinctoris website: major upgrade with facsimiles and new text

We are pleased to announce that our Tinctoris site has now been expanded to include a substantial amount of new material, as part of our continuing process of improvement and evolution.

We are particularly pleased that we are at last able to offer users facsimile images from all the major Tinctoris manuscripts used to produce our source transcriptions and edited texts on the site, that is, Valencia 835, Bologna 2573, Brussels II 4147 Mus., and Ghent 70. (We hope to have permission to present facsimiles of the sources of De inventione et usu musice later this year.) These images can be viewed alongside each source transcription by selecting the ‘Show facsimile’ option within the Settings (cog-wheel) menu in the transcription’s title bar. Once this option has been selected, hovering over the transcribed text will make the associated image from that manuscript appear. Moving the cursor up or down through the text will cause the facsimile to scroll in a co-ordinated manner. Facsimile images are presented in a scrolling format rather than as full pages so as to comply with the terms of the permissions to reproduce them. The image files involved are fairly large, and users may experience odd visual artefacts as they load, though the images should stabilize fairly quickly, depending on your internet connection speed. If you have persistent trouble with this, or if you discover any errors in our source transcriptions when comparing with the original manuscript texts, or if you have any other comments to help us further improve the site, please let us know.

We are extremely grateful to the libraries concerned for giving us permission to reproduce these images on our site under specific terms and conditions. Users should not copy or download the images for other purposes.

We are also pleased to announce that Book I of Tinctoris’s Liber de arte contrapuncti is now available on the site. Scholars and students of fifteenth-century music will be aware of the especial importance of this extensive treatise, and we will be working hard to complete Books II and III as soon as possible. (Book I is almost as extensive as everything we had put up before; Book II is even longer, though Book III is much briefer.) Tinctoris’s smaller treatises De regulari valore notarum and De alteratione are also in active preparation, and should be available later in the summer of 2015; this will complete the series of Tinctoris’s instruction on mensural notation.

Finally, it might be worthwhile reminding users of our site that, when you have, for instance, an edited text and translation on your screen in parallel panes, you can align the two texts (if, say, you have scrolled up or down through one of the panes) by Alt/Option-double-clicking on any line. This useful facility is signalled in our Help pages, but it may still not be widely known about.

We hope that you continue to find this resource of interest and usefulness for your work in this area of music history.

With best wishes,

Ron Woodley, Jeff Dean, and David Lewis