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: Jonathan Haupt
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts
Fn and Ft: LECPROV1_MLBLR18
Title: Leconfield Proverbs
Source: London, British Library, Royal 18. D. II, ff. 198r-199v.
[-f.198r-] The prouerbis in the garet at the New lodge in the parke of lekingfelde.
1. When the philosophers putagoras and tuball.
From the poure sympill hammer and stethe s[u]bstanciall.
The celestiall soundes of musyk first made and dyd expres.
They fet them not from curiosite nor grete riches.
2. Oute of the trewe playne songe the Judgyde the melody.
Curius conveyinge hydithe muche armonye.
Therfore of the playne nottis to sett a sure grounde.
Makithe a modulacioun of moste perfyte sounde.
In curiosite oftyme trowthe slippith by.
And in the playne trew nottis all the swetenes dothe lye.
[playnnge without curiosity in marg. m sec.]
3. A songe myssowndithe yf the prickynge be not right.
So marryd is the melody for lac of fore syght.
The sownde of a trew songe makithe trew concorde.
But subtill prickynge mystymythe and causith grete discorde.
[truth in marg. m sec.]
4. A naturall breste is goode withe sowndes of moderacioun.
A glorifiede breste is to curyus withe notis of alteracioun.
But he that syngithe a trewe songe mesurithe in the meane.
And he that rechithe to hye a trebill his tewnys is not clene.
[moderation in marg. m sec.]
5. Perfite vowellynge of a songe to the eere is delectable.
He that quadribilithe to hy his voice is variable.
But he is no goode Judge whiche disalowith the songe.
When the ere of parcialite Judgithe it to wronge.
[unpartialnes in marg. m sec.]
6. He that settithe a songe and makithe it new.
If his warbellis be more curius than trew.
Or his songe be songe greate faute shall be fownde.
In the dyuers proporciones of the mystonyde sownde.
[curiosity in marg. m sec.]
7. A breste to audible mowntithe to affexioun.
He that mesurithe in the meane causithe more deuocioun.
And he that caryethe more crochettis than his cvnnynge can prove.
Makithe more discorde of doblenes then melody of loue.
[doublenes in marg. m sec.]
8. He that hathe a brym breste and litill inspexion withe all.
Ought to be advisede twyse of his notis musicall.
[-f.198v-] For he whiche hathe a voice exaltynge to hy.
Fo lac of goode knowlege marrithe muche melody.
9. He that lyst to sett a goode trew songe.
May not make his breuys to short nor his largs to longe.
He that triethe his tewnes tretabilly vpon a trew grownde.
If connynge be smale the trouthe may make a plesande sounde.
10. The harpe is an instrumente of swete melodye.
Rude intelligens of the sounde conceyuethe no armonye.
But who so in that instrumente hathe no speculacioun.
What restithe withyn the sownde borde hathe but smale probacioun.
11. He that fyngerithe well the keyes of the clavicordis makithe a goode songe.
For in the meane is the melodye withe a rest longe.
If the tewnys be not plesant to hym that hathe no skyll.
Yet no lac to the Claricorde for he doith his goode will.
12. He that is a perfyte musicioun.
Perceyvithe the lute tewnes and the goode proporcioun.
In myddest of the body the stryngis sowndith best.
For stoppide in the freytis they abyde the pynnes wrest.
13. Many a swete refreet the musycioun dothe synge.
Whiche is litill conceyvide of light herynge.
For whos sownde is applyede allway to discorde.
Can never deserne the tewnes of a trew monacorde.
14. How may a mysmovede tymer Judge a trew instrument.
For in tunabill tewnys he hathe noun experyment.
And he that hath an ere oblyvius and febill stomake of affexioun.
The tewnys of tuball sholde not prayse to Judge wherof he lackes discrecioun.
15. A slac strynge in a virgynall soundithe not aright.
It dothe abyde no wrastinge it is so louse and light.
The sounde borde crasede forsith the instrumente.
Throw mysgouernaunce to make notis whiche was not his intent.
16. He that couytithe in clarisymballis to make goode concordaunce.
Ought to fynger the keyes withe discrete temporaunce.
To myche wyndinge of the pipis is not the best.
Whiche may cause them to sypher wher armoney shulde rest.
[-f.199r-] 17. Immoderate wyndes in a clarioun causithe it for to rage.
Soft wynde and moderate makithe the sounde to asswage.
Therfore he whiche in that instrument wolde haue swete modulacioun.
Bustius wyndes must leue and vse moderacioun.
18. A shawme makithe a swete sounde for he tunythe basse.
It mountithe not to hy but kepithe rule and space.
Yet yf it be blowne withe to a vehement wynde.
It makithe it to mysgouerne oute of his kynde.
19. The swete orgayne pipis comfortith a stedfast mynde.
Wronge handlynge of the stoppis may cause them sypher from ther kynde.
But he that playethe of pipes wher so grete nowmber is.
Must handill the keyes all lyke that by mysgouernaunce they sounde amysse.
20. The recorder of his kynde the meane dothe desyre.
Manyfolde fyngerynge and stoppes bryngithe hym from his tunes clere.
Who so lyst to handill an instrument so goode.
Must se in his many fyngerynge that he kepe tyme stop and moode.
21. A perfyte modulatour makithe his songe trew.
He mesurithe in the meane withe proporcioun dew.
But whose penne is to swift in prickinge of a songe.
He markithe so his mynnyms from the square that it shall sownde wronge.
22. All theys musycalles well handilled and orderide in ther kynde.
Gevithe soundes of swetnes to euery goode mynde.
Yet racionalis lingua expellit instrumentis all.
Wel tymede and tewnede for it is a master of all.
23. Musyke hathe her coloures of dyuersites.
Blake voyde blake full alteraciones of curiosite.
But the white is more comely and to clennes dothe accorde.
For purenes in the margent makithe a trew monacorde.
24. Blake color most comely in armys the syluer shene.
Of virginall purenes whiche is farrest seane.
In musyke makithe melody soundynge from all blame.
Of the whiche shynythe the clere voce of a pure name.
The margent syluer and the notis sabill.
Shulde move vs to remembrance of the Joyes Intermynabill.
25. The notis pretendynge sabillis of sownde moste melodyus.
Must make a meane in oure musyke that we be not oblyvius.
[-f.199v-] But to remembre thende of oure fynall cantare.
When for right we shall haue right and payne for sinistre iudicare.
26. If thou a musicioun A Judge shalbe.
Pric not thy notis in the lyne of peruersite.
For that shall cause thy notis to haue a wronge sounde.
And as thou makist thy sounde so to the it will rebounde.
27. As in the alteraciones thou mayst pric curiously.
So may trouthe try the in thy noumbre made peruersly.
For yf the sounde lene not to a goode proporcioun.
Thow maist be Judged by a crochet of wronge notynge in thy presumpcioun.
28. If thow pric A songe make no obliteracioune.
But se thy margent be clene withoute contamynacioun.
For yf thy notis be pricked with to muche alteracioun.
It shall cause thy dytty lac of melody his goode operacioun.
29. And yf thy melody be marrede and the swete sownde.
By thy pervers pryckinge whiche concordes dothe confounde.
For peruersite of thy prickinge and myssoundynge of thy songe.
And for thy sophysticall solphynge. ite maladicti take it for thy wronge.
30. Musyke is a science and onne of the sevynn.
Withe swete sowndes to prays the plasmator of heuyn.
They that of protervite will not tewne well.
Ve. ve. ve. theyre songe shalbe in hell.
31. He that lystithe his notis to tune welle and tyme.
Muste measure in melpomene one of the musys ix.
If he meddyll withe megera infernall is the sounde.
Ibi erit fletus malange to confounde.
32. The modulacioun of musyke is swete and celestiall.
In the speris of the planettis makynge sownde armonicall.
If we moder oure musyke as the trewe tune is.
In hevyn we shall synge Osanna in excelsis.