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: Heidi Beckwith
Checked by: David Schneider
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts
Fn and Ft: BATHBITA_TEXT
Author: Bathe, William
Title: A Brief Introduction to the True Art of Music
Source: William Bathe, A Brief Introduction to the True Art of Music, ed. Cecil Hill, Critical Texts, no. 10 (Colorado Springs: Colorado College Music Press, 1979), 1-23. Used by permission.
Graphics: BATHBITA 01GF-BATHBITA 02GF
[-1-] A BRIEFE INTRODVCTIONE To the True art of Mvsicke whairin are set doune exact and easie rules for suche as seeke but to know the treuth, with arguments and thair solutions for suche as seeke also to know the reasone of treuth, which rules be meanes, wherbye any by his owne Industrie, may schortlie, easielye, and regularly attaine to all suche thingis as to this arte do belong: to which otherwyse any can hardlye attaine without tedious difficult practise, by meanes of the irregular order now usit in teaching, set furthe by william Bathe student at oxenford.
THE First Booke
IT may be that it will seeme absurde, and against order to manye, that this tractation of musicke practice should go befoir the other of speculatione, as it would semme against reasone that a phisitiane should learne to practice befoir he hath the knowledge, In it is to be vnderstanded thairfor, that singing is not to musik, as ye practice of physick is to ye science thairof, bot rather as reading to gramer: for reading is not ye practice of gramer, bot rather the congrue making of Latine, so singing is not ye richt practice of ye richt speculationne of musick but rather artificicall setting is ye speculation: and as by guid ordour reading must goe befoir gramer, so it var not against order, that singing sould go befor setting, although the on may be had vitout ye vther inso much as a not is the thing that is must matiriallie intreated of in [-2-] all the first book, and as it var ye subiect of this former part called ars cantandi, to quhich the naming, tyme, quantitie, et cetera doth be long: it var not vnfit thairof to giw sume apart descreptionne, vharby ye natur of it micht be ye better knawen,
A not is a sound tuned of which som be naturall, as is sounded bye ye voice of a living creature: sum artificicall, as is plaid vpon instrumentes.
To notis belong four things, quhich being knaven, doe yeild the perfect skill and knavledge of song that is to say the richt - naiming quantitie tyme tune
For ye richt naming
Albeit that ye skilfull singing man; keiping evrie not in his richt tune, may name it at his pleasour, never ye les, a learner sould heardlie come to that perfectionne, vith out learning to nam tham aright befor; it is thairfor to be vnderstanded that ther be bot sax severall names - that is, ut, re, mi, fa, soll, la, and the deficultie lyith in knaving vhether ye sax severall names ar to be atribut to evrie note; for ye solvtionne of quich deficultie, ther ar things neceassarie to be knaven, vherof, ye first is the scale of (gam ut) the secund is to be knaven in what place evrie not standeth, the thrid to knav in quhat plac yat not standeth quihch is named .ut. By the knavledg and remembrance, of thes thrie, the name of any not may be knaven, as I vill schav hereftor, let us first therfor orderlie set down the schall of :gam ut: vhich is so named [-3-] becaus :gam ut: is ye lowest place, and as it var ye foundationn in that scalle quhich is yus commonlie placed -
[Bathe, True Art, 3,1; text: E la, De la sol, C sol fa, B fa [sqb] my, A la mi re, G sol re ut, F fa ut, E la my, D la sol re, C sol fa ut, B fa [sqb] my, A la mi re, G sol re ut, F fa ut, E la my, D sol re, C fa ut, B my, A re, Gam ut] [BATHBITA 01GF]
quhat is be neath ge sol re ut, is beneath .gam ut. during four. and quhat is aboue e la my, may be immagined or set doun aboue E la; The secund thing that is to be knaven, as I said befor, is in what place of ye former scalle evrie not standeth; for ye knavledg of which, seing it is knaven by the cleif, it var nessasrie to knav quhat a cleif is; quhich is nothing else bot a mark of on of these places conteined in the scalle of gam ut, quharby it is knaven in quhat place evrie not standeth: quharof ther be thrie kyndes commonlie vsed, yat is to say -
[Bathe, True Art, 3,2; text: G sol re uts, C sol fa uts, F fa uts quhich are thuse marked G or thus, C or thus, F or thus] [BATHBITA 01GF]
and G cleif is ye mark of ye higher G sol re ut in ye scalle: and the C: cleif of yat place called C sol fa ut and ye F cleif of F fa ut the lower in the scale.
Now in this sort you maye find by the cleife where everye note standeth: and least their should seime any difficultie, I will begin from the first secht of the booke, that all things that doe belonge to thair knowledge, may be ye better wnderstood. First when a man seeth the booke befoir him he may see certaine rules which go along lineally by 5. and by 5. [-4-] whiche number of 5. is called a set of pricksong (for a sett of plainesong hath commonlye but 4. rules), then he may see in the first of the set alwayes one of the foirsaid cleifes wpon some rule, and whatsoever note standeth wpone the same rule, with the cleife, is said to be in that place whairofe that cleife whiche he seeth is the marke. Iff any note stande in the next space aboue, it is said to stand in the next place aboue that place aboue that place whereof that cleife is the marke, and so wpward and donward continuallye counting from the close as in this example.
[Bathe, True Art, 4,1] [BATHBITA 01GF]
The first note standeth in C sol fa ut, becaus it standeth wpon the same rule with the cleife which is the marke of C sol fa ut. The second in D la sol re, becaus d la sol re is next aboue C sol fa ut in the scale of gam ut, The thrid in b fa # mi Becaus it is the nixt place beneath C sol fa ut, The fourth in e la mi becaus e la mi is the nixt place saue one to c sol fa ut, and ye said fourth note standeth in ye next place saue one to the cleife whiche is the marke of the place quhar c sol fa ut is, and so of all the other notes: Then in the end of the lyn or sett, he may see a thing marked thus
[Bathe, True Art, 4,2] [BATHBITA 01GF]
whiche is called a director, Becaus it is alwayes put wpon the rule or space wherin the first of the next lyn or sett standeth, and doth so direct a man, evin as in bookes the word that is lowest wpon everye [syde] of the leafe doth direct a man to the word nixt following:
The third that is necessery to be knowin for the Richt naming of notes, is the place whair yat note standeth whiche is named ut. and as by counting vpward and dounwarde from the cleife it is knowen where every note standeth, [-5-] so it is knowin by counting wpward and dounward from that which is callit ut, quhat the Richt name of everie note is: Bot first let ws set downe how ye place whair the ut standeth is knowin, which is thus, there be three places, in one of whiche the ut must alwayes be: that is to say in G whiche is Gam ut and g sol re ut. Quhan thair is no flat in C whiche is C fa ut, C sol fa ut, and C sol fa, quhane thair is a flat in # mi, or b fa # mi, In F whiche is f fa ut, when thair ar to flats, one in b fa # mi, the other in e la mi.
[Bathe, True Art, 5; text: As for example, Now ye ut is in G, Now in C, Now in F] [BATHBITA 01GF]
When you haue in this sort found out the ut, you must wnderstand that everye note that standeth in the nixt place to that is re if it go vpward, the nixt is mi, the nixt fa, the[n] sol, then la, ascending vp alwayes orderlye counting the rules and spaces: and as ye ascend wt. re. mi. fa. sol. la. fa. so dounward lykwayes, fa. la. sol. fa. mi. re. ut. and so come to fa. againe. and in sorte the richt name of everie note is knawen.
Two things from thes rules are excepted, the on is that everye re. should be named la, when yow ascend to it, or descend from it, and that everie [-6-] ut, sould be named sol, whiche tuo things ar wsed euphoniae gratia, and yet this name ut is most proper to the Bas. or lowest parte in the first place.
For the quantitie
Next to the richt naming of the notes, according to the former devisione followeth the quantitie, quhiche is the length of the note: according to the diversitie of whiche it is divided into eight kynds as followes.
[Bathe, True Art, 6; text: large, long, breiff, semibreiff, minem, crotchet, quaver, semiquaver] [BATHBITA 01GF]
heir is to be notted, that a pricke put after any note doth cause the note going befoir it to be halfe so long againe as it is of it selff.
For the Tyme
Next to the quantitie according to the former divisione followeth the tyme, whiche Tyme is a measouring of the former quantities, schewed to learners, By stricking the hand or roote of quhiche thair be tuo kynds, that is to say semibreiff tym, and thrie minem tyme, By tym yow must learne how long yow sould hold one of the former quantities, in thair due measoures, for the just lenth of the Tyme it selff, thair can be no certaintie, for it is according to the singers pleasour, etheir to Begin with a slow tym, or a fast, so that the same Tyme that is begune be [-7-] obserued to the end, The tyme is a certene thing wher we do measour the quantitie of nottes: for albeit the nottes haue a certane quantitie everie on, yet it is not knowen how long this certaintie should Be, without the tyme, wheirfor the tyme is the certentie of each quantitie, and theirfoir may weill be called a measour: And this is a ge[neral?] to be observed concerning the semibreiff Tyme, that yow must pute of the notes, as many as mak wp the length of the minem, to the putting down of the hand, and as many as mak wp of the length of ane other minem to the taking doune of the hand In this kynd of Tyme.
The other kynd of tyme called thrie minem tyme, doth in this differ frome the other, that the former tyme is alwayes the length of a semibreiff: And this kynd of Tyme called thre minem tyme, is first the length of a semibreiff, and then of a minem, [And this kynd of Tyme you must measour first putting wp and doune your hand], and this Tyme ar all galliardes measoured.
For the tune
The richt names, the quantities, and tymes being knawn, it now followeth that we should tell of tuing the voice, wherby the reight tunes of the notes are knawn the order of tuning the woice is, that the keiping of tune in lifting wp and falling downe of ye voic should be according as the Notes doe stand, either in one place, ascending, or descending in the rules and spaces, for the good obseruation of tuning the woice, it wer best to sing the first not as yow think most agreiabl to your woice: [-8-] then if the next not be in the next rule or space abowe, lett the woice be lifted wp one nott, if it be in the next sawe one, let the voice be lifted wp twa notes: likwisse, if the next not be beneath: and soe down or wpward, according as the notes ar distant: Ther ar twa thingis to be noted as exceptions from these precedent rules, whereof ye on is. that from e la mi, and everie place wher any sharp is, which is thus marked # To the nixt note aboue it, the voice should be altered but halff a note, the other that in descending from fa, or any note that hath a scharpe befoir the nixt note wnder it, the voice sould lykwayes be altered but halff a not, if I sould leave this Tractatione in this sort, telling that suche a tyme the voice must be lifted vp a note, and such a tyme halff a note, I sould yet leave a great difficultie to the young learner to know when the voice is liftit vp halfe a note, and quhan a whole note: for to know this doth requyre Tyme and experience, neverthes the best way is to exercise ascending and descending orderlye as in this example.
[Bathe, True Art, 8] [BATHBITA 02GF]
The concord called a fyft, doth consist of fyue notes in distance, for so it appeareth by the denomination, that their foir it is called a fyft, and thair is a fyft in concord betuixt 'a' and h. vpon the stoped Instrument, suche as ane lute or siterne, Therfoir thair sould be five notes in distance, whiche in deed by this former compting is not, and consequentlye, etheir a fyft doth not consist of fyue notes, whiche is contrary to the denomination, or this former compting is naught.
Their ar 2. kindis of distance, one betwext the places that ar put down in the scale of Gam ut, ane other betwext notes Themselues, according to the former acount: and the destance wherof concordis haue ther denomination, is betwext the places of Gam ut: and ewerie fift (that is a concord) according to This account, oucht to los according to the other account, half a not: and ewerie 8, according to this account, in Gam ut, oucht to los a whol not, according to the orther account.
It is said in this letter solutionn, that ewerie fift according To the places of Gamut, that is according (as though som fifth were no concord) which when it may not be, thes words ar superfluous.
It may be in some, that a fift according to the places aforesaid may Be a discord, as vhen the one is flat, and the other sharp: and the reasone why this fift as others, is no concorde is, that according to the other account, it loseth mair then half a Not, which it should not do (as I said before) heir is to be noted, that 2 nots and a half according to the other account maketh a third according to this: as when on standeth in a la mi re, the other being in C sol fa ut. Bot of this moir at lairg in ther owen places. Let it not seime strang to any, that I haue not maid mention of the diuersitie of moods and proportiones in this place: for I haue omited them for 2. causes: the one is, that other moods, then that which by thes that be heir may be wnderstood, ar [-10-] not now commonlye vsed, and moreour it wald breid great tediousness. and if any wher they chanc, he that knoweth thes that be heir, may by declaration of fewe words vnder stand them. as for the proportions, ther be of them so many kindis, that it would goe neir to tak vp againe, as much as this book, to intreat of them at lairg: ye other is: that of thes 4 thinges, wherin the knowledg of singing dooth consist. that is to say, reicht naming, quantitie, tym, and order of the voic: the proportione differ but in one, that is to say, in quantitie, therfor to mak a long tractation of them may be thought vain he that will for the naming, quantitie, tym, and order of ye woice, obserue thes thes ruls aforesaid, may with little practis sing at the frist sicht. also he that will keip well in mynd the way to find out ye thrie uts, may soone perceiwe when any Ignorant clairk playeth wilde voluntarie: that is to say, when he begineth (ut being in gam ut) and endeth with ut in f fa ut or C sol fa ut, whiche is as allowed as his ansuer, that being demanded the way to londone: saide a bag full of plumes.
Sic finit ars cantandi
Laus nunc, laus semper, laus omni tempore summa
Discens atque docens, dicite, lausque Deo.
[-11-] THE second booke
IT now followeth that [we] sould speake of musick speculative, quharin great pleasure may be had, whiche also may worthily be numbred among the 7. liberall sciences, And first of the concord betwixt pairts. Then orderly as it shall seeme most fit for the easie Introductione of the learner: wherein if there seeme any doubt we will with gods grace, as heirtofore we haue done, with objections and thair solutions make it plaine, and in some places also schew the opinions of the learned and then after put Doune what is most probable and most worthie to be accepted.
Becaus that a concord is the thing that is most mentioned In all this tractation, as in knowing the number of them, The placing and making of them, it wer not wnfit first to Declare the nature of it, Then by diuisione to declare the number of them, And as for the nature of it, It must be wnderstoode that a concord is an agreement of tuo or mo pairts. The common division is thus A concord is divided into an Vnizon Third Fyft Sixt Eighth Tenth Twelth Thirtenth and a Fyftenth
The difficulty of this division schall by objections be made plain.
Thes concords numbered, an vnizon, a thrid et cetera which the logicians call, membra diuidentia, doth not containe as much as a concord, which they call Diuisiuns, therfore the diuisione is Naught: for a seuenth with many more, which ar not heir contayned ar concordes.
Thogh not expresly, yet in maner of reductione they ar contained, for a seuententh to a Third, becaus it is a concord of that kynd and a ninetenth to a fift lykwayes is reduced.
Then it is naught for another cause, that is to say, because it containeth more then richt: for by that solution I may say, that ther ar but 4. concordes, because all the other numbred, ar reduced to one of the first 4. as a seuententh and a nyntenth ar: for an eyght to an vnizon: a tenth to a third: a twelfth to a fift: a thirtenth to a sixt : a fifteenth againe to ane vnizon are reduced.
I cannot in very deed, by giuing a solution to this last argument defend this diuision to be logical, as it should be indeid : for the precepts that ar taught in logick of a division doe not onlye belong to the same science. Nevertheles, for a solutione, I will schew the caus, why this [-13-] divisione hath Bein so long accepted; It is to be wnderstoode theirfoir That long tyme after the Invention of musicke, Thair wer but tuo partes vsed, or at the most 3. as apeireth by ancient wreitters, and Becaus that for that number of pairtes this number of concordes did suffice, it was acceptit netheir do I think notwithstanding But they knew that ther were moir concordes: But They saw withall: that how farsoevere they had numbered, they should haue left more to be numbered.
Then after there grew great diversitie in opinions among musitianes, of this division, as concerning the number of concordes: for Berhusius in dividing the concords accepteth the common divisione, and sayth That their is a great contentione, Betuixt musitians, of The number of concords, Bot for his solutione, the difficultie yet remaineth, Also ottomarus lucinius argentinus. In The first chapter of his second commentarie, devideth the concords in this sort: Thair be tuo kyndes concords, perfect and vnperfect: perfect ar ane vnizon, a fyft, and suche as are to them reduced: To an Vnizon are reduced ane eight, a fiftenth and a tuo and twentith: to a fyft are reduced a twelfth a nyntenth, Wnperfyt are suche as haue affinitie with the Thrid and sixt, as a tenth a thretenth a sevententh, and twentith: also he sayth That they are called perfect, becaus they doe end songs: saying Eo quod omne carmen [-14-] per longas ambages profectum tandem in his finem quaeritat, nether doth this divisione please me, albeit it seemeth to be more artificiall than the common divisione, for that it wer more fit, to divide a concorde wnto his kyndes, then in accidents, whiche followeth the nature of them, Secondly for that he hath falne wnto the same negligence That others did. in declaring how all concordes ar reduced, to the first 4. in so much, as he hath not shewed, how thes concordes which he hath not numbred, ar to be reduced, thirdly, for that he sheveth not a sufficient reasone for the denomination of the concordes perfect, or vnperfect: albeit I know Ottomarus his reasone wil suffice many: as it would suffice many, that ye fire should be called hoat, because it heateth, which is fals and ewen as the fire is named hoat, of the heat which it hath In it selff, and heating of the heat oractione proceiding from it, so the concordes ar called perfect, of the perfection that they hawe in them selves. and perfecting, by that reasone which Ottomarus sheweth. Moreouer, by this reasone a third and tenth micht be called perfect, bicaus songes oft end with them, and this himselff denyeth. but the sound of them is called perfect, becauss it admitteth no variatione: so that this reason is conuerted with a perfect concord: for whatsoeuer admitteth no variation is a perfect concord, and whatsoewer is a perfect concord, admitteth no variatione.
The logician saith, that ewerie diuision ought to be but of twa members, if it may so Be as well: but ottomarus mad this diuisione of [-15-] two members, as well: therfor he did best mok it.
It is to be vnderstoode, that perfect and vnperfyt, whereof we haue sufficiently spokin befoir, are but accidents alwayes consequents to the nature of the concords, evin as deorsum and insublime ferri, are accidents to the nature of the elements: And as philosophers doo rather choose to say: elementorum aliud aer, aliud aqua, aliud terra, then elementorum, aliud deorsum, aliud insublime fertur: so certenlye our devisione foure membred, is rather to be chosin, then the tuo membred of Ottomarus, wherfore he hath not so well dividit it: etiam si hoc, tibi exemplum sufficere non videtur, quia elementus est substantia, et concordia accidens: videas, ut prima qualitates dividuntur in quatuor, cum in duas dividi, secundum eorum accidentia potuissent.
It siemeth against the nature of the number, that a third should be an vnperfect concord: for according to the old sentence of Pythagoras, the number of 3. is of all numbers the most perfect. Vnde et ab Aristotle numerus diuinus dicitur, Platoni item (quod aeiunt) philosophorum deo contingit numerus annorum vitae absolutissimus, nempe 81. qui numerus provenit ex novenario, in se multiplicato: novenarius autem ex tribus constat ternariis, quae res platoni apud multos diuinitatis opinionem peperit. Item virgilius: numero deus impare gaudet.
It is not vnfyt, that one thing in diuerse respects should be perfect, and vnperfect, so as that number is called perfect which is whol in much sort that it admitteth no equall diuisione (ratione deferenti) so in musick, that concord is called perfect, which admitteth no variatione (ratione distantiae) that is in respect of the distance betwixt the parts, as for example: becaus that a fift is a perfect concord, and consisteth of 4. whol nots and a half, it must alwayes haue the sam distanc: for the quarter of a not, aboue or vnder, maketh it a discord, but the sixt because it is an vnperfect concord, it may consist ether of 5. whole notes or of 5. and a half: and so of the rest. therefor least we should siem to fall in to the sam negligence, it wer guid that we determine som what, And declare how this diuisionne mought be mad logicall, and artificall, in such ssort, that the kindis of all concordes might be numbred in it, and nothing superfluous: then after to determine, and exactly declare, how concordes ar reduced to one of thes which we will number. and first it wer not vnfit, that we should diuid the distinct sound betwixt pairts, and then orderly by subdiuisione to come to the diuision of concords. the distinct soundes betwixt pairts, which hath no affinitie one with another, ar 7. that is to say ane vnizon, a second, a third, a fourth, a fift, a sixt, and a seuenth. wherof ther be foure with ther kinds, to wit ane wnizon, a third, a fyft, and a sixt: wheirof ye wnizon and fift with the concords of their kindes be perfect, the other two with their kinds vnperfect.
To number mor concordes than thes were superfloues, for aboue thes ther [-17-] is no reasone why the diuisione should be ended at one concord mor than at another, and of this commeth it that one musitian saith, that ther ar 15. concordes, another saith ther be 20. in so much as betwixt them ther is no agrement.
But to know by this our diuisione all concords it is to be vnderstood that quhatsoeuer is mad up by adding 7. or seuens to any of thes, is a concord of that kind to which the 7 or sevines are added: as for example, 7 added to ane vnizon maketh eighth: twys 7. added to the same maketh fyftein; thryce, sevin maketh two and twentie: whiche be all concordis of one kind with the vnizone, and so by ading 7. or sewens to each one of the other, the concords of their kindes are knowne.
A briefe conclusion to know the distance according to the account of notes
ALso it wer not wnfit, that now in ye end for the more certentie, we should declare the true distance, according to the certaine account of notes themselues, of whiche everie concord doth consist whiche is thus, The wnizon alwayes is in one place: The third doth consist of 2 notes and a halff, and sometymes of thrie, the fyft alwayes of four notes and a halff, the sixt sometymes of 5 notes, and sometymes of fyue notes and ane half; as the concordes of their kindes that ar counted acording to the Gamut, ar made vp by addition of 7. so the concords of the first 4. kindes acording to the account of wholl notes, ar maid vp by additione of 6. to the aforesaid: as the adding 6. to ane vnizone maketh [-18-] 7. wherof the 8. according to that accompt of Gamut doth consist. and so of the rest, Mark well this last conclusione, and pass no ouer it with a superficiall wiew: for trevlie by it, ye richt distance may soon be knaven, mervell not of me never the les for keiping this long discours befor, in teling the richt distanc according to ye places in gamut, for I haw done yat cheifflie for 2 causes: wherof ye on is becaus yat according to yat account notes have thair denominationne: ye other is, that ye learner sould have ye knavledg yer of: creidit me, you may cum to many yat haue studit yis science a long tym, yea. yat be verrie weill skillid in setting, quho for lak of knavledge of this conclusionne, wyll tak a concord to be a discord; they ar so adicted to ye places, quhich is a great feblying of ye first foundationn, quhan they cannot knav a concord from a discord. If yov vold try this that I say, disire any such, to sing fa in f fa ut: and sing yow for yat a not in C sol fa ut scharp, and ask him, vhat concord is it, and belive me yow sall find mor yat will say it is a discord, then that will say it is a concord (as it is indeide) for as I said befor; It is a saxt becaus it is of ye same distance yat tav vther places in ye gam ut ar of, as a re, and f fa ut. and becaus yat evrie saxt doth consist of five wholl notes (as thes do) or of fiw notes and a halff: and evrie thing yat consist of fiw notes, or fiwe notes and a halff is a saxt (as apereth by the last conclusionne) bot ye namis to quhich the ar greatlie adicted, deseveth tham, and this mark veill.
In this science as in vtheres, it var quid yat from the begining [-19-] to ye end we sould proceid gradatime, observing yat order quhich to ye learner will most induce: ye nmber of concordis and discordes being knaven by ye aforced roules, it now folouth yat ve sould tell of ye richt placing and order of tham; for quch in the begining it var best yat ye learner did get sume plain songes, quhich he sould have as a founddationne: then to mak vpon it concordis (as I will heireftor declaire).
The first kynd of vay yat is vsed to be maid, is to mak on concord for evrie not of ye plain song, quhich is called counter poynt, in quhich certain roules ar to be observed, vherof, ye first and cheifest is, yat twa perfect conncordes of on kynd sould not be maid asending or discending to gieder: as two vnisones, two fyftis, vhat ye concordis of they kyndis: for this genarallie in all places must be observid, though they be perfyt concordis, neveryeles two of yam in the ordor aforced, will not doo weill: two notis is on place in counter poynt, vhen the plain song doth also stand, is not to be vsed: for albeit, yat it be not so evell, bot it may be tollearated, neveryeles, becaus it doth declair the sleuth, rather than ye diligence of ye maker, it is to be eschued vnles it be in 2 pairtis in on, or in mantaining a poynt, heir is it to be noted, yat mantanig a point is a thing in musik very delectable, and sueit to ye eare, vhich is nothing else but to keepe ye same quantitie, ascentione and descentione of notes in on poynt yat ar in an other, eather in one place, vhen ye plainsong is not like, or in diuers, as for exampelle:
[-20-] [Bathe, True Art, 20,1] [BATHBITA 02GF]
It being determined of two partes vhen they both stoode, It nov followeth that ve tell of the vther maner of going of tham, vherfor let this dewision suffice: the partes not standing both, must either goe against one an other, the on ascending, the other descending or on of tham must stande, the other ascending or descending, or both must ascend or descend togither: for ye first (that is to say) quhan the go on against an other, it is naught to mak a fift, or any of yat kinde generallye, or an vnizon, or any of that kind vnles they com farther one against an other, or sometymes vhen ye next note to that vnizon of any of his kind of ye plaine song, doe stand in the same place. in the next vay, yat is to say vhen one standeth, the other ascending or descending, the fift is good, for ye latter of ye two standing notes, and not else vhich may be eather vhen these 2 notes that stande so, ar in ye plainesonge, or in the other partes as for examplle:
[Bathe, True Art, 20,2] [BATHBITA 02GF]
The thrid way is quhan both partes ascend or descend togither: vhich is 2 manner of wayes, eyther to ascend or descend farther than to ye next place vhich is called iumpyng: and not to be vsed in counterpoint or orderly and so 2 thrids 2. sixts, or 2 concordis of thair kindis, or 3 at [-21-] ye most are to be vsed, last of all, observe that yow end not vhit a sixt, or a concord of this kynd.
Heir I haue briefflie comprehended the prohibitions, vhich I thought most likly the learner vold be apt to violate or breake (quhich being observed) though they be bot fewe, I doubt not bot by gods grace they will cause the schoving of such faultis as by long protes common teacheris vse to prohibit: for indeid if a man did com through thair handes, and efter com to ye studie of other liberall sciences so far that he might sie in quhat darknes he hath bin occupied, I do not think (be he never so hard harted) bot it vald greive him, I am suer moreover, that (as ye philosopher saith) Omnes apetunt scire, and he truely is wnworthy of his desyre, if he may) this much for counterpoint.
The next way that commonly is taught is called 2. minimes, which in this doth differ from the former way, that in making this, The maker is not limitied to make on concord only for everie note of the plane song, as in counterpoint but at libertye to divide it wnto as many pairtes as the quantitie of the plaine song note serveth for: In this kynd of way, it is good alwayes to begine with some rest: for the ascention and descention of 2 perfect concordes of one kynd, ther neideth no new prohibition: in so muche as I said befoir that in all kynd of descant it is naught: In counterpoint becaus it is note for note of the plaine song ether former divisione for The concourse of the pairtis sufficeth: but becaus that in 2. minims ther is alteration of descant for ane not of plainsong it is necessary that ane other diuisione should be mad which is thus: if ther be any diuision, whatsoever not of descant [-22-] is mad for any of plainesonge note must either Be for the first pairt of the note, or els for that whiche is betuix ye first and last, Or otherwayes for the last pairt.
For thes concordes that ar to be mad for the first part of any not, the comming from an other not to it, is Greatly to be regarded. It is guid alwais to begine with some rest. then for the comming from any other not to the first part of ewery not. yow must obserue the prohibitions of counterpoint, sawing that when the partes com one against another orderly, yow may mak ane eight or a concord of his kind, though they come not further one against ane other, or the next stand in the same place. Her is to be noted neuertheless, that to jumpe downe to an eight, and go vp from it Immedatly againe, is not to be vsed: except also sometymes for the first of a not a discord is vsed: but commonly either binding, or with a prick as for example:
[Bathe, True Art, 22] [BATHBITA 02GF]
But from the first plainsong not to the end yow ar not tied to the rules of cunterpoint: but may mak what concord yow list: so that the descant be formal, which is alwayes to be obserued: neuertheles I hawe diuided the note Into 3 partes becaus that for the other 2 parts, discords more commonlye ar vsed bot more seldome for the last pairt of the note, wnles it be in quaveris whiche in some respect may be discords for any pairt of the note, Thes manye wayes discords ar nought: First [-23-] when it is moir then a minim, secondlye when they ar 2 of them together, Thirdly To iumpe from a concord to a discord, or from a discord to a concord wnles it be in the midle pairt of the note, and them iumping to the next saue one wnder it, and best with Binding descant, or with a pricke befoir it: as for example:
[Bathe, True Art, 23,1] [BATHBITA 02GF]
Fourthlly when the concords yat are in eache syde of it be aboue it, Fyftlye to mak it for the last pairt of any note, wnles the plainesonge stand or goe against it, the discorde being bot a croatchet, as for example:
[Bathe, True Art, 23,2] [BATHBITA 02GF]
Their be discords that be not to be vsed perhaps, that by thes breife rules ar not prohibited, Also there be things here prohibited, which manye doe vse to mak, Bot for that Trahat sua quemque voluptas. For we more regarding that whiche doth to the learner bring most facilitie and whiche are to be observed guid, haue laid doune such breiff rules as we thought most necessary to that effeact, leaving the rest to the Imitatione of guid authors, as Master talis, Master Byrd Master tailor and others.