School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(phone: [402] 472-2507; Internet: plefferts1@unl.edu)

Data entry: Jonathan Haupt
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts

Author: Anonymous
Title: It es to wyte
Source: Manfred Bukofzer, Geschichte des englischen Diskants und des Fauxbourdons nach den theoretischen Quellen, Sammlung musikwissenschaftlicher Abhandlungen, Band 21 (Strassbourg: Heitz, 1936), 137-38.

[-137-] It is to wyte that ther are 3 degres of discant. Out of all this togeder es gadered a contratenor. The first degre begenyth with a cord that is cal[le]d unisoun, the secund tone is the thredd, the thrid tone is the fyft, the 4. tone is the sext, the fyft tone is the 8 and for nede he may take a tenth.

Of thise 5 acordes 3 are perfit and two are imperfit. the perfit are: unisone, the fift, that is diapente, and the 8, that is diapason. the imperfit tones are thise: the 3, that is ditonus and the sext. It is to wite that a man may noght with two perfit tones of one acord as 8 and 8, and 5 and 5 nonther ascend nor descend with the playnesong. bot with imperfit tones he may.

It is to wite that a man in the singing of the first degre bus have a ymaginacion. he must ymagine as thus: unisone 5 notes beneth the playnesong, the 3,3 notes benethyn the playnesong, the fift with the playnesong. With thise 3 tones we sall set rewell for rewell and space for space. As if the playnesong be in the rewell we sall set unisone in the 3. rewell beneth him and the third the 2. rewell beneth him. [-138-] And on the same wyse if the playnesong be in space. The sext the next note above the playnesong, the 8, 4 notes above the playnesong.

Triplex. It is to wite that the secund degre has 5 acords of himself and for nede he may take one of the first degre and another of the 3. degre, as the fift [third?] of the first degre and the 13 of the 3. degre.

Of thise five acordes 3 are perfite and two imperfit. The perfit are thise: 8, 12, 15. Imperfit are: 10 and 13. And of his rysing and his ascending [descending?] as in first degre. And it is to wite that the mo[re] imperfit tones that a man synges in the trebyll the merrier it is. A man sall ymagine 5 notes benene the playnesong [his 8], the tenth the 3. note beneth, the 12 ewen with [the playnesong], the 13 the next note above the playnesong, the 15 4 notes above the playnesong, the 17 the sext note above the playnesong. It is to wite that a man sall not begin nor end in none imperfit tone, never two perfits togeder and a man sall never sing a 13 bot there follow a 15. To the quatrebull . . .

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