I guess you are right, Martin.
Anyway, we cannot grasp the range of unwritten ornaments, even the ones
who classified them can't really describe how to play it so it sounds good.
And some sources say that there was lots of inégale playing and other
devices even back then.
I guess everything that enhances the experience without watering down
the polyphony is allowed, and intuition will do the rest.
Am 04.02.2018 um 09:32 schrieb Martin Shepherd:
Thanks for pointing out this discrepancy in Capirola's instructions,
Tristan. I have often wondered about how to "embellish the note with
just one finger".
Where he describes the two ornaments he gives two specific examples.
The first example is for the dotted cipher:
pluck the first course at the second fret, hold that finger and with
another one make the "shake" at the third fret.
This seems uncontroversial, though it does leave us wondering what it
can mean when the dotted cipher is the same as the written note.
The second example is also specific:
you have the third course at the first fret: I have to write it down as
it is without [using the red] dots. I will put them, these two red dots
above the figure .I. It means that you have to embellish the note with
just one finger
When the string is stopped at the first fret as described, the grace
does indeed use only one finger. The problems only arise when you
assume that even when it is marked on higher frets he still expects you
to use one finger. I suspect that when he says you use one finger he
is referring only to the specific case of the first fret, as in his
As you say, vibrato is a possibility, but the second grace does seem to
be used mostly on the first fret, and sometimes the third, where it's
hard to get much effect. I wonder whether vibrato might be the answer
to the "same cipher" problem, except that that only occurs on the third
fret, and in contexts where a vibrato seems unlikely.
All the best,
On 04/02/2018 01:06, Tristan von Neumann wrote:
Thank you Martin, I have often wondered what exactly is this
ornament, and when to use it.
However I still do not quite understand the part:
"It means that you have to embellish the note with just one finger"
"while the second ornament (usually but not always on the first
fret) is a lower mordent (i.e. starting with the main note, going to
the lower note, then back to the main note"
If Capirola explicitly describes the upper mordent using "another
finger", why does he describe the second as "with just one"?
It is not quite comfortable to play a mordent with one finger,
though I guess this could be done (I believe I have seen something
like that in an Oud player video).
What I suspect it really means is a vibrato, like changing the
tension of the string by quickly alternating your grip and/or
pulling it a bit outwards.
That is probably why it is done mostly on the chanterelle because it
is most effective there, especially in the higher register, where it
lends a certain sparkle to the note.
Am 04.02.2018 um 00:20 schrieb Martin Shepherd:
Just to let you know that (after a longish gap, sorry) the latest
blog can be found in the usual place: http://luteshop.co.uk/blog/
I hope you find it interesting.
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