2. Problematic Places with Different Readings and Solutions

Within the central manuscript tradition, one encounters locations where no manuscript presents a clear and unproblematic reading. Such places are especially hard to resolve in a monophonic context, where voice-alignment and harmonic considerations are not present.

One such case is the beginning of strophe X of L19. The following diagram presents the readings in the different sources:

The only reading that can be fitted into the overall mensural pattern can be found in the musical repetition marking the middle of the strophe, where MS A omits the first rest (in brackets above), probably mistakenly. As it stands, this beginning requires either a mensural or conceptual adjustment. A strict reading of MS C requires the third bar of this section to be shortened.

Sound and Score     ¦     Facsimile

A strict reading of the other sources – exemplified through the version in MS E requires the first bar to be extended to include four beats.

Sound and Score     ¦     Facsimile

The conceptual adjustment adopted for the edition – applied here on MS A – understands the first note of the strophe as an upbeat even though it is not notated as such. To compensate for this, the rest at the end of the previous section is shortened. This arrangement allows for the rest of the strophe to be read without problem.

Sound and Score     ¦     Facsimile

This kind of reading is further discussed in connection with un-notated upbeats here. For another case of all sources presenting unclear versions (rather than actual mistakes), see here.


Uri Smilansky