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: Leconfield Proverbs
Source: Philip Wilson, ed., The Musicall Prouerbis in the Garet at the New Lodge in the Parke of Lekingfelde (London: Humphrey Milford at the Oxford University Press, 1924) [no pagination; here assigned 1*-8*]. By permission of Oxford University Press.

[-1*-] 1
When the philosophers putagoras and tuball
From the poure sympill hammer and stethe s[u]bstanciall
The celestiall sowndes of musyk first made and dyd exp[re]s
They fet them not from curiosite nor grete riches.

Oute of the trewe playne songe the[y] Judgyde the melody
Curius conueyinge hydithe muche armonye
Therfore of the playne nottis to sett a sure grounde
Makithe a modulacion of moste p[er]fyte sounde
In curiosite oftyme trowthe slippith by
And in the playne trew nottis all the swetenes doth lye.

A song 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.

A naturall breste is goode withe sowndes of moderacion
A glorifiede breste is to curyus withe notis of alteracion
But he that syngithe a trewe songe mesurithe in the meane
And he that rechithe to hye a trebill his tewnys is not clene.

[-2*-] 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.

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.

A breste to audible mowntithe to affexion
He that mesurithe in the meane causithe more devocion
And he that caryethe more crochettis than his cvnnynge can prove
Makithe more discorde of doblenes then melody of loue.

He that hathe a brym breste and litill inspexion withe all
Oughte to be advisede twyse of his notis musicall
For he whiche hathe a voice exaltynge to hy
Fo[r] lac of goode knowlege marrithe muche melody.

[-3*-] 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 upon a trew grownde
If connynge be smale the trouthe may make a plesande sounde.

The harpe is an instrumente of swete melodye
Rude intelligens of the sounde conceyuethe no armonye
But who so in that instrumente hathe no speculacion
What restithe withyn the sownde borde hathe but smale p[ro]bacion.

He that fyngerithe well the keyes of the clavicordis makithe a goode songe
For in the meane is the melodye with 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.

He that is a p[er]fyte musicion
P[er]ceyvithe the lute tewnes and the goode p[ro]porcion
In myddest of the body the stryngis sowndith best
For stoppide in the freytis they abyde the pynnes wrest.

[-4*-] 13
Many a swete refreet the musycion 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.

How may a mysmovede tymer Judge a trew instrument
For in tunabill tewnys he hathe non experyment
And he that hath an ere oblyvi[us] and febill stomake of affexion
The tewnys of tuball sholde not prayse to Judge whereof he lacke discrecion.

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 mysgouernannce to make notis whiche was not his intent.

He that couytithe in clarisymballis to make goode concordaunce
Ought to fynger the keyes with discrete temporannce
To myche wyndinge of the pipis is not the best
Whiche may cause them to sypher wher armoney shulde rest.

[-5*-] 17
Immoderate wyndes in a clarion causithe it for to rage
Soft wynde and moderate makithe the sounde to asswage
Therfore he whiche in that instrument wolde haue sweete modulacion
Bustius wyndes must leue and vse moderacion.

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 veheme[n]t wynde
It makithe it to mysgouerne oute of his kynde.

The swete orgayne pipis comfortith a stedfast mynde
Wronge handlynge of the stoppis may cause them sypher fro[m] the kynde
But he that playethe of pipes wher so grete nowmber is
Must handill the keyes all lyke that mysgou[er]nance they sounde amysse.

The recorder of his kynde the meane dothe desyre
Manyfolde fyngerynge and stoppes bryngithe hy[m] 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.

[-6*-] 21
A p[er]fyte modulatour makithe his songe trew
He mesurithe in the meane withe p[ro]porcion dew
But whofe penne is to swift in prickinge of a songe
He markithe so his mynnyms fro[m] the square that it shall sownde wronge.

All theys musycalles well handilled and orderide in ther kynde
Gevithe soundes of swetnes to every goode mynde
Yet racionalis lingua expellit instrumentis all
Wel tymede and tewnede for it is a master of all.

Musyke hathe her coloures of dyuersites
Blake voyde blakefull alteraciones of curiosite
But the white is more comely and to clennes dothe accorde
For purenes in the margent makithe a trew monacorde.

Blake color moste 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 remembra[n]ce of the joyes Intermynabill.

[-7*-] 25
The notis pretendynge sabillis of sownde moste melodyus
Must make a meane in oure musyke that we be not oblyvius
But to remember thende of oure fynall cantare
When for right we shall haue right and payne for sinistre indicare.

If thou a musicion and 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.

As in the alteraciones thou mayst pric curiously
So may trouthe try the in thy noumbre made p[er]uersly
For yf the sounde lene not to a goode proporcion
Thou maist be Judged by a crochet of wronge notyynge in thy p[re]sumpcion.

If thow pric a songe make no obliteracione
But se thy margent be clene withoute contamynacion
For yf thy notis be pricked with to muche alteracion
It shall cause thy dytty lac of melody his goode op[er]acion.

[-8*-] 29
And yf thy melody be marrede and the swete sownde
By thy pervers pryckinge whiche concordes dothe confounde
For p[er]uersite of thy prickinge and myssoundynge of thy songe
And for thy sophisticall solphynge ite maladi[c]ti take it for thy wronge.

Musicke is a science and one of the seuyn
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.

He that lystithe his notis to tune welle and tyme
Must measure in melpomene one of the musys IX
If he meddyll withe megera infernall is the sounde
Ibi erit fletus malange to confounde.

The modulacion 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 heuyn we shall synge Osanna in excelsis.

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