I am sorry to have denied you the opportunity to fully reply to my
message of 31 Jan and its various inconsistencies and
I prefer to consider my inconsistencies and “misrepresentation”s as an
attempt to keep an open mind and examine different ideas about what we
find in this manuscript before arriving at any tentative conclusions.
(Incidentally the correct RISM siglum for the manuscript is CZ-Bm D
In my final message I clearly stated –
1. It is clear from the chart on f.48r that the “Gytarra” is a 6-course
instrument. It may be synonymous with the 6-course mandora which Martyn
says was common at the time. It is also clear that the section between
the first two double bar lines on f.48v is a tuning check for the 6-
course “Gytarra” on f.48r; the last bar shows that the open bass is
tuned to the same note as the third course.
2. The second section on the first stave shows the additional bass
courses of the “Mandora” numbered 6-12 starting with G.
3. It seems to me that these two instruments may belong to a very broad
genus of lute shaped instruments with added basses but their precise
identity is uncertain.
4. The pieces from f.48v-f.59v are for the “Gytarra”; those from f.60r-
f. 76r are for a 5-course “Mandora”; and those from f.76v-f.95r
numbered 1-56 are probably for 5-course guitar.
Your suggestion that we should now agree to disagree simply indicates
that you are not willing to admit that anything you say is wrong. A
number of things you have said are nonsensical.
1. The fact that the manuscript includes a piece by Losy does not
indicate that it was copied during his life time. It could have been
copied anytime in the 18th century, at least as late as the 1760s.
2. Your comment - “A multi-course theorboed mandora with twelve
courses never existed in the period covered by the dating of D- 189.”
You may not have come across another reference to such an instrument
referred to as a “mandora” in another 18th century source but this does
not prove that such an instrument didn’t exist in Rajhrad at the time
the manuscript was copied. It may have been quite rare.
3. Your comment- “Accordingly, the most likely, and reasonable,
identification of the couple of works for an instrument with seven
extra basses is the arch/theorboed guitar”.
It certainly is not a likely and reasonable identification – there
are all sorts of other instruments which it might have been. It
certainly doesn’t prove that it was figure-of-eight shaped.
4. Your comment - “Incidentally I don't know why the duet Boure (f.
69v) for Mandora 1 and 2 does not employ the sixth course: perhaps the
composer preferred this particular piece with these instruments this
way or maybe they didn't have two guitars available? “
No, you obviously don't know - The parts are labelled in that way to
indicate that the two pieces are to be played as a duet rather than as
separate pieces for a single mandora. Your suggestion that they didn’t
have two guitars available is a fairy tale. You just don’t want to
admit that that section of pieces is for a 5-course “mandora” not the 5-
5. Your comment - “ the majority of pieces after F. 67 are in Keys
where low G is at least as helpful as for the works on in the following
keys of G, F. C and D - BUT the scribe writes the G at the upper
octave:" "a distinctive feature of the guitar, but not of the period
Clearly it is a feature of the 5-course mandora for which these pieces
were intended - unavoidable in the key of D major. All the pieces in D
major exhibit this feature.
Observations of this kind would not be acceptable even in undergraduate
I think I have said on several occasions that I do not think the fact
that this manuscript (or any other source) includes music for both
mandora and 5-course guitar has any bearing on whether the low octave
string(s) were placed on the thumb side of a course on the 5-course
guitar in Germany or elsewhere. We simply don't know.
I am sorry if you feel you are being bullied. At least I only send my
messages to the Vihuela List. I don’t send them to other lists with the
intention of discrediting someone with whom I happen to disagree, so
that as many people as possible can read them.
There is no justification for sending 600 words of unpleasant personal
comments which have nothing to do with the mandora or gallicon to the
Baroque Lute List.
Because you persist in doing this means that I have no choice but to
send my messages to both lists too to ensure that my views are fairly
That's a shame since, due to all these baroque manoeuvrings around the
mandora and gytarra, we've never actually got round to properly
considering the original issue I raised! This, you may recall,
was whether the widespread use in the seventeenth century of the high
octave on the bass (thumb) side of a guitar octave pair
actually continued to be the general practice in the eighteenth century
- especially in German speaking and Nordic lands (for example, in works
by Diesel, say, as well as pieces contained in D-189).
Your earlier postings have been carefully perused but, unfortunately,
are sometimes contradictory over theparticular central matter of what
instruments you nowbelieve are required for the pieces in this
MS. Accordingly I had thought that, because of
these previous inconsistencies, you'd welcome an opportunity to make a
final and unequivocal statement as to your latest position. Clearly,
without knowing precisely what this now is, it's simply
not possible to make further headway. So, perhaps, drawing a line
may be appropriate - though I do feel rather denied the opportunity to
fully reply to yours of 31 Jan and its various inconsistencies and
'misrepresentations'. Nevertheless, as I first suggested quite a few
postings ago, let's therefore now agree to disagree...............
Finally, I'm a bit taken aback about 'bullying' since, to be quite
frank, I felt very much the one on the receiving end! Indeed, I've
generally aimed to maintain polite exchanges where possible. Ah well,
perhaps it's all in the eye of the beholder - others can be our judges.
PS. Sorry - but, to quickly pre-empt another red herring in the
offing, I'm obliged to mention that the mandore and the mandora
are actually two entirely different instruments.......
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