That sums it all up very nicely. And I can highly recommend Michael's edition of the music added in manuscript to the original printed book It is beautifully easy to read with all the odds and ends tied up.


----- Original Message ----- From: "" <> To: "'Monica Hall'" <>; "'Nelson, Jocelyn'" <>
Cc: "'Vihuelalist'" <>
Sent: Monday, November 22, 2010 1:37 PM
Subject: RE: [VIHUELA] Re: guitar publications with harmonics

Thanks, Monica, for this summary.

I have come across this novelty in the late music by François Campion in the
1741-47 additions to his 1705 "Nouvelles decouvertes sur la guitarre." This
seems to be the earliest notated example. Please allow me to share what I
wrote about it in my LGV edition:

The 12th-fret natural harmonics, so familiar in classical guitar music, may
have had their origin in a piece by Campion. Not to say that he discovered
natural string harmonics. Pythagoras (6th c. BCE) must be credited with that
discovery, illustrated by the monochord (which he is credited with
inventing). Neither was Campion the first to employ octave harmonics in
music for latter-day string instruments. The French violinist-composer
Jean-Joseph C. de Mondonville was the first to discuss natural harmonics and
to compose with them in his "Les Sons Harmoniques, Sonates à violon seul
avec la basse continue", Op. 4, published about 1738 in Paris and Lille. In
1739, Mondonville was appointed violinist of the royal chamber and chapel.
Thus, Campion had ample opportunity to study Op. 4 and even to become
acquainted with Mondonville himself.

Apparently, however, Campion was the first to apply natural harmonics to the
guitar. In Fugue No. 1, he writes the following at the bottom of ms. p. [93]
and the top of [94]:

[In Campion's hand:] "pour la suite, il faut enforcer un peu les doigts de
la main gauche -- sur les cordes necessaries dans la rose À la rose, si la
guitar est d'un bon diapason, et bien mor??ée de cordes justes." ("For the
following, it is necessary to gently press the fingers of the left hand on
the appropriate strings near the rose, if the guitar is well tuned and
furnished with true markings." )

The tablature then shows each octave (12th) fret harmonic as a "0" on its
string with normal rhythms above. Then it goes on in normal French tab.

We do not know if Campion conveyed this technique to any other guitarist,
and his personal copy of Nouvelles découvertes was shut up in the Royal
Library after his death. In his book, the harmonics are a novelty. However,
they forecasted an expressive effect that would have vast consequences in
later guitar music.

Granted this is pretty late in the history of the Baroque guitar. I think
there is a good chance that guitarists were playing (but not notating)
harmonics before this -- if for no other reason than maybe a party trick.



LGV Publishing, Inc.
Michael Fink, Ph.D.
Executive Editor

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Monica Hall
Sent: Sunday, November 21, 2010 3:50 AM
To: Nelson, Jocelyn
Cc: Vihuelalist
Subject: [VIHUELA] Re: guitar publications with harmonics

It is not a published work but one of the pieces in manuscript added
probably in about 1741 to Campion's book uses harmonics.   It is the first
fugue.   It's on p.117 in the facsimile edition.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Nelson, Jocelyn" <>
To: "Monica Hall" <>; "Martyn Hodgson"
Cc: "Vihuelalist" <>
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2010 10:07 PM
Subject: [VIHUELA] Re: guitar publications with harmonics

Hello early guitarists,

I just received a query: "Do you know the earliest publications for lute
and/or guitar in which harmonics were used?"

Any thoughts?


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