TEXTS ON MUSIC IN ENGLISH
School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(phone:  472-2507; Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Data entry: Peter M. Lefferts
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts
Fn and Ft: HEREFOL1_MLBLL763
Title: A little treatise on Discant
Source: London, British Library, Lansdowne 763, ff. 113v-116v.
Graphics: HEREFOL1 01GF
[-f.113v-] Here folwith. a litil tretise acording to the ferst tretise of the sight of Descant. and also for the sight of Countir. and for the syght of the Countirtenor and of Faburdon.
Ferst for the sithgt of Descaunt it is to wete as it is .a.forseide that ther be .9. acordis of Descant scilicet a .Vnisoun. a .3de. a .5te. a .6te. a .8te. a .10e. a .12e. a .13e. a .15e. Of the whech .9. acordis. ther be .5. perfite. and .4. inperfite The .5. perfite be these. the Vnisoun. the .5. the .8. the .12. and the .15. Of these .5. perfite ther be .3. ful perfite. and .2o. les perfite. The .3. ful perfite be the Vnisoun. the .8. and the 15. The 2o. lasse perfite be. the .5te. and the .12e. The .4. inperfite be these. the .3de. the .6. the .10. and the 13. And with these acordis of descaunt euery descanter may ryse in voyse and falle. with the plainsong excepte out of one perfite into another bothe of one kynde. as it is afor rehersid. Also it is to wete. that ther be .3. degreis of Descaunt scilicet the Quatreble sight. and the Treble sight and the Mene sight. The Mene beginnyth in .a. 5te. aboue the plainsong in vois. and with the plainsong in sighte. The Trebil begynnyth in .a. 8te. aboue in voise. and with the plainsong in sight The Quatreble begynnyth in .a. 12e. aboue in voise. and with the plainsong in sight. To the Mene longithe propirli .5. acordis scilicet Vnisoun. 3de. 5te. 6te. and 8te. To the Treble. longith propirli .5. acordis scilicet 5te. 6te. 8te. 10e. and 12te. To the Quatreble longith propirli .5. acordis scilicet 8te. 10e. 12e. 13e. and 15e. Ferthermore it is to wete that of al the cordis of Descaunt. summe be aboue the plainsong. and summe benethe. and summe with the plainsong. And so the descaunter of the Mene shal begynne his descaunt with the plainsong in sighte. and a .5te. aboue in voise [-f.114r-] and so he shal ende it in a .5. hauyng next afor a .3de. yf the plainsong descende and ende dounward as FaMi. MiRe. ReVt. The .2de. aboue in sight. is a .6te. aboue in voise. the .3de. benethe in sighte. is .a. 3de. aboue in voise. the 4e. aboue in sight is a .8te. aboue in voise. the 6te. aboue in sight. is a .10e. aboue in voise. the wheche 10. the descanter of the Mene may sing yf the plainsong go low. netherle3 ther long no mo acordis to the Mene but .5. as it is aforsaide.
[London, Lansdowne 763, f. 114r,1; text: Dum medium silenci[um], 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10] [HEREFOL1 01GF]
The Treble descaunter shal begynne his descant with the plainsong in sighte and a .8te. aboue in voise. and so he shal ende it in a .8te. hauyng next afore a .6te. the plainsong descende and ende downward as I haue afor saide. The .3de. benethe [the plainsong. supra lin.] in sight is a .6te. aboue in vois. the 4e benethe in sight is a .5te. aboue in vois. the 6te benethe in sight. is a .3de. aboue in voise. the .8te. benethe in sight is a Vnisoun in voise. the .3de. aboue the plainsong in sight is a .10e. aboue in voise. the .5te. aboue in sight is a .12e. aboue in voise. the .6te. aboue in sight is a .13e. aboue in voise. the .8te. aboue in sight is a .15e. aboue in voise. And in this degre of descant he that hathe a voise able therto may sing al thes acordis of descant.
[London, Lansdowne 763, f. 114r,2; text: 3 ,5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15] [HEREFOL1 01GF]
The Quatreble. descanter shal begynne his descante with the plainsong in sight and a .12. aboue in voise. and so he shal ende it in a .12e. hauyng nexte afore a .10e. yf the plainsong descende and ende dounward. as aforsaide. The .3de. benethe the plainsong in sight [is supra lin.] a .10e. aboue in voice. the .5te. benethe in sight is a .8te. aboue in voice. the .2de. aboue the plain song in sight is [-f.114v-] the .13. in voice. the .4. aboue in sight. is a .15. aboue in voice This degre of descant longith to a childe to syng. for the sight of the Mene and of the Quatreble be the bothe one sight in degre. Therfor the Mene muste be sunge of a mann. and the Quatreble of a childe Also yt is to knowe. whan thou settist a perfite note ayenst a .Fa. thou must make that perfite note a Fa as Mi Fa Sol La. Also it is fayre and meri singing many Inperfite cordis togedir. as for to sing .3e. or .4or. or .5e. 3dis togedir a .5te. or a Vnisoun nexte aftir Also as many 6tis nexte aftir a .8te. Also as many .10is. nexte aftir a .12e. Also as many .13is. nexte aftir a .15e. This maner of singyng is mery to the synger and to the herer Here folwith a exsaumple of the Quatreble si3t
[London, Lansdowne 763, f. 114v; text: Cum angelis. et pueris.] [HEREFOL1 01GF]
The sight of the Countirtenor of descant. and his acordis.
Thus sufficientli sped of the sightis of al the degreis of descant. it is conuenient to declare the .9. acordis of the Countirtenor sight longyng to descant. Of the whech Countirtenor thes be the [4 supra lin.] syghtis benethe plainsong. a .8te. a 6te. a .5te. a .3de. And Vnisoun euyn with the plainson. And aboue the plainsong [othir 4. supra lin.] a .3. a .5te. a .6te. a .8te. Thes acordes be as wel in syght as in voice. For a .8te. benethe in sight. is a .8te. benethe in voyce and so forthe bothe aboue and benethe of al the other syghtis longyng to the Countirtenor Also a man that hathe a low voyce may syng a Countirtenor instede of a mene. For whan the Tenor is hye the Countirtenor may be low. And whan the Tenor is low. than the Countirtenor may be the Mene. And alwey [-f.115r-] sette thi voce yn the same note. and in the same twne that the plainsong is in And alwey begynne and ende thi Countirtenor in a .5te. And thi Countirgemel begynne and ende in Vnisoun.
[London, Lansdowne 763, f. 115r] [HEREFOL1 01GF]
The sight of Countir with his acordis.
Al thes processis fortunatli passid nou attentli is for to procede ferthir to the sightis and the acordis of Countir. the whech sight was contriuid out of the syght of the Mene degre of descant. and ternyd vpsodoun. and as ther longith propirli to the Mene sight but .5. acordis. so ther longith no mo but .5. acordis propirli to the sight of Countir the whech be these. Vnisoun .3de. .5te. .6te. and .8te. How thou shalt dispose thes acordis. thou must conceyue yf the plain song begynne hye. than thou shalt begynne thi Countir in a .8te. the wheche is in sight a .4e. benethe the plainsong. And yf the plainsong begynne low. than thou shalt begynne thi Countir in a vnisoun with the plainsong the whech is a .5te. aboue the plainsong in sight. The .3de. aboue the plainsong in sight is a .3de. benethe in voice. and the plainsong himselfe euer a .5te. benethe in voice The .2de. nexte benethe the plainsong in sight is a .6te. benethe [-f.115v-] in voice. The .4e. benethe the plainsong in sight is a .8te benethe in voice. Also yf ye haue a low voice. whan the plainsong gothe hye. than ye may haue .4. acordis mo. the whech be these. a .10e. a .12e. a .13e. and a .15e. Of the wheche .4. acordis the .10. and .12. be in vse be sight natural for euery .6te. in sight benethe the plainsong is a .10e. benethe in voice. and euery .8te. in sight benethe the plainsong is a .12e. benethe in voice. but. as for .13e. and .15e. ther is no sight benethe the plainsong within .4. rwlis. and 4. spacis that wil serue it. but yf ye chonge your sight. and as for [the supra lin.] chonge of your sight ys this Whan the plainsong riste hye in [to sura lin.] Csolfaut than is your .12e. benethe in voice in CFaut. than the same low not that ye haue in CFaut [holde it. and supra lin.] chong your syght into Csolfaut and not your voice. and than ymagyn Csolfaut your .12e. the .2e. benethe in sight your 13e. the .4e. benethe your .15e. Nou is this sight alterid. for whereas ferst euyn with the plainsong whas your .5te. in voise nou is your .12e. and whereas was the 2e. benethe the plainsong in voice your .6te. nou is your 13e. and whereas was the .4e. benethe the plainsong your 8te. nou is your .15e. This same rwle may ye kepe betwene Dsolre and Dlasolre and al other base keyys. whan the counter [sight supra lin.] goth low.
Now it is conuenient to knou hou that the Countir shal be shape to serue the plainsong bothe ascending and descendyng. Ye shal as it is aforsaid yf the playnsong begynne hye. begynne your Countir in a .8te. and yf the plainsong beginne resonable low. begynne in a. Vnisoun with the plainsong. And as ye beginne in .a. 8te or in a Vnisoun so ende your Countir in a .8te. or a Vnisoun. Also whan the plainsong ascendit the Coutir may shape his sight aboue the plainsong to descende dounward. [-f.116r-] to close with the plainsong in a .8te. with a .6te. nexte afor or a .5te. And if the plainsong descende it is conuenient the Coutir to ascende and to close with the plainsong in a Vnisoun. with .a. 3de. next afore. Also the Counterrer may bothe ascende and descende with one. or .2o. or .3e. Imperfite acordis befor a perfite corde as wel as the Descaunter Also the Counterer may close dounward in a .12e. with a .10e. befor him. and also in a .15e. with a .13e nexte befor him be chongyng of his syght atte. the .12e. And this chongyng of sight in countir is the Qvatreble sight in Descaunt. Nou here folwithe .2o. exsamplis of the Countir sight. ferst of the plain wey of Countir And than the .2de. of chongyng of sizt.
The sight of Faburdon With his Acordis.
For the leeste processe of sigtis natural and most in vse is expedient to declare the sight of Faburdun. The wheche hathe but .2o. sightis. a. 3de. aboue the plainsong in sight the whech is a. 6. fro the Treble in voice. and a euyn with the plainsong in sight. the wheche is a .8te. fro the Treble in voise. These 2o. acordis the Faburdener must rwle be the Mene of the plainsong. For whan he shal begynne his Faburdun he must [-f.116v-] attende to the plainsong and sette his sight euyn with the plainsong. and his voice. in a .5te. benethe the plainsong and aftir that whethir the plainsong ascende or descende to sette his sihzt alwey bothe in rwle and space aboue the plainsong in a .3de. and aftir that the plainsong hauntith his course eythir in acutis fro Gsolreut aboue to Gsolreut benethe to close dunward in sight euyn vpon the plainsong. vpon one of these keyes Dlasolre Csolfaut Alamire or Gsolreut. benethe And yf the plainsong haunt his course fro Gsolreut benethe doun toward Are. conuenientli than to se before where he may close with .2o. or 3e. or 4e. 3dis. before eythir in Ffaut benethe or Dsolre or Cfaut or Are. And al these closis gladli to be sunge and closid at the laste ende of a word. And as ofte as he wil to touche the plain song. and voide therfro excepte twies togedir for that may not be inasmoche as the plainsong [song supra lin.] sight is a .8te. to the treble. and a .5te. to the mene and so to euery degre he is a perfite corde. and .2o. perfite acordis of one nature may not be sung togedir in no degre of Descant.