I doubt whether most people on this  list will have seen the pirate edition
of this piece or even the actual piece as it appears in the Liege ms.  (I
wasn't able to put in the dots in my version as Django wont do that).

One thing I would say first of all is that this piece is in the Gallot ms.
on f.44and Gallot has written out both N chords including the 5th course
stopped at the appropriate fret - that is with the 3rd of the chord on the
5th course - which is how Corbetta originally notated it - assuming that the
page which includes it in the pirate edition originated with him and not the
pirate.  The dots on the line in Liege may have been Castillion's idea.

Secondly I don't see why it should be unecessary to put a dot on the 5th
line when the chord is played with a barre.   In some circumstances it seems
that Corbetta and others (Carbonchi for example) may have included the
dissonant note in this chord.   This may be why he is so careful to put in
the dot if it is to be omitted!

The reason why the 5th course is omitted from chord N so often is because the 7th of the chord is frequently introduced as a passing note on the 1st course and this has to
be stopped with the 2nd finger.  In order to do that the fifth course must
be left unfretted.

I am not quite sure what you mean by saying  'can do without a finger' on
the fifth course here, thus being
an instruction for the left hand in the first place?

It seems to me quite clear that dots are used to indicate that a course
should be omitted from the strum.

Chord N without the 5th course is very common in Italian sources which don't
put in dots anyway.   Bartolotti uses it so frequently (and it's a 6/4 chord
as well) that I'm surprised that he didn't think to include a letera
tagliata for it.   That would have saved him or his engraver a lot of

It's a bit late a night to start thinking about these things anyway.  And so
to bed.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Lex Eisenhardt" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Vihuela Net" <vihuela@cs.dartmouth.edu>
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2008 6:50 PM
Subject: [VIHUELA]

In the first line of the Brando on p. 71 in the facs. Ed. (Deutsche
LautenGesellschaft) of the pirated print of Corbetta's 1648 book we see a
and 5N (alfabeto) chord. In the transcription into French tablature in B
Ms. 245 (p.93) the chords are given without a finger on the fifth course.
There is a dot instead.
In La Guitarre royalle (1671) this same chord pattern (the alfabeto N
without the 5th course) very often has a dot on the fifth course, even
it is unnecessary, for instance with the 3N with a barre in third
position-the dissonance prevents the inclusion of the open fifth course.
Although it is no more than a dot, it creates extra work to engrave. There
must be a good reason that Corbetta included the dot so often.

This incomplete N is the most frequent 'dotted' chord. In LGR1671 we find
dots only with a limited number of other chord patterns. In many similar
occasions they are lacking where they would have given useful information.
Apparently notational precision with respect to strummed chords was not
Corbetta's prime concern.

Could it be that the dot is there to indicate that this chord (in Italy
known as N) 'can do without a finger' on the fifth course here, thus being
an instruction for the left hand in the first place? This is opposite to
idea that dots are always there to show which strings we should exclude
the strum (an instruction for the right hand).


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