The Great Art of Consonance & Dissonance.

CHAPTER II.

On the Musarithmic columns and their order in the receptacles of the previously prepared chest.

First take all of the tablets of simple counterpoint in order; these are 12 in number. Write down the individual columns of these tablets separately on paper (or also wooden) strips, as many times as possible, say, four, five six, seven, eight, nine, or ten times; here we have written each column only four times1This feature actually does correspond to Figure XIV. Close examination shows that each of the columns depicted in the Figure comes as a set of 4 identical copies (grouped together front-to-back).. For example, Syntagma I has only twelve tablets2Based on the tablets illustrated and described in the text, the correct number would seem to be eleven., each of which contains ten columns3Probably the most sensible interpretation of what was intended here is, rather, that each of the columns contains ten 'cells'.: the first tablet contains polysyllables with long penults; the second contains polysyllables with short penults. You will, accordingly, write down each and every column of these tablets several times together with the metrometric notes affixed at the foot of the column. However, do this such that all of the columns have exactly the same divisions; that is, all the cells in which the musarithms are to be written should be equal. For if they are unequal, no matter how the columns are applied, errors will not be lacking. And this equality must be observed not only in the columns of the first Syntagma, but also in the columns of the second Syntagma, and the third, and, in a word, in every column whatsoever. But since the columns of the different tablets have an unequal number of cells—for some are a transverse series of 9, and several are only 85However, all of the tablets illustrated in the text show columns that contain, without exception, ten cells.—I would advise the musurgist, in order to avoid artificiality in a methodical way, that he divide each column into ten cells and then, in the empty spaces, that he write down whatever musarithm he wants repeatedly in the same column (regarding which, nothing could be simpler). For in this way all of the columns will be apportioned the same number of cells, and artificiality will be entirely avoided in all the numbers. And with the little columns so fashioned from thick paper or wood, and with the musarithms written down on these same columns in the order which was specified, you shall insert each of them into their proper receptacles. For example, in the first cell of the twelve-partioned AC6This would have to be partition HBFC in order to remain consistent with the description in 8.5.1. Accordingly, it's likely that AC in the text is a transcription error for HC. (for thus we decided that this part of the ark should be named, which is divided into 12 cells of simple counterpoint) — into the first cell of this, I say, the wooden rods or tiles7taxilli. Generally this would refer to dice. Perhaps here the idea is something closer to domino tiles. or paper columns of the first tablet should be placed; in the second cell the columns of the second tablet; in the third, the columns of the third tablet, repeated several times; and in the fourth cell, the columns of the fourth tablet, repeated several times; and so on for the rest in order up to the final column of the [final] tablet.

In the second hexamerous, or six-partitioned, space GHEF, place in order the columns (which have been written down several times on paper or wooden rods) of the second Syntagma, which is for flowery, poetic counterpoint. The first cell will be used for adonics and dactyls, the second for iambs and euripedeans, and so on in order for the rest, as the drawing of the ark shows.

Likewise, in the third, six-partioned space of the ark8That is, partition AGDE., you will insert all off the columns of Syntagma III in order. And inside the cover which closes he ark, you will store the musarithmic columns of the tones written down separately along with a two-partitioned epitomic column9An obscure description of the diagram which can be seen fairly clearly on the inside cover of the ark in Figure XIV.. And you will affix a separate cover to each of the receptacles, on the outside surface of which the title of the hidden columns will be written, the use of which will be made known a little later. And so you will have an ark complete in every respect. Its use follows.

Row by row4Tabulatum read as Tabulatim. ordering of the musurgical ark.

Home Table of Contents Previous Section Next Section