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: PSAL1562_TEXT
Author: Sternhold, Thomas
Title: To the Reader
Source: Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins, The Whole Booke of Psalmes, collected into Englysh Metre (London: Iohn Day, 1562) [STC 2430], sig. [Tau]iir-[Tau]viir.
Graphics: PSAL1562 01GF-PSAL1562 02GF
[-f.[Tau]iir-] To the Reader.
A shorte Introduction into the Science of Musicke, made for such as are desirous to haue the knowledge therof, for the singing of these Psalmes.
FOr that the rude and ignorant in Song, may with more delight desire, and good wyl: be moued and drawen to the godly exercise of singing of Psalmes, aswell in common place of prayer, where altogether with one voyce render thankes and prayses to God, as priuatly by them selues, or at home in their houses: I haue set here in the beginning of this boke of psalmes, an easie and moste playne way and rule, of the order of the Notes and Kayes of singing, whiche commonly is called the scale of Musicke, or the Gamma vt. Wherby (any diligence geuen therunto) euerye man may in a fewe dayes: yea, in a few houres, easely without all payne, and that also without ayde or helpe of any other teacher, attayne to a sufficient, knowledg, to singe any Psalme contayned in thys Booke, or any suche other playne and easy Songes as these are.
[-f.[Tau]iiv-] [Sternhold, Psalmes, f.[Tau]iiv; text: Beholde this table. Vt, ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, [Gamma], A, [sqb], C, D, E, F, G, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, aa, bb, cc, dd, ee] [PSAL1562 01GF]
In this table, or gamma vt, is conteyned all, what is necessari to the knoweledge of singing Wherefore it must be diligentlie waid and muste also bee perfectly committed to memory, so that ye can redely and distinctly say it without boke, both forwarde and backward: that is, vpward and downward And this is the greatest pain that ye nede to take in this trauayle.
[-f.[Tau]iiir-] Ye must also note that the letters ascending on the left hande of the Table, are called Kaies, or Cleuis: of whiche the first is a Greke letter, signifying g, and is called gamma, (of whom the whole table or scale is called, the Gamma vt.) All the other ar lattin letters vii in number. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, then repeting the same again, beginning at a, and the third time repeting the same, til ye com to ee, la. which is the last, but all these Kayes ar not signed or set in these Psalmes: but onely ii. or three most commonly c, or e, or b. C, hath this form or signe, [ClefC3 on staff4] E, is signed after this maner [ClefF2 on staff3] B, hath thus, [[rob] on staff2] or thus sharpe. [[sqb] on staff2]
The kayes of this Scale or Table, are deuided and set forth by thre diuers orders of letters. From gamma vt, to G, sol, re, vt,, ar signed with capitall letters, and are called graue base, or capitall kayes: From G, sol, re, vt: to G, sol, re, vt, they are wrytten with small letters: and are called meane or small kayes: And from g, sol, re, vt, to ee, la, they are written with double letters, and are called double kaies, and treble kaies.
When it chaunceth ii. kaies to be of one letter, as G sol, re, vt: and g, sol, re, vt, A, la, mi, re [-f.[Tau]iiiv-] and, a, la, mi, re, E, fa, vt: and f, fa, vt: E, la, mi, and e, la, mi, ye may (to put difference and distinction betwene them) call the one, capitall G, or G, sol, re, vt, the lower: and tother small g, or g, sol, re, vt: the higher, and so of others.
They are called kayes, because they open, as it were the doore, and make a waye into song: for by the sight and place of the kaye, ye shall know easelye the whole songe, the nature of euery Note, in what kaie or place it standeth, and how ye shall name it. ye see also in the table, that some of the kayes be set in lines or rules, and other are set in spaces betwene the lines: as gamma, vt, is set in rule: a, re, in space:: b, mi, in rule. c, fa vt: in space d, sol, re, in rule, and so ascending to the ende: so also in the songs of your Boke, ye se rules and spaces: so that euery rule and space in your boke, answereth to some one rule or space of your table or scale: and taketh the name of the same, whiche ye may easely fynde oute, eyther by ascending or descending from the kaye set and marked in your song.
Moreouer it is to be noted, that there are vi. voyces, or Notes, signified and expressed by these vi. sillables: vt: re mi, fa, sol, la, by whiche through repetition of them, may be song [-f.[Tau]ivr-] al songes of what compasse so euer they be, which vi. notes, ye must learn to tune aptely of some one that can already sing, or by som Instrument of musike, as the Virginals, or some other suche like, Which thing wel learned, ye shal nede none other teaching of any
And for a plainer learning therof, I haue set before your eyes, those vi. notes ascending and descending: and again with a litle varietie from theyr naturall order, to the end ye may attayne to the iust tunes of them, how so euer they be placed. For these two examples well had, and tuned arighte, all other songes and Psalmes, with little vse and a small labour will sone be attayned vnto
[Sternhold, Psalmes, f.[Tau]ivr] [PSAL1562 01GF]
Firste ye muste diligently searche out, in what kaie euery note of your song stondeth: Which ye may easely do, in beholding your signed kaie (commonly called the cleaue) which is set in the beginning of euery song: and that lyne or, space wherin the signed kaie is set, beareth the name of the same kaie: and all Notes standinge in the line or space, are saide [-f.[Tau]ivv-] to stand in that kaie: and so ascending or descending from that kaie, ye shall straight way see wherin, or in what kaie euery Note of your song standeth. As in this present example if ye will know wherin your first Note standeth, consider youre kaie, signed and marked with this letter C. in the second rule (and because it standeth in rule, ye finde, by youre Table that it is C, sol, fa, vt. For thother two c, c, whiche are, c, fa, vt: and, cc, sol fa: stande in space) wherfore that seconde lyne throughout, is called, c, sol, fa, vt, and all the notes placed in that line, are counted to stand in c, sol, fa, vt: Then discend from that kaie to the next space, which (as your table telleth you) is b, fa, [sqb], mi. from thence to the next rule, whiche is a, la, mi, re, and from thence to the nexte space wherin your first Note standeth, which is G, sol, re vt: so finde ye by descending in order beginning at youre signed kaye, after thys sorte: c, sol, fa, vt,: b, fa, [sqb], mi: a, la, mi, re: G, sol, re, vt: ye find that your first note standeth in G sol, re, vt: wherfore ye may sing it by anye of these iii. Notes sol, re, or vt: But because this note vt, in this place is most aptest to ascend withall: ye shall call it vt: by the same triall ye shal find that your second Note standeth [-f.[Tau]vr-] in a, la, mi, re, ye shall expresse in singing by this voice re, rather than by la, or mi, because re, is in order next aboue vt, so shall ye finde the thirde Note to stand in b, fa, [sqb], mi, which ye shall expresse by mi, The fourth standeth in the signed kaie or cleaue, wherfore it standeth in c, sol, fa, vt, whiche ye must expresse by fa. The fift in d, la, sol, re: and is to be expressed by sol. The sixt and highest Note, ye shall by ascending from your keie, finde to stande in e, la, mi: and is to be expressed in voice by la, so haue you the whole compasse of your song: and as in order of notes, and sound of voice, ye ascendid, so contrariewise, ye must descend till ye come to the last Note of your song.
Here note that when b, fa, [sqb], mi, is formed and signed in this maner, with this letter b, whiche is called b, flat, it must be expressed with this voice or note, fa, but if it be formed and signed with this forme [sqb], whiche is called b, sharpe: or if it haue no signe at all, then must ye expres it in singing with thys voyce or Note. mi.
Likewise may ye practise, placing youre first Note vt, in anye other kaye, wherin ye finde vt, whiche are. vii. Gamma, vt, C, fa, vt: E, fa vt, graue: G, sol, re, vt, graue: c, sol, fa, vt. E, fa, vt, [-f.[Tau]vv-] sharpe: g, sol, re, vt, sharpe, ascending vp to la, and descending as in your former example. These vii. seuerall ascensions and descensyons vpon diuers groundes or cleues, are commonlye called of writers vii. deductions, whiche ye may playnlye and distinctlye beholde in your table, or Scale.
One example more haue I set, wherin ye sing fa, in b, fa, [sqb], mi. Whose deductions beginneth in vt: placed in, E, fa, vt, graue or capital as ye see.
[Sternhold, Psalmes, f.[Tau]vv] [PSAL1562 02GF]
Ye haue also in youre songes diuers fourmes and figures of Notes. Of which all, it behoueth you to knowe bothe the names and value.
Diuers forms of Notes.
[Mv,Lv,Bv,Sv,M,SM on staff4]
The firste of these is called a Large: the second a Long. The third a Brief the fourth a Semibrief. the fift a Minime: the sixt a Crochet: The seuenth and laste a Quauer. The first is worth in value two of the seconde, that is, two Longes: and one [-f.[Tau]vir-] Longe is worth ii. Breues: and one Breue, is two Semibrefes: and one Semibrefe: two Minimes: and hathe twise the time in pronouncing in singing that the Minime hath One Minime is worthe two crochets: and one Crochet, is two quauers, as appereth in this Table folowing.
[Sternhold, Psalmes, f.[Tau]vir] [PSAL1562 02GF]
If there chaunce any pricke to be set by anye of these Notes, the pricke is worthe in value the Note nexte folowing it. As apricke set by Semibriefe, as thus, [Sv,pt] is worthe this none, [Svcs] whiche is a Minime: and a pricke by a Minime, as here, [Svcs,pt] is worth a [Scs]. There are also oftentimes in singing, Pauses or Restes, set in songes, [-f.[Tau]viv-] some time for ease of the singer, and comely staye of the songes: sometime where diuers parts are, for swetnes of the armonye, and apte repetityons and reportes: Which are signifyed by litle strikes or lines, or halfe lines betwene the rules: as thus. [ClefC3,LP,BP,SP,MP,SMP on staff4] The first which is drawen from the firste line to the iii. is called a longe Rest: and signifyeth that ye must pause while that a longe is song, whiche is worthe iiii. plaine song Notes, or foure Semibreues. The second which is from one lyne to another, is called a Breue rest, and requireth the pausing of a breue or of ii. semibreues. The iii. whiche is from a lyne to the halfe space vnderneth: is called a semibreue rest, and requireth the pause or space while a semibreue is in singing. The fourthe whiche is ascending from the line, to the halfe space aboue, is called a Minime rest, and is but the drawing of a breth while a minime may be song The fifte and laste, whiche is like vnto the Minime reste, but croked at the top, requireth the pause of a crochet.
To set out a full and absolute knowledg of the nature of the scale, the differences betwene notes and halfe notes, and halfe notes [-f.[Tau]viir-] betwene themselues, of interualles, proportions: and which notes concorde and agree together, and which disagree. What modes there are: and how many. What is perfection, what imperfection: How notes oughte to be bounde together, and what theyr value is so bounde, tayled vpwarde or downewarde: perteineth to a iust Introduction to the arte of Musike. These thinges before taught, seme at this time, for the poore vnlearned and rude, sufficiente and inoughe to the atteyning of such knowledg in singing as shall be requisite to the singing of Psalmes conteined in this boke, for which cause only they are set out.