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: Cutell, Richard
Title: Opinio ricardi cutell
Source: Manfred Bukofzer, Geschichte des englischen Diskants und des Fauxbourdons nach den theoretischen Quellen, Sammlung musikwissenschaftlicher Abhandlungen, Band 21 (Strassbourg: Heitz, 1936), 141-43.

[-141-] It is to wit that there are 9 acordis in discant, that is to say: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15; of the whilke 9: 5 are perfite acordis and 4 imperfite. the 5 Opinrc2. of these 5: 3 are ful acordis, that is to say 1, 8 and 15, and 2 are lesse perfite, that is to say 5 and 12.

And 4 imperfite acordis are theis: 3, 6, 10, 13. it is knawn by the old techyng that a man shalt take bot on perfite of a kynd togedyr as on 5, on 8, on 5 [ev. 15?]. bot [-142-] it is levyd to take 2 perfite acordis togedyr of diverse kyndis as a 5 and one 8, or a 12 and a 15, but never 2 of on kynd.

And of all imperfite acordis it is leveful to take 3, 4, or 5 of a kynd and the pleynsong ascend or descend, bot never aud it be on line as fa, fa, fa, or sol, sol, sol, then shal a man take diverse acordis of diverse kyndis whedir ever they be perfite or imperfite.

Also the old techyng was that a man shal never take none imperfite acord bot if he hade a perfite after him, as after a 3 a 5 and after an 8 [10?] a 12 and after a 13 a 15. bot now it is levyd the techers of descant that after a 3 a man take a 6 or after a 6 a man may take a 10. He may not do wrong so that he keps rewll afore seyd.

Also it is to wit that if thou have a pleynsong that descends as fa ut, or fa re, or fa mi, or la re and thou be an imperfite acord with the hear note, thou shalt never descend out of the hear note, out of the imperfite acord into a perfite acord with the lower note, then never ascendyng of the same wyse.

And also it is to wit that there are 3 degres of discant, that is to say: mene, treble and quatreble. The mene bygynnis in the 5 abowyn the playnesong in voys and with the playnsong in seyght. And the quatreble bygynnis in the 12 abowyn the playnsong in voys and with the playnsong in syght.

To the mene langis properly 5 acordis that is to say: the unisone, 3, 5, 6, and the 8.

To the treble langis properly 5 acordis, also: the 5, the 6, the 8, the 10, the 13 [ev. 12?].

To the quatreble langis properly 5 acordis also that is to say: the 8, the 10, the 12, 13, the 15.

[-143-] Also it is to wit that all the acordis of discant ben abowyn the playnsong in voys save one that is the 1. Neverthelesse the sight of discant is sometyme beneth the playnsong and somtyme abowyn and sumtyme with the playnsong.

And so the discant[er] of the mene shal beginne his discant with the playnsong in syght, as I sayd before, and the 5 abowyn in voys. And the 5 beneth in syght is evyn with the playnsong in one sound, the second abowyn the playnsong in sight is the 6 abowyn in voys, and the 4 abowyn in syght is the 8 abowyn in voys.

Also undirstand well that ilke a discanter in what degre that he settis a perfite acorde agayne a fa, hym bus synge that perfite acorde a fa. And whene he settis a perfite acord ageyne a mi, hym bus singe that perfite acorde a mi.

Also it is skylful that ilke discanter bygynne and ende in a perfite acorde. The mene shal ende in a 5 if the playnsonge descend hafing a 3 before, the treble in a 8 having a 6 before, the quatreble in a 12 having a 10 before.

Also it is feyr singing to syng many imperfite acordis togedyr descending or ascending with the playnsong and a perfite acorde folnande, as for to synge 3, 4, or 5 thyrdis togedyr with a 5 folnande.

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