TEXTS ON MUSIC IN ENGLISH
School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(phone:  472-2507; Internet: email@example.com)
Data entry: Peter M. Lefferts, Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Checked by: Peter M. Lefferts
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts
Fn and Ft: MOR1597B_TEXT
Author: Morley, Thomas
Title: A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke, Second Part
Source: Thomas Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke (London: Peter Short, 1597) [STC 18133], pp. 69-115.
Graphics: MOR1597B 01GF-MOR1597B 28GF
[-69-] The second part of the introduction to Musick: treating of Descant.
Maister. WHom do I see a far off: is it not my scholler Philomates? out of doubt it is he, and therefore I wil salute him. Good morrow scholler.
Philomathes. God giue you good morrow, and a hundreth: but I maruayle not a little to see you so early, not only stirring, but out of doores also.
Master. It is no maruayle to see a Snayle after a Rayne to creep out of his shell, and wander all about, seeking the moysture.
Philomathes. I pray you talke not so darkely, but let me vnderstand your comparyson playnely.
Master. Then in playne tearmes, being ouerwearied with study, and taking the oportunitie of the fayre morning: I am come to this place to snatch a mouthful of this holsome ayre: which gently breathing vpon these sweet smelling flowers, and making a whispering noyse amongst these tender leaues, delighteth with refreshing, and refresheth with delight my ouer-wearied sences. But tel me I pray you the cause of your hither comming; haue you not forgotten some parte of that which I shewed you at our last being togither?
Philomathes. No verily, but by the contrary, I am become such a singer as you would wonder to heare me.
Master. How came that to passe?
Philomathes. Be silent and I will shew you. I haue a Brother a great scholler, and a reasonable musition for singing: he, at my first comming to you conceiued an opinion (I know not vpon what reason grounded,) that I should neuer come to any meane knowledge in musicke; and therefore, when he heard me practise alone, he would continually mock me; indeede not without reason, for many times I would sing halfe a note too high, other while as much too lowe; so that he could not conteyne himselfe from laughing: yet now and then he would set me right, more to let mee see that he could doe it, then that he meant any way to instruct me: which caused me so diligently to apply my pricksong booke; that in a manner, I did no other thing but sing practising, to skip from one key to another, from flat to sharp, from sharp to flat, from any one place in the Scale to another, so that there was no song so hard, but I would venture vpon it, no Mood nor [-70-] Proportion so strange, but I would goe through and sing perfectly before I left it: and in the ende I came to such perfection, that I might haue been my brothers maister: for although he had a little more practise to sing at first sight then I had: yet for the Moods Ligatures, and other such things I might set him to schoole.
Master. What then was the cause of your comming hither at this time?
Philomathes. Desire to learne, as before.
Master. What would you now learne?
Philomathes. Beeing this last daye vpon occasion of some businesse at one of my friends houses, we had some songs sung: Afterwards falling to discourse of musicke and musitions, one of the company naming a friend of his owne, tearmed him the best Descanter that was to bee found. Now sir, I am at this time come to know what Descant is, and to learne the same.
Master. I thought you had onely sought to know Pricktsong, whereby to recreate your selfe being wearie of other studies.
Philomathes. Indeed when I came to you first, I was of that minde: but the common Prouerb is in me verified, that much would haue more: And seeing I haue so farre set foote in musicke, I doe not meane to goe backe till I haue gone quite through al, therefore I pray you now, (seeing the time and place fitteth so well) to discourse to me what Descant is, what parts, and how many it hath, and the rest.
Master. The heate increaseth, and that which you demand requireth longer discourse then you looke for. Let vs therefore goe and sit in yonder shadie Arbor to auoyde the vehementnesse of the Sunne. [Exposition of the name of Descant. in marg.] The name of Descant [Annotation 22] is vsurped of the musitions in diuers significations: some time they take it for the whole harmony of many voyces: others sometime for one of the voyces or partes: and that is, when the whole song is not passing three voyces. Last of all, they take it for singing a part extempore vpon a playnesong, in which sence we commonly vse it: so that when a man talketh of a Descanter, it must be vnderstood of one that can extempore sing a part vpon a playnesong.
Philomathes. What is the meane to sing vpon a playnesong.
Master. To know the distances both of [Errata 9] Concords and Discords. [Annotation 23]
Philomathes. What is a Concord?
Master. [What a Concord is. in marg.] It is a mixt sound compact of diuers voyces, entring with delight in the eare, and is eyther perfect or vnperfect.
Philomathes. What is a perfect consonant?
Master. [What a perfect Consonant is in marg.] It is that which may stand by it selfe, and of it selfe maketh a perfect harmony, without the mixture of any other.
Philomathes. Which distances make a Concord or consonant Harmony.
Master. [How many concords there be. in marg.] A third, a Fift, a Sixt, and an eight.
Philomathes. Which be perfect, and which vnperfect.
Master. Perfect, an Vnison, a Fift, and their eights.
Philomathes. What do you meane by their eights.
Master. Those notes which are distant from them eight notes, as from an unison, an eight, from a fift, a twelfe.
Philomathes. I pray you make mee vnderstand that, for in common sense it appeareth against reason: for put Eight to One, and all will be Nine, put Eight to Fiue, and all will bee Thirteene.
Master. I see you doe not conceiue my meaning in reckoning your distances, for you vnderstood me exclusiuely, and I meant inclusiuely: as for example. From Gam ut to b my is a third: for both the extremes are taken, so from Gam vt to G sol re vt is an eight, and from Gam ut to D la sol re is a twelfe, although it seeme in common sence but an a Leuenth.
[-71-] Philomathes. Go forward with your discourse, for I vnderstand you now.
Master. Then I saie, a vnison, a fift, an eight, a twelfth, a fifteenth, a nineteenth, and so forth in infinitum, be perfect cordes.
Philomathes. What is an vnperfect concord?
Master. [What an vnperfect concord is. in marg.] It is that which maketh not a full sound, and needeth the following of a perfect concord to make it stand in the harmonie.
Philomathes. Which distances do make vnperfect consonants?
Master. [How many vnperfect cordes there be. in marg.] A third, a sixt, and their eightes: a tenth, a thirteenth, et cetera.
Philomathes. What is a discord?
Master. [What a discord is. in marg.] It is a mixt sound compact of diuers sounds naturallie, offending the eare, and therfore commonlie excluded from musicke.
Philomathes. Which distances make discord or dissonant sounds?
Master. All such as doe not make concords: as a second, a fourth, a seuenth, and theyr eightes: a ninth, a leuenth, a fourteenth, et cetera. And to the end that what I haue shewed you concerning concords perfect and vnperfect, and discords also may the more stronglie sticke to your memorie, here is a table of them all, which will not a little helpe you.
[Morley, Introduction, 71; text: Concords. perfect. vnperfect. Discords. an vnison. a third. fift. sixt. second. fourth. seuenth. Or thus more briefly. From ariseth, And, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21] [MOR1597B 01GF]
Philomathes. I praie you shew me the vse of those cords.
Master. The first waie wherein we shew the vse of the cordes, is called Counterpoint: that is, when to a note of the plainsong, there goeth but one note of descant. Therfore when you would sing vpon a plainsong, looke where the first note of it stands, and then sing another for it which may bee distant from it, three, fiue, or eight notes, and so foorth with others, but with a sixt we sildome begin or end.
Philomathes. Be there no other rules to be obserued in singing on a plainsong then this?
Philomathes. Which be they?
[-72-] Master. If you be in the vnison, fift, or eight, from your base or plainsong, if the base rise or fall, you must not rise and fall iust as manie notes as your base did.
Philomathes. I pray you explaine that by an example.
Master. Here is one, wherein the vnisons, fifthes, and eights, be seuerallie set downe.
[Consequence of perfect concordes of one kind condemned in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 72,1; text: Vnisons, Fiftes, Eights.] [MOR1597B 01GF]
Philomathes. This is easie to be decerned as it is set downe now: but it will not be so easy to be perceiued when they be mingled with other notes. Therfore I praie you shew me how they may bee perceiued amongste other cordes.
Master. There is no waie to discerne them, but by diligent marking wherin euerie note standeth, which you cannot doe but by continuall practise, and so by marking where the notes stand, and how farre euerie one is from the next before, you shall easilie know, both what cordes they be, and also what corde commeth next.
Philomathes. I praie you explane this likewise by an example.
Master. Here is one, wherein there be equall numbers of true and false notes, therfore (if you can) shew me now what concord euerie note is, and which be the true notes, and which false.
[Morley, Introduction, 72,2] [MOR1597B 01GF]
Philomathes. The first note of the base, standeth in C sol fa vt, and the first of the treble in G sol re vt: so that they two make a Fift, and therfore the first note is true. The second note of the base standeth in A la mi re, and the second of the treble in E la mi, which two make also a fifth, and were true if the base did not fall two notes, and the treble likewise two notes from the place where they were before. The third note is true, and the last false.
Master. You haue conceiued verie well, and this is the meaning of the rule which saieth, that you must not rise nor fall with two perfect cordes togither.
Philomathes. [Consequence of perfect concords of diuers kinds alowed. in marg.] What may I not fall from the fift to the eight thus?
[Morley, Introduction, 72,3] [MOR1597B 01GF]
Master. Yes, but you must take the meaning thereof to bee of perfect concordes of one kind.
Philomathes. Now I praie you set me a plainesong, and I will trie how I can sing vpon it.
Master. Set downe any you list your selfe.
Philomathes. Then here is one, how like you this?
[Morley, Introduction, 72,4] [MOR1597B 01GF]
[-73-] Master. This is well being your first proofe, [Falling from the eight to the vnison condemned. in marg.] But it is not good to fall so from the eight to the vnison as you haue done in your first two notes: for admit, I should for my pleasure descend in the plainsong from G sol re vt, to C fa vt, then would your descant be two eights: [Falling from a sixt to a vnison condemned in two partes. in marg.] and whereas in your seuenth and eighth notes your fall from a sixt to an vnison, it is indeed true, but not allowed in two parts either ascending or descending, but worse ascending then discending: for descending it commeth to an eight, which is much better, and hath farre more fulnesse of sound then the vnison hath. Indeed, in manie parts vpon an extremitie, or for the point (or fuge) sake thus,
[Morley, Introduction, 73,1] [MOR1597B 02GF]
or in Canon it were tollerable, but most chieflie in Canon, the reason whereof you shall know hereafter, when you haue learned what a Canon is. In the meanetime let vs goe forwarde with the rest of your lesson. In your last two notes, the comming from a sixt to a third is altogether not to be suffered in this place, but if it were in the middle of a song, and then your B fa b mi being flat, it were not onelie sufferable but commendable: but to come from F fa vt (which of his nature is alwaies flat) to B fa b mi sharpe, it is against nature. But if you would in this place make a flat close to your last note, and so thinke to auoide the fault that could no more bee suffered then the other: for no close may be flat, but if you had made your waie thus, it hadde beene much better.
[Morley, Introduction, 73,2] [MOR1597B 02GF]
For the fewer partes your song is of, the more exquisite shoulde your descant bee, and of moste choice cordes, especiallie sixtes and tenthes: perfect cordes are not so much to be vsed in two partes, except passing (that is when one part descendeth and another ascendeth) or at a close or beginning.
Philomathes. Indeed me thinkes this filleth mine eares better then mine owne did, but I pray you how do you make your last note sauing two to stand in the harmonie, seeing it is a discord.
Master. [Discords wel taken allowed in musicke. in marg.] Discords mingled with concordes not onelie are tollerable, but make the descant more pleasing if they be well taken. Moreouer, there is no comming to a close, speciallie with a Cadence without a discord, and that most commonly a seuenth bound in with a sixth when your plainsong descendeth, as it doth in that example I shewed you before.
Philomathes. What do you tearme a Cadence?
Master. [What a Cadence is. in marg.] A Cadence wee call that, when comming to a close, two notes are bound togither, and the following note descendeth thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 73,3] [MOR1597B 02GF]
or in any other keye after the same manner.
Philomathes. I praie you then shewe mee some waies of taking a Discord well, and also some, where they are not well taken: that comparing the good with the badd, I may the more easily conceiue the nature of both.
[-74-] Master. Heere be al the wayes which this playnsong wil alowe, wherein a discord may be taken with a Cadence in Counterpoynt.
[Examples of well taking a discord with a Cadence. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 74,1] [MOR1597B 02GF]
And whereas in the first of these examples you begin to bynde vpon the sixt, the like you might haue done vpon the eight: or in the fift, if your playnesong had risen thus.
[Morley, Introduction, 74,2] [MOR1597B 02GF]
Philomathes. The second of these examples closeth in the fift, and I pray you do you esteeme that good?
Master. It is tolerable though not so good in the eare, as that before which closeth in the eight, or that which next followeth it.
But if the last note of the playnsong ascended to d la sol re thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 74,3] [MOR1597B 02GF]
it had [Errata 10] been good and the best way of closing.
Philomathes. Now I pray you giue me some examples where the discord is not well taken.
Master. Heere is one peruse it.
[Morley, Introduction, 74,4] [MOR1597B 02GF]
Philomathes. I pray you shew me a reason why the Discord is euill taken here?
Master. Because after the Discord we do not set a perfect concord for the perfect concordes doe not so well beare out the discords as the vnperfect doe, and the reason is this. When a discord is taken, it is to cause the note following be the more pleasing to the eare. Now the perfect Concords of them selues being sufficiently pleasing, neede no helpe to make them more agreeable, because they can be no more then of themselues they were before.
Philomathes. Let vs now come againe to our example from which wee haue much digressed.
Master. We will, and therefore as I haue told you of the good and bad taking of a discord vpon these notes: [Examples of formal closing without a Cadence. in marg.] it followeth to speak of a formal closing without a discord or Cadence: and heere be some wayes formally, to end in that manner.
[Morley, Introduction, 74,5] [MOR1597B 02GF]
Philomathes. The first and last wayes I like very well, but the second way closing in the fift offendeth myne eares.
Master. though it be vnpleasant, yet is it true, and if it bee true closing in the eight, why should it not be true in the fift also. But if you like it not, there bee (as the Prouerbe sayeth) more wayes to the Wood then one.
[-75-] Philomathes. You say true, but I haue had so many obseruations, that I pray God I may keepe them al in minde.
Master. The best meanes to keepe them in minde is continually to bee practicing, and therefore let me see what you can doe, on the same playnesong agayne.
Philomathes. Heere is away how like you it?
[The schollers second lesson of Counterpoynt. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 75,1] [MOR1597B 03GF]
Master. Peruse it, and see it[Errata 11] how you like it your selfe.
Philomathes. I like it so well, as I thinke you shal not find manie faultes in it.
Master. [Faults in this lesson in marg.] You liue in a good opinion of your selfe, but let vs examine your example. This is in deed better then your first: But marke wherein I condemne it. In the first and second notes you rise as though it were a close, causing a great informalitie of closing, when you shoulde but begin. Your third note is good: [What hitting the eight on the face is. in marg.] your fourh note is tollerable, but in that you goe from it to the twefth, [Errata 12] it maketh it vnpleasing, and that we commonly call hitting the eight on the face, when we come to an eight, and skip vp from it agayne to another perfect concord: But if it had beene meeting one another, the playnesong ascending, and the Descecant [Errata 13] desending: it had bin very good thus:
[Consequence of vnperfect. Fifts no more to be vsed then of perfect. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 75,2] [MOR1597B 03GF]
But I pray you where was your memorie when you set downe this sixt note.
Philomathes. I set it so of purpose, not of negligence.
Master. And I pray you what reason moued you therevnto?
Philomathes. Where in doe you condemne it?
Master. For two twelfes or fifts, which was one of the principall caueats I gaue you to be auoyded.
Philomathes. But they be not two fifts.
Master. No, what reason haue you to the contrary?
Philomathes. Because in singing I was taught that the sharp cliff taketh away half of his sound so that it cannot properly be called a fift.
Master. That is a new opinion. But I trust you will not say it is a fourth.
Philomathes. Because it hath halfe a note more then any fourth hath.
Master. and I hope you will not tearme it a sixt.
Master. Then if it be no fourth, because it is more then a fourth, nor a sixt because it is lesse then a sixt, what name will you gine it?
Philomathes. I cannot tell.
Master. A womans reason to maintayne an oppinion, and then if she be asked why she doth so, will answere, because I doe so. In deed I haue seene the like committed by maister Alfonso agreat musition, famous and admired for his works amongst the best: [Alfonso in his song Si ch'io mi cred'ho mai being the twentieth song of his second book of Madrigals of fiue voyces at the very close betweene Canto and Alto in marg.] but his fault was onely in pricking, for breaking a note in deuision, not looking to the rest of the parts, made three fifts in the same order as you did. But yours came of ignorance, his of Iolitie, and I my selfe haue committed the like fault in my first workes of three partes, (yet if any one should reason with me) I weare not able to defend it: but (no shame to confesse;) my fault came by negligence. But if I had seene it before it came to the presse, it should not haue passed so, for I doe vtterly condemne it as being expresly against the principles of our art: but of this another time at more length. [In the third part in marg.]
And as for the rest of your lesson, though the cords be true, yet I much mislike the forme, for falling down so in tenths so long together is odius, seeing you haue so much [-76-] shift otherwise. Likewise in your penult and antepenult notes, you stande still with your descant, the plainsong standing still, which is a fault not to be suffered in so fewe as two partes, especiallie in eightes. [Standing with the plainesong condemned. in marg.] But in descanting you must not onelie seeke true cordes, but formalitie also: [What formalitie is. in marg.] that is, to make your descant carrie some forme of relation to the plainesong, as thus for example.
[Morley, Introduction, 76,1] [MOR1597B 03GF]
Philomathes. You sing two plainesong notes for one in the descant, which I thought you might not haue done, except at a close.
Master. [Binding descant. in marg.] That is the best kinde of descant, so it bee not too much vsed in one song, and it is commonlie called binding descant, but to instruct you somewhat more in formalitie, the chiefest point in it is singing with a point or Fuge.
Philomathes. [A Fuge. in marg.] What is a Fuge?
Master. We call that a Fuge, when one part beginneth and the other singeth the same, for some number of notes (which the first did sing) as thus for example:
[Morley, Introduction, 76,2] [MOR1597B 03GF]
Philomathes. If I might play the zoilus with you in this example, I might find much matter to cauill at.
Master. I pray you let me heare what you can saie against any part of it, for I would be glad that you could not onely spie an ouersight, but that you could make one much better.
Philomathes. First of all, you let the plainsong sing twoe whole notes, for which you sing nothing: secondlie you begin on a sixt.
Master. You haue the eies of a Lynx, in spying faults in my lesson, and I praie God you may bee so circumspect in your owne: but one answer solueth both these obiections which you laie against me. [No fuge can be brought in without a rest. in marg.] And first for the rest, there can bee no point or Fuge taken without a rest, and in this place, it is vnpossible in counterpoint sooner to come in with the point in the eight: [Beginning vpon a sixt in a fuge tollerable. in marg.] and as for the beginning vpon a sixt, the point likewise compelled me to do so, although I could haue made the descant begin it otherwise, as thus
[Morley, Introduction, 76,3] [MOR1597B 03GF]
for auoiding of the sixt, altering the leading part, but then woulde not your point haue gone through to the ende, answering to euerie note of the plainesong, for that the ninth note of force must be a fourth as you see. But if you would sing the descant part fifteene notes lower, then will it goe wel in the eight below the plainesong, and that note which aboue was a fourth, will fall to be a fift vnder the plainsong thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 76,4] [MOR1597B 03GF]
the point likewise doeth excuse all the rest of the faults which might be obiected againste me, except it be for false descant, that is, two perfect cords of a kind togither, or such like.
Philomathes. You haue giuen me a competent reason, and therfore I pray you shew me, in what and how many distances you may begin your point.
Master. [Distances wherevpon a fuge may be begun. in marg.] In the vnison, fourth, fift, sixt and eight, but this you must marke by the waie, [-77-] that when we speake of a Fuge or Canon, in the vnison, fift, or eight: [How those distances are reckoned. in marg.] it is to bee vnderstood, from the first note of the leading part, as my lesson may be called two parts in one in the eighth, although I did begin vpon a sixt.
Philomathes. Well then, seeing by your wordes I conceiue the formalitie of following a point with a plainsong, I will trie vpon the same plainsong what I can doe, for the maintenance of this Fuge. But now that I haue seene it, I thinke it impossible to finde anie other way then that which you alreadie haue set downe on these notes.
Master. Yes there is another waie if you can finde it out.
Philomathes. I shall neuer leaue breaking my braines til I finde it. And loe, here is a waie which although it do not driue the point quite through as yours did, yet I thinke it formall.
[Morley, Introduction, 77,1] [MOR1597B 03GF]
Master. You haue rightlie conceiued the waie which I meant. But whie did you pricke it of so much compasse?
Philomathes. For auoiding the vnison in the beginning.
Master. It is well, and verie hard and almost impossible to doe more for the bringing in of this point aboue the plainsong then you haue don. Wherefore I commend you, in that you haue studied so earnestlie for it, but can you doe it no otherwise?
Philomathes. No in truth, for while I studied to doe that I did, I thought I shoulde haue gone madde, with casting and deuising, so that I thinke it impossible to set anie other waie.
Master. Take the descant of your own waie, which was in the eleuenth, or fourth aboue and sing it as you did begin (but in the fift belowe vnder the plainesong) and it will in a manner go through to the end, whereas yours did keepe report but for fiue notes,
[Morley, Introduction, 77,2] [MOR1597B 03GF]
Philomathes. This riseth fiue notes and the plainsong riseth but foure.
Master. So did you in your example before, although you could perceiue it in mine, and not in your owne: but although it rise fiue notes, yet is it the point. For if it were in Canon, we might not rise one note higher, nor descende one note lower then the plainsong did: but in Fuges wee are not so straightlie bounde. [Rising from the fift to the eight disalowed in musicke. in marg.] But there is a worse fault in it which you haue not espied, which is, the rising from the fift to the eight in the seuenth and eight notes, but the point excuseth it, although it be not allowed for anie of the best in two parts, but in mo parts it might be suffered.
Philomathes. I would not haue thought there had bin such varietie to be vsed vpon so few notes.
Master. There be manie things which happen contrarie to mens expectation, therfore yet once againe, trie what you can do vpon this plainsong, though not with a point, yet with some formalitie or meaning in your waie.
Philomathes. You vse mee as those who ride the great horses: for hauing first ridden them in a small compasse of ground, they bring them out and ride them abroad at pleasure. But loe here is an example vpon the same notes.
[Morley, Introduction, 77,3] [MOR1597B 03GF]
Master. This is well enough, althogh if I peruse mine own first lesson of Fuge, I shal find you a robber. For behold here bee all your owne notes in blacke pricking, the rest which be white, be mine: for though you close in the eight below, yet is the descant all one.
[Morley, Introduction, 77,4] [MOR1597B 03GF]
[-78-] Philomathes. In truth I did not willinglie rob you, although by chance I fel into your cordes.
Master. I like it al the better. But I would counsel you, that you accustome not your selfe to put in pieces of other mens doings amongest your owne, for by that meanes the diuersitie of vaines will appeare, and you be laughed to scorne of the skilful for your pains.
Philomathes. You saie true, and I wil take heed of it hereafter. But I thinke my selfe now reasonablie instructed in counterpoint. I praie you therfore go forward to some other matter
Master. There remaineth some things in counterpoint which you must know before you go anie further. The first is called short and long, when we make one note alone, and then two of the same kind bound togither, and then another alone, as you see in this lesson, long and short.
[Short and long in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 78,1] [MOR1597B 04GF]
Philomathes. Nay by your leaue, I wil make one of euerie sort, and therfore I praie you proceed no further, til I haue made one of these.
Master. If you thinke it worth the making do so, for if you can otherwise do anie thing vpon a plainesong, this wil not bee hard for you, but to doe it twise or thrice vppon one plainesong in seuerall waies, wil bee somewhat harder, because that in these waies there is little shift.
Philomathes. Somwhat (said you?) I had rather haue made twentie lessons of counterpoint, then haue made this one miserable waie, which notwithstanding is not to my contentment, but I praie you peruse it.
[Morley, Introduction, 78,2] [MOR1597B 04GF]
Master. This is wel done.
Philomathes. The rising to the twelfth or fift I do mislike, in the seuenth note, but except I should haue taken your descant, I had none other shift.
Master. Let it go. [Long and short in marg.] Long and short, is when we make two notes tied togither, and then another of the same kind alone, contrarie to the other example before, thus.
[Morley, Introduction, 78,3] [MOR1597B 04GF]
Philomathes. Seing I made one of the other sort, I wil trie if I can make one of this also.
Master. You wil finde as little shift in this as in the other.
Philomathes. Here is a waie, but I was faine either to begin vpon the sixt, or else to haue taken your beginning, for here I may not rest.
[Morley, Introduction, 78,4] [MOR1597B 04GF]
Master. Necessitie hath no law, and therefore a smal fault in this place: but let this suffice for counterpoint.
Philomathes. What followeth next to be spoken of?
Master. [Descant commonlie called Dupla. in marg.] The making of twoe or more notes for one of the plainsong, which as [Errata 14] (as I told you before) is falslie termed dupla, and is, when [Errata 15] a semibriefe or note of the plainsong, wee make two minimes.
Philomathes. May you not now and then intermingle some crotchets.
Master. Yes as manie as you list, so you doe not make al crotchets.
Philomathes. Then I thinke it is no more dupla.
Master. You saie true, although it should seem that this kind of dupla is deriued from the true dupla, and the common quadrupla out of this. But to talke of these proportions is in this place out of purpose: therefore we will leaue them and return to the matter we haue in hand.
Philomathes. I praie you then set me downe the generall rules of this kind of descant, that so soone as may be I may put them in practise.
Master. The rules of your cordes, beginning, formalitie, and such like are the same which you had in counterpoint, yet by the waie, one caueat more I must giue you to bee obserued [-79-] here, that is, that you take not a discord for the first part of your note, except it be in binding maner, but for the last part you may.
Philomathes. I praie you make me vnderstand that by an example.
Master. Here brieflie you may see, that vpon these notes you may sing thus.
[A discord not to be taken for the first part of a note, except in binding wise. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 79,1; text: or thus. not, nor] [MOR1597B 04GF]
But in binding descant, you may take a discord for the first parte of the note, thus.
[Morley, Introduction, 79,2; text: or thus.] [MOR1597B 04GF]
Philomathes. I will remember this, therefore I praie you set mee a lesson in this kinde of descant, whereby I may striue to imitate you with another of the same kinde.
Master. Here is one, marke it: and then make one of your owne like it.
[Morley, Introduction, 79,3] [MOR1597B 04GF]
Philomathes. I perceiue by this, that it is an easie matter for one that is well seene in counterpoint to atain in short time to the knowledge of this kind.
Master. It is so. But there be many thinges which at the first sight seem easie, which in practise are found harder then one woulde thinke. But thus much I wil shew you, that he who hath this kind of descanting perfectlie, may with small trouble, quicklie become a good musition.
Philomathes. You would then conclude, that the more paines are to be taken in it. But heere is my waie, how do you like it?
[Morley, Introduction, 79,4] [MOR1597B 04GF]
Master. Well for the first triall of your vnderstanding in this kind of descant. But let vs examine particularlie euerie note, that you seeing the faultes, may auoide them hereafter.
Philomathes. I praie you doe so, and leaue nothinge vntouched which anie waie may bee obiected.
Master. The first, second, and thirde notes of your lesson are tollerable, but your fourth note is not to be suffered, because that and the next note following are two eights.
Philomathes. The second part of the note is a Discord, and therefore it cannot be two eights seeing they are not both togither.
Master. [A discord comming betmeene two perfect cords of one kinde, taketh not awaie the faulty consequence. in marg.] Though they be not both together, yet is there no concord betweene them: and this you must marke, that a Discord comming betweene two eights, doth not let them to be two eightes stil. Likewise, if you set a discord betweene two fifts, it letteth them not to bee two fifts still. Therfore if you will auoide the consequence of perfect cords of one kind, you must put betwixt them other concords, and not discords.
Philomathes. This is more then I would haue belieued, if another had told it me, but I praie you goe on with the rest of the faults.
[-80-] Master. Your seuenth and eighth notes haue a fault, cosine germaine to that which the others had, though it be not the same.
Philomathes. I am sure you cannot saie that they be two eightes, for there is a tenth after the first of them.
Master. [Ascending or descending to the eight condemned. Zarlino institutioni musiche parta terza capitulo 48. in marg.] Yet it is verie naught, to ascend or descend in that maner to the eight, for those foure crotchets bee but the breaking off a semibriefe in G sol re ut, which if it were sung whole, would make two eights togither ascending, or if he who singeth the plainsong would breake it thus,
[Morley, Introduction, 80,1] [MOR1597B 04GF]
(which is a thing in common vse amongst the singers, it would make fiue eightes togither: and as it is, it ought not to be vsed, especiallie, in two partes: for it is a grosse fault. [A minime rest put betwixt two perfect cordes of one kind, hindreth not their faultie consequence. in marg.] Your ninth and tenth notes, are two eightes with the plainsong, for a minime rest set betwixt two eights, keepeth them not from being two eights, because as I saide before, there commeth no other concord betwixt them: but if it were a semibriefe rest, then were it tollerable in more partes, though not in two, for it is an vnartificiall kinde of descanting in the middle of a lesson, to let the plainsong sing alone, except it were for the bringing in or maintaining of a point praecedent.
Philomathes. I praie you giue me some examples of the bad manner of comming to eightes, fifts, or vnisons, that by them I may in time learne to finde out more: for without examples, I shall manie times fall into one and the selfe same error.
Master. That is true: and therefore here be the grosest faults. Others by my instruction and your owne obseruations, you may learne at your leisure. And because they may hereafter serue you when you come to practise base descant, I haue set them downe first aboue the plainsong, aud then vnder it.
[Examples for alowances forbidden in musicke. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 80,2; text: In the eight, vnison, fift, ascending and descending to the eight.] [MOR1597B 05GF]
[-81-] Philomathes. These I will diligentlie keepe in mind, but I pray you how might I haue auoided those faultes which I haue committed in my lesson?
Master. Manie waies, and principallie by altering the note going before that, wherin the fault is committed.
Philomathes. Then I praie you set downe my lesson corrected after your maner.
Master. Here it is with your faultes amended, and that of yours which was good retained.
[Morley, Introduction, 81,1] [MOR1597B 05GF]
Philomathes. This is well: but I will make another, that all my faultes may come out at the firste, and so I may haue the more time to mend them.
Master. Doe so: for the rules and practise ioined togither, will make you both certaine and quicke in your sight.
Philomathes. Here is one, and as you did in the other, I pray you shew me the faults at length.
[Morley, Introduction, 81,2] [MOR1597B 05GF]
Master. The beginning of your descant is good, the second note is tollerable, but might haue been made better.
Philomathes. May I not touche a discorde, passing in the order?
Master. [An obseruation for passing notes. in marg.] You may, and it is vnpossible to ascende or descende in continuall deduction, without a discord, but the lesse offence you giue in the discord the better it is, and the shorter while you staie vpon the discord, the lesse offence you giue. Therefore, if you had set a pricke after the Minime, and made your two Crotchets, two Quauers, it had been better, as thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 81,3] [MOR1597B 05GF]
Your next note had the same fault, for that you staied a whole Minime in the fourth, which you see I haue mended: making the last minim of your third note a crotchet, and setting a prick after the first. [Wild skipping condemned in descant. in marg.] Your fift, sixt, and seuenth notes be wilde and vnformall, for that vnformall skipping is condemned in this kinde of singing, but if you had made it thus it had beene good and formall.
[Morley, Introduction, 81,4] [MOR1597B 05GF]
Philomathes. Wherein didde you mislike my Close, for I see you haue altered it also.
Master. [Staying before the close condemned. in marg.] Because you haue staied in the note before it a whole semibriefe togither. For if your descant should be stirring in any place, it should bee in the note before the close. As for this waie, if a Musition should see it, he would saie it hangeth too much in the close. Also you haue risen to the eight, which is all one, as if you had closed below, in the note from whence you fled.
[-82-] Philomathes. I praie you before you go any further, to set me some waies of discordes passing, ascending and discending, and how they may be allowable, and how disalowable.
Master. Although you might by the example which I shewed you before, conceiue the nature of a passing note: yet to satisfie your desire, I will set downe such as might occur vpon this plainsong, but in forme of a Fuge, that you may perceiue how it is allowable or disallowable in Fuge: And because we will haue the best last, I will shewe you twoe waies, which though others haue vsed them, yet are no waie tollerable: for it is vnpossible to take a discord worse, then in them you may here see set downe, which I haue of purpose sought out for you, that you may shun them and such like hereafter.
[Bad taking of discords in this kind of descant in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 82,1] [MOR1597B 06GF]
Yet some, more vpon their owne opinion than anie reason, haue not spared to praise them for excellent. But if they or any man else, can deuise to make them falser, then will I yeeld to them, and be content to be esteemed ignorant in my profession. But I praie you peruse them.
Philomathes. It may bee there is art in this which I cannot perceiue, but I thinke it goeth but vnpleasinglie to the eare, speciallie in the two notes next before the close.
Master. I find no more art in it, then you perceiued pleasure to the eare. And I doubt not, if you your selfe should examine it, you would finde matter enough without a Tutor, to condemne it: as for the first, there are foure notes that might be easilie amended with a pricke, altering some of their length, by the obseruation which I gaue you before. But as for the place which you haue alreadie censured, if all the maisters and schollers in the world, should laie their heads togither, it were impossible to make it worse. But if it had beene thus
[The former example bettered. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 82,2] [MOR1597B 06GF]
it hadde bene tolerable, and you may see with what litle alteration it is made better, from the beginning to the end: not taking awaie any of the former notes, except that vnformall close, which no mans eares could haue indured: yet as I told you before, the best maner of closing is in Cadence.
Philomathes. In Cadence there is little shift or varietie, and therefore it shoulde seeme not so often to be vsed, for auoiding of tediousnesse.
Master. I finde no better word to saie after a good praier, then Amen, nor no better close to set after a good peece of descant, then a Cadence: yet if you thinke you will not saie as most voices doe, you may vse your discretion, and saie So be it, for varietie. Here is also another waie, which for badnesse will giue place to none other.
[-83-] [Other examples of discord euill taken. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 83,1] [MOR1597B 06GF]
Philomathes. What? Will not the Fuge excuse this, seeing it singeth in a manner euery note of the plainesong?
Philomathes. For what cause?
Master. Because it both taketh such bad allowances as are not permitted, and likewise the point might haue beene better brought in thus.
[Examples of discorde wel taken. Wherein al the alowances be contained. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 83,2] [MOR1597B 06GF]
But it were better to leaue the point and folow none at all, then for the pointes sake, to make such harsh vnplesant musicke: for musicke was deuised to content and not offend the eare.
[Morley, Introduction, 83,3] [MOR1597B 06GF]
And as for the other two, as there is no means of euiltaking of discords, which you haue not in them (and therfore bicause I thinke I haue some authoritie ouer you, I will haue you altogither to abstaine from the vse of them) so in these other twoe, there is no waie of well taking a discord, lacking, both for Fuge, and for binding descant, in that it is vnpossible to take them trulie on this plainsong, otherwise then I haue set them downe for you, for in them be all the allowances: and besides, the first of them singeth euerie note of the plainsong.
Philomathes. I thanke you hartilie for them, and I meane by the grace of God, to keepe them so in memorie, that whensoeuer I haue any vse of them, I may haue them readie.
Master. Trie then to make another waie formall without a Fuge.
Philomathes. Here is one, although I be doubtfull how to thinke of it my selfe, and therefore I long to heare your opinion.
[Morley, Introduction, 83,4] [MOR1597B 07GF]
[-84-] Master. My opinion is that the halfe of it is tollerable, the other halfe I mislike.
Philomathes. I suspected so much before, that the latter halfe woulde please you, though the first halfe did not.
Master. You are deceiued, for the first halfe liketh me better then the latter.
Philomathes. How can that be, seeing the latter keepeth point in some sort with the plainsong.
Master. [Falling downe with the plainsong disalowed in marg.] But you fall as the plainsong dooeth, still telling one tale without varietie. But if you would maintaine a point, you must go to worke thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 84,1] [MOR1597B 07GF]
But withall you must take this caueat, that you take no note [Errata 16] aboue one Minime rest, or three vpon the greatest extremitie of your point in two partes (for that in long resting, the harmonie seemeth bare) [An od rest the most artificiall kind of bringing in a point. in marg.] and the odde rest giueth an vnspeakable grace to the point (as for an euen number of restes, few or none vse them in this kinde of descanting) but it is supposed, that when a man keepeth long silence, and then beginneth to speake, he will speake to the purpose so in resting, you let the other goe before, that you may the better follow him at your ease and pleasure.
Philomathes. Here is a waie which I haue beaten out, wherein I haue done what I coulde to maintaine the point.
[Morley, Introduction, 84,2] [MOR1597B 07GF]
Master. You haue maintained your point indeed, but after such a manner, as nobodie will commend: for the latter halfe of your lesson is the same that your firste was, without any alteration, sauing that to make it fill vppe the whole time of the plainesong (which hath two notes more then were before) you haue set it downe in longer notes. But by casting awaie those two notes from the plainsong, you may sing your first halfe twice after one manner, as in this example you may see.
[Morley, Introduction, 84,3] [MOR1597B 07GF]
[One thinge twice sung in one lesson condemned. in marg.] And therefore though this waie bee true, yet woulde I haue you to abstain from the vse of it, because in so small boundes and short space it is odious to repeate one thing twise.
Philomathes. Wel then, I will remember not to take the same descant twice in one lesson, but when I made it, I did not looke into it so narrowlie: yet I thinke by these waies I doe well enough vnderstand the nature of this kind of descant, therefore proceed to that which you thinke most meet to be learned next.
[-85-] Master. Before you proceed to any other thing, I would haue you make some more lessons in this kinde, that you may thereby be the more readie in the practise of your precepts: for that this waie of maintaining a point or Fuge, commeth as much by vse as by rule.
Philomathes. I may at all times make waies enough, seeing I haue the order how to do them, and know the most faults which are to be shunned: therefore if you please, I praie proceed to some other matter, which you thinke most requisite.
Master. Now seeing (as you saie) you vnderstand this kind of descant, and knowe how to follow or maintaine a point, it followeth to learne how to reuert it.
Philomathes. What doe you call the reuerting of a point?
Master. [What a reuert is. in marg.] The reuerting of a point (which also we terme a reuert) is, when a point is made rising or falling, and then turned to go the contrarie waie, as manie notes as it did the first.
Philomathes. That would be better vnderstood by an example then by wordes, and therefore I praie you giue me one.
Master. Here is one, marke it well, and studie to imitate it:
[Morley, Introduction, 85,1] [MOR1597B 07GF]
Philomathes. This waie argueth maistrie, and in my opinion hee who can doe it at the firste sight, needeth not to stand telling his cordes.
Master. That is true indeed, but doe you see how the point is reuerted?
Philomathes. Yes verie well, for from your first note till the middle of your fift, your point is contained; and then in the middle of your fift note you reuert it, causing it ascende as manie notes as it descended before, and so descend where it ascended before.
Master. You haue well perceiued the true making of this waie, but I praie make one of your owne, that your practise may stretch as farre as your speculation.
Philomathes. Lo here is one, How doe you like it?
[Morley, Introduction, 85,2] [MOR1597B 08GF]
Master. I thinke it is fatal to you, to haue these wild points of vnformal skippings (which I pray you learne to leaue) otherwaies your first fiue notes be tollerable, in your fift note you begin your reuert well: [Falling from the sixt to the eight condemned. in marg.] but in your seuenth and eight notes, you fall from the thirteenth or sixt, to the eight or vnison, which was one of the faults I condemned, in your first lesson of Counterpoint: the rest of your descant is passable. But I must admonishe you, that in making reuerts, you choose such points as may be easilie driuen thorough to the ende, without wresting, changing of notes, or pointes in harsh cords, which can not be done perfectlie well, without great foresight of the notes which are to come after. Therefore I would wish you, before you set downe anie point, diligentlie to consider [-86-] your plainsong, to see what pointes will aptliest agree with the nature of it, for that vpon one ground or plainesong, innumerable waies may bee made, but manie better then other.
Philomathes. Then for a triall that I haue rightlie conceiued your meaning, I wil make another waie reuerted, that then we may go forward with other matters.
Master. Do so, but take heed of forgetting your rules.
Philomathes. I am in a better opinion of the goodnesse of mine owne memorie, then to doe so. but I praie you peruse this waie, if there be in it anie sensible grosse fault, shew it me.
[Morley, Introduction, 86,1] [MOR1597B 08GF]
Master. [Falling from B fa b mi sharp to F fa vt condemned. in marg.] All this is sufferable, except your seuenth and eight notes, wherein you fal from B fa b mi to F fa vt, and so vnformallie to B fa b mi backe againe, thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 86,2] [MOR1597B 08GF]
which though it be better then that which I condemned in the Close of your firste lesson of Counterpoint yet is it of the same nature and naught, but you may in continuall deduction, ascend from mi to fa thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 86,3] [MOR1597B 08GF]
I know you will make the point your excuse, but (as I tolde you before) I would rather haue begun againe and taken a new point, then I woulde haue committed so grosse a fault: as for the rest of your lesson it is tollerable. Nowe I hope by the precepts which I haue alreadie giuen you, in your examples going before, you may conceiue the nature of treble descant, it followeth to shewe you how to make base descant.
Philomathes. What is Base descant?
Master. [Base descant. in marg.] It is that kinde of descanting, where your sight of taking and vsing your cordes must be vnder the plainsong.
Philomathes. What rules are to be obserued in base descant?
Master. [A caueat for the sight of cords vnder the plainsong. in marg.] The same which were in treble descant, but you must take heed that your cords deceiue you not, for that which aboue your plainsong was a third, will bee vnder your plainsong a sixt: and that which aboue your plainsong was a fourth, wil bee vnder your plainsong a fift: and which aboue was a fift, will vnder the plainsong be a fourth: and lastlie, that which aboue your plainsong was a sixt, will vnder it be a third. And so likewise in your discords, that which aboue your plainsong was a second, will be vnder it a seuenth: and that which aboue the plainsong was a seuenth, wil be vnder the plainsong a second.
Philomathes. But in descanting I was taught to reckon my cords from the plainsong or ground.
Master. That is true: but in base descant the base is the ground, although wee are bound to see it vpon the plainsong: for your plainsong is as it were your theme, and your descant (either base or treble) as it were your declamation, and either you may reckon your cordes from your base vpwardes, or from the plainesong downewarde, which you list. For as it is twentie miles by account from London to ware, so is it twenty from Ware to London.
Philomathes. I praie you set me an example of base descant
Master. Here is one.
[-87-] [Morley, Introduction, 87,1] [MOR1597B 08GF]
Philomathes. I thinke it shal be no hard matter for me to imitate this.
Master. Set downe your waie, and then I wil tel you how wel you haue don it.
Philomathes. Here it is, and I thinke it shall need but little correction.
[Morley, Introduction, 87,2] [MOR1597B 08GF]
Master. Conceit of their own sufficiencie hath ouerthrowne many, who otherwise woulde haue proued excellent. Therefore in anie case, neuer thinke so well of your selfe but let other men praise you, if you bee praise worthie: then may you iustlie take it to your selfe, so it bee done with moderation and without arrogancie.
Philomathes. I will: but wherein doe you condemne my waie?
Master. In those thinges wherein I did not thinke you should haue erred. [A dicord taken for the first part of a note not in binding wise condemned. in marg.] For in the beginning of your fourth note, you take a discord for the first part, and not in binding wise: your other faults are not so grosse, and yet must they be told.
Philomathes. In what notes be they?
Master. In the foure notes going before the close, for there your descant woulde haue beene more stirring, and by reason it hangs so much, I do not, nor cannot greatly commend it, although it be true in the cordes.
Philomathes. What? Is not that binding descant good?
Master. [Binding with concords not so good as that with discords. in marg.] That kind of binding with concords is not so good as those bindinges which are mixt with discordes: but here is your own waie with a little alteration much better.
[Morley, Introduction, 87,3] [MOR1597B 08GF]
Philomathes. This is the course of the world, that where we thinke our selues surest, there are we furthest off from our purpose. And I thought verilie, that if there could haue beene anie fault found in my waie, it should haue bin so smal, that it should not haue bin worth the speaking of. But when we haue a little, we straight imagine that wee haue all, when God knowes the least part of that which we know not, is more then al we know. Therefore I praie you yet set me another example, that considering it with your other, I may more cleerelie perceiue the artificiall composition of them both.
Master. Here be two, choose which of them you thinke best and imitate it. [Morley, Introduction, 87,4] [MOR1597B 09GF]
[-88-] [Morley, Introduction, 88,1] [MOR1597B 09GF]
Philomathes. It is not for me to iudge or censure your workes, for I was [Errata 17] far dashed in my laste waye (which I thought so exceeding good) that I dare neuer credite mine owne iudgement hereafter. But yet I praie you whie haue you left out the sharpe cliffe before your sixt note in the plainsong of your second waie.
Master. [The eare the most iust iudge of al musicke. in marg.] Although the descant be true (if the sharpe cliffe were there) yea and passable with manie, yet let your eare be iudge, how farre different the ayre of the descant (the plainsong being flat) is from it selfe, when the plainsong is sharpe. And therefore, because I thought it better flat then sharpe, I haue set it flat. But if anie man like the other waie better, let him vse his discretion.
Philomathes. It is not for me to disallow your opinion: but what rests for me to doe next?
Master. By working we become workemen: therefore once again set down a waie of this kind of descant.
Philomathes. That was my intended purpose before, and therefore heere is one, and I praie you censure it without anie flatterie.
[Morley, Introduction, 88,2] [MOR1597B 09GF]
Master. This is verie well, and now I see you begin to conceiue the nature of base descant: wherefore here is yet another waie, of which kind I would haue you make one.
[Morley, Introduction, 88,3] [MOR1597B 09GF]
Philomathes. This is a point reuerted, and (to be plaine) I despaire for euer doing the like.
Master. Yet trie, and I doubt not but with labour you may ouercome greater difficulties.
Philomathes. Here is a waie, I praie you how like you it?
[Morley, Introduction, 88,4] [MOR1597B 09GF]
[-89-] Master. I perceiue by this waie, that if you will bee carefull and practise, censuring your owne dooinges with iudgment, you neede few more instructions for these waies: therfore my counsell is, that when you haue made any thinge, you peruse it, and correct it the second and third time before you leaue it. But now seeing you knowe the rules of singing one part aboue or vnder the plainsong: it followeth, to shew you how to make more partes. But before we come to that, I must shew you those thinges which of olde were taught, before they can [Errata 18] sing two partes: and it shall be enough to set you a waie of euerie one of them, that you may see the maner of making of them, for the alowances and descanting be the same which were before: so that he who can doe that which you haue alreadie done, may easilie do them all. The first is called crotchet, minime, and crotchet, crotchet, minime and crotchet, because the notes was [Errata 19] disposed so, as you may see in tihs example,
[Crotchet, minime and crotchet. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 89,1; text: This waie in euerie note commeth euen in time of stroke.] [MOR1597B 10GF]
The second is called Minime and Crotchet, because ther come a minime and a crotchet successiuelie through to the end, this after two notes commeth euen in the stroke, and in the third likewise, and so in course againe to the end, as here you may see.
[Minime, crotchet and minim. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 89,2] [MOR1597B 10GF]
The third is a driuing waie in two crotchets and a minime, but odded by a rest, so that it neuer commeth euen till the close, thus.
[Two crotchets and a minimes. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 89,3] [MOR1597B 10GF]
[-90-] The fourth waie driueth a crotchet rest throughout a whole lesson all of minims, so that it neuer commeth euen till the end, thus.
[Driuing of a crotchet rest to the end in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 90,1] [MOR1597B 10GF]
And in these waies you may make infinite varietie, altering some note, or driuing it thorough others, or by some rest driuen, or making your plainesong figuration.
Philomathes. [Figuration. in marg.] What is Figuration?
Master. When you sing one note of the plainsong long, and another short, and yet both prickt in one forme. Or making your plainesong as your descant notes, and so making vpon it, or then driuing some note or rest through your plainsong, making it two long, three long, et cetera. Or three minimes, fiue minimes, or so forth, two minimes and a crotchet, three minimes and a crotchet, fiue minimes and a crotchet, et cetera. with infinite more, as mens inuentions shall best like: for, as so manie men so manie mindes, so their inuentions wil be diuers, and diuerslie inclined. The fift waie is called Tripla, when for one note of the plainsong, they make three blacke minimes thus.
[Tripla in the minime. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 90,2; text: 3, 1] [MOR1597B 11GF]
though (as I tolde you before) this be not the true tripla, yet haue I set it down vnto you in this place, that you might know not onlie that which is right, but also that which others esteemed right. And therefore likewise haue I set downe the proportions following, not according as it ought to bee in reason, but to content wranglers, who I know will at euierie little ouersight, take occasion to backbite, and detract from that which they cannot disproue. I know they will excuse themselues with that new inuention of Tripla to the semibriefe, and tripla to the minime, and that that kinde of tripla which is tripla to the minime, must be prickt in minimes, and the other in semibriefes. But in that inuention they ouershoote themselues, seeing it is grounded vpon custome, and not vpon reason. They wil replie and saie, the Italians haue vsed it: that I graunt, but not in that order as we doe: For when they marke tripla of three minimes for a stroke, they doe most vsuallie set these numbers before it 3/2: which is the true marking of Sesquialtera, and these three minimes are true sesquialtra it selfe. But you shall neuer find in anie of their workes a minime set downe for the time of a blacke semibriefe and a Crotchet, or three blacke minimes, which all our Composers both for voices and instruments doe most commonlie vse. It is true that Zaccone in the second book and 38. chapter of practise of musicke, doth allow a minime for a stroke in the more prolation, and [-91-] prooueth it out of Palestina, but that is not when the song is marked with proportionate numbers: but when all the partes haue the lesse prolation, and one onelie part hath the more, in which case the part so marked, containeth Augmentation as I saide before: [In the first part in marg.] and so is euerie minime of the more prolation worth a semibriefe of the lesse. But let euerie one vse his discretion, it is enough for me to let you see that I haue saide nothing without reason, and that it hath beene no small toile for me to seeke out the authorities of so manie famous and excellent men, for the confirmation of that, which some will thinke scarce worth the making mention of. Quadrupla and Quintupla, they denominated after the number of blacke minimes set for a note of the plainsong, as in these examples you may see.
[Quadrupla. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 91; text: 5, 1] [MOR1597B 11GF]
[Quintupla. in marg.]
And so foorth sextupla, septupla, and infinite more which it will bee superfluous to sette downe in this place. But if you thinke you would consider of them also, you may find them in my Christes Crosse set downe before, sesquialtra and sesquitertia, they denominated after the number of blacke semibriefes set for one note of the plainsong, as in these two following.
[-92-] [Sesquialtra in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 92,1] [MOR1597B 12GF]
[Inductions and what they be. in marg.] Here they set downe certaine obseruations, which they termed Inductions, as here you see in the first two barres Sesquialtra perfect: that they called the induction to nine, to two, which is Quadrupla Sesquialtra. In the third barre you haue broken sesquialtra, and the rest to the end is Quadrupla sesquialtra, or as they termed it, nine to two, and euerie proportion whole, is called the Induction to that which it maketh being broken. As tripla being broken in the more prolation, wil make Nonupla, and so is tripla the Induction to nonupla: Or in the lesse prolation wil make sextupla, and so is the induction to sextupla: but let this suffice. It foloweth to shew you Sesquitertia, whereof here is an example.
[Sesquitertia. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 92,2] [MOR1597B 12GF]
There be manie other proportions (wherof you haue examples in my Christs crosse before) which here be not set downe, and manie you may see elsewhere. Also you your selfe may deuise infinite more, which may be both artificiall and delightfull, and therefore I will leaue to speake anie more of them at this time, for there be manie other thinges which men haue deuised vpon these waies, which if one would particularlie deduce, he might write all his life time and neuer make an end, as Iohn Spataro of Bologna did, who wrote a whole great booke, containing nothing else but the manner of singing Sesquialtra proportion. [Two parts vpon a plainsong. in marg.] But to returne to our interrupted purpose, of making more partes then one vpon a plainsong. Take anie of the waies of base descant which you made, and make another part, which may serue for a treble to it aboue the plainesong, being true to both.
Philomathes. Yours be better and more formall then mine, and therfore I will take one of yours
Master. If you list do so.
Philomathes. Here is a waie which I thinke is true.
[Morley, Introduction, 92,3] [MOR1597B 12GF]
[-93-] Master. This is much, and so much as one shall hardlie find anie other waie to bee sung in this maner vpon this ground: for I can see but one other waie besides that, which is this,
[Morley, Introduction, 93,1] [MOR1597B 12GF]
but I did not meane that you should haue made your treble in counterpoint, but in descant maner, as your base descant was, thus.
[Morley, Introduction, 93,2] [MOR1597B 13GF]
Philomathes. I did not conceiue your meaning, till now, that you haue explained it by an example: and therefore I will see what I can doe to counterfait it, although in my opinion it be hard to make.
Master. It is no hard matter, for you are not tied when your base singeth a semibriefe or anie other note to sing one of the same length, but you may breake your notes at your pleasure and sing what you list, so it be in true cordes to the other two partes: but especiallie fiftes and thirds intermingled with sixes, which of all other bee the sweetest and most fit for three partes. For in foure or fiue parts you must haue more scope, because there be more partes to be supplied. And therefore the eight must of force be the oftener vsed.
Philomathes. Well then here is a waie, correct it, and shew me the faults I praie you.
[Morley, Introduction, 93,3] [MOR1597B 13GF]
[-94-] Master. This is well. But whie did you stand so long before the close?
Philomathes. Because I sawe none other waie to come to it.
Master. [Hanging in the close condemned. in marg.] Yes there is shift enough: but whie did you stand still with your last note also? seeing there was no necessitie in that. [Manie perfect cords togither condemned. in marg.] For it had beene much better to haue come down and closed in the third, for that it is tedious to close with so manie perfect cordes togither, and not so good in the ayre. But here is another example (which I praie you mark
[Morley, Introduction, 94,1] [MOR1597B 13GF]
and confer with my last going before) whereby you may learne to haue some meaning in your parts to make them answer in Fuge. For if you examine wel mine other going before, you shall see how the beginning of the treble leadeth the base, and howe in the third note the base leadeth the treble in the fourth note, and how the beginning of the ninth note of the base, leadeth the treble in the same note and next following.
Philomathes. I perceiue all that, and now will I examine this which you haue set downe. In your treble you followe the Fuge of the plainsong. But I praie you what reason moued you to take a discord for the first part of your fourth note (which is the seconde of the treble) and then to take a sharpe for the latter halfe, your note being flat.
Master. [In what maner a sharpe for a flat is alowable in the fift. in marg.] As for the discord it is taken in binding manner, and as for the sharpe in the base for the flat in the treble, the base being a Cadence, the nature thereof requireth a sharp, and yet let your eares (or whose soeuer else) be iudge, sing it and you wil like the sharpe much better then the flat in my opinion. Yet this youe must marke by the waie, that though this be good in halfe a note as here you see, yet is it intollerable in whole semibriefes.
Philomathes. This obseruation is necessarie to be knowne, but as for the rest of your lesson, I see how one part leadeth after another: therefore I will set downe a waie which I praie you censure.
Master. I doe not vse when I find anie faultes in your lesson to leaue them vntold, and therefore that protestation is needlesse.
Philomathes. Then here it is, peruse it.
[Morley, Introduction, 94,2] [MOR1597B 13GF]
[-95-] Master. [Going vp from the fourth to the fift both parts ascending condemned. in marg.] In this lesson in the verie beginning, I greatlie mislike that rising from the fourth to the fift, betweene the plainsong and the treble: although they bee both true to the base, yet you must haue a regard that the partes be formall betwixt themselues as well as to the base. [Long standing in a place condemned. in marg.] Next, your standing in one place two whole semibriefes together, that is, in the latter ende of the thirde note, all the fourth, and halfe of the fift. [A sharpe eight disallowed. in marg.] Thirdly, your causing the treble strike a sharpe eight to the base, which is a fault muche offending the eare, though not so much in sight. Therefore hereafter take heed of euer touching a sharpe eight, except it be naturallie in E la mi, or B fa b mi (for these sharpes in F fa vt, C sol fa vt, and such like bee wrested out of their properties, although they bee true and may bee suffered, yet woulde I wishe you to shunne them as much as you may, for that is not altogether so pleasing in the eare, as that which commeth in his owne nature) or at a close betwixt two middle partes, and seldome so. [Going from F fa ut sharp to B fa b mi sharpe disallowed. in marg.] Fourthlie, your going from F fa vt to B fa b mi, in the eight note, in which fault, you haue beene nowe thrise taken. Lastly, your old fault, standing so long before the close: all these be grosse falts: but here is your owne waie altered in those places which I told you did mislike me, and which you your selfe might haue made much better, if you had beene attentiue to your matter in hand. But such is the nature of you schollers, that so you do much, you care not how it bee done, though it be better to make one point well, then twentie naughty ones, needing correction almost in euerie place.
[Morley, Introduction, 95] [MOR1597B 14GF]
Philomathes. You blamed my beginning, yet haue you altred it nothing, sauing that you haue set it eight notes higher then it was before.
Master. I haue indeede reserued your beginning, to lette you see, that by altering but halfe a note in the plainesong, it might haue beene made true as I haue sette it downe.
Philomathes. What? may you alter the plainsong so at your pleasure?
Master. [Better to break the plainesong then dissolue a point. in marg.] You may breake the plainesong at your pleasure (as you shall know heereafter) but in this place I altered that note, because I would not dissolue your point which was good with the base.
[-96-] Philomathes. But vpon what considerations, and in what order may you break the plainsong?
Master. It would be out of purpose to dispute that matter in this place, but you shall know it afterward at full, when I shall set you downe a rule of breaking any plainesong whatsoeuer.
Philomathes. I will then cease at this time to be more inquisitiue thereof: but I will see if I can make another waie which may content you, seeing my last prooued so bad: but nowe y I see it I think it vnpossible to find another waie vpon this base answering in the Fuge.
Master. No? Here is one, wherein you haue the point reuerted:
[Morley, Introduction, 96,1] [MOR1597B 14GF]
[Meeting of the flat and sharpe eight condemned. in marg.] but in the ende of the twelfth note I haue set downe a kind of closing (because of your selfe you coulde not haue discerned it) from which I would haue you altogither abstaine, for it is an vnpleasant harsh musicke: and though it hath much pleased diuers of our descanters in times past, and beene receiued as currant amongst others of later time: yet hath it euer beene condemned of the most skilfull here in England, and scoffed at amongst strangers. For as they saie, there can be nothing falser (and their opinion seemeth to me to be grounded vpon good reason) how euer it contenteth others. It followeth nowe to speake of two partes in one.
Philomathes. What doe you terme two partes in one?
Master. [Definition of two parts in one. in marg.] It is when two parts are so made, as one singeth euerie note and rest in the same length and order which the leading part did sing before. But because I promised you to set downe a waie of breaking the plainsong, before I come to speake of two partes in one, I will giue you an example out of the works of Master Persley (wherewith wee will content our selues at this present, because it had beene a thinge verie tedious, to haue set downe so manie examples of this matter, as are euerie where to bee founde in the works of Master Redford, Master Tallis, Preston, Hodges, Thorne, Selbie, and diuers others: where you shal find such varietie of breaking of plainsongs, as one not verie well skilled in musicke, should scant discerne anie plainsong at al) whereby you may learn to break any plainsong whatsoeuer.
Philomathes. What generall rules haue you for that?
Master. One rule, which is euer to keepe the substance of the note of the plainsong.
Philomathes. What doe you call keeping the substance of a note?
Master. When in breaking it, you sing either your first or last note in the same key wherin it standeth, or in his eight.
Philomathes. I praie you explaine that by an example.
Master. Here be three plainesong notes
[Morley, Introduction, 96,2] [MOR1597B 14GF]
which you may breake thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 96,3] [MOR1597B 14GF]
[Morley, Introduction, 96,4] [MOR1597B 14GF]
[Morley, Introduction, 96,5] [MOR1597B 14GF]
and infinite more waies which you may deuise to fit your Canon, for these I haue onlie set down to shew you what the keeping the substance of your note is.
[-97-] Philomathes. I vnderstand your meaning, and therefore I praie you set downe that example which you promised.
Master. Here it is set downe in partition, because you should more easilie perceiue the conueiance of the parts.
[The plainsung o[f] the Hymne Saluator mundi, broken in diuision, and brought in a Canon of thre parts in one, by Osbert Parsley. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 97; text: Saluator mundi domine.] [MOR1597B 15GF]
[-98-] I haue likewise set downe the plainesong, that you may perceiue the breaking of euerie note, and not that you should sing it for a part with the rest: for the rest are made out of it and not vppon it. [Great maisteries vpon a plainsong not the sweetest musicke. in marg.] And as concerning the descanting, although I cannot commend it for the best in the musicke, yet is it praiseworthie, and though in some places it be harsh to the eare, yet is it more tollerable in this waie, then in two partes in one vpon a plainsong, because that vpon a plainsong there is more shift then in this kind.
Philomathes. I perceiue that this example will serue me to more purpose hereafter, if I shall come to trie maisteries, then at this time to learne descant. Therefore I will passe it, and praie you to go forward with your begun purpose of twoe partes in one, the definition whereof I haue had before.
Master. Then it followeth to declare the kindes thereof, which wee distinguish no other waies, then by the distance of the first note of the following part, from the first of the leading which if it be a fourth, the song or Canon is called two partes in one in the fourth if a Fift, in the fift, and so foorth in other distances. But if the Canon bee in the eight, of these, as in the tenth, twelfth, or so, then commonlie is the plainesong in the middle betwixt the leading and following part: yet is not that rule so generall, but that you may set the plainsong either aboue or below at your pleasure. And because he who can perfectlie make two partes vpon a plainsong, may the more easier binde himselfe to a rule when he list, I will onlie set you downe an example of the most vsual waies that you may by your selfe put them in practise.
Philomathes. What? be there no rules to be obserued in the making of two partes in one vpon a plainsong?
Master. [A note for two parts in one in the fourth. in marg.] No verelie, in that the forme of making the Canons is so manie and diuers waies altered, that no generall rule may be gathered: yet in the making of two parts in one in the fourth, if you would haue your following part in the waie of counterpoint to follow within one note after the other, you must not ascend two, nor descend three. But if you descend two, aud ascend three, it wil be well: as in this example (which because you should the better conceiue, I haue set downe both plaine and deuided) you may see.
[Morley, Introduction, 98; text: This waye, some terme a Fuge in epidiatessaron, that is in the fourth aboue. But if the leading part were the highest, then would they call it in hypodiatessaron, which is the fourth beneath: And so likewise in the other distances, diapente which is the fifth: and diapason which is the eighth. Thus plaine. Thus diuided. Two parts in one in the fourth. partes] [MOR1597B 16GF]
[-99-] And by the contrarie in two partes in one in the fift, you may go as manie downe togither as you will, but not vp and generallie or most commonlie that which was true in two parts in one in the fourth, the contrarie will bee true in two partes in one in the fift, an example whereof you haue in this Canon following: wherein also I haue broken the plainsong of purpose, and caused it to answer in Fuge as a third part to the others: so that you may at your pleasure, sing it broken or whole, for both the waies.
[Fuga in epidiapente. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 99,1; text: Thus plaine. Thus diuided. two partes in one in the fift. parts] [MOR1597B 16GF]
Philomathes. I praie you (if I may be so bold as to interrupt your purpose) that you will let me trie what I could doe to make two parts in one in the fift in counterpoint.
Master. I am contented, for by making of that, you shall prepare the waie for your selfe to the better making of the rest.
Philomathes. Here is then a waie, I praie peruse it, but I feare me you will condemne it bicause I haue caused the treble part to lead, which in your example is contrarie.
[Fuga in hypodiapente. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 99,2] [MOR1597B 17GF]
Master. It is not materiall which parte leade, except you were inioyned to the contrarie, and seeing you haue done this so wel plain, let me see how you can deuide it.
Philomathes. Thus, and I praie you peruse it, that I may here your opinion of it.
[-100-] [Morley, Introduction, 100,1; text: Two partes in one in the fift.] [MOR1597B 17GF]
Master. This is wel broken, and now I will giue you some other examples in the fifth, wherein you haue your plainsong changed from parte to part, firste in the treble, next in the tenor, lastlie in the base.
Philomathes. I praie you yet giue mee leaue to interrupt your purpose, that seeing I haue made a waie in the fift, I may make one in the fourth also, and then I will interrupt your speech no more.
Master. Do so if your mind serue you.
Philomathes. Here it is in descant wise without counterpoint, for I thought it too much trouble, first to make it plaine and then breake it.
[Morley, Introduction, 100,2; text: Two parts in one in the fourth.] [MOR1597B 17GF]
Master. This waie is so well, as I perceiue no sensible fault in it.
Philomathes. I am the better contented, and therefore (if you please) you may proceede to those waies which you woulde haue set downe before.
Master. Here they be. As for the other waies, because they be done by plaine sight without rule, I will set them downe without speaking anie more of them: onelie this by the waie you must note: that if your Canon be in the fourth, and the lower part lead, if you sing the leading part an eight higher, your Canon will be in Hypodiapente, which is the fift below, and by the contrarie, if your Canon be in the fift, the lower part leading, if you sing the leading part an eight higher, your Canon wil bee in hypodiatessaron, or in the fourth below.
[Morley, Introduction, 100,3; text: Two parts in one in the fift, the plainsong in the treble:] [MOR1597B 17GF]
[-101-] [Morley, Introduction, 101,1; text: Another example in the fift the plainsong in the middest. Another example of two parts in one in the fift, the plainsong in the base. Two parts in one in the sixt.] [MOR1597B 18GF]
This waie in the sixt (if you sing the lower part eight notes higher, and the higher parte eight notes lower) will bee in the third or tenth, and by the contrarie if the Canon bee in the tenth if you sing the lower part eight notes higher, and the higher part eight notes lower, then will your Canon be in the sixt, either aboue or below, according as the leading part shal be.
[Morley, Introduction, 101,2; text: Two parts in one in the seuenth.] [MOR1597B 18GF]
[-102-] If your Canon bee in the seuenth the lower part being sung an eight higher, and the higher part an eight lower, it wil be in the ninth, and by the contrarie if the Canon bee in the ninth, the lower part sung eight notes higher, and the higher parte eight notes lower, will make it in the seuenth.
[Morley, Introduction, 102,1; text: Two parts in one in the eigth.] [MOR1597B 19GF]
The plainsong in the third bar I haue broken to shun a little harshnesse in the descant, if anie man like it better whole, he may sing it as it was in the Canon before, for though it bee somewhat harsh, yet is it sufferable.
[Morley, Introduction, 102,2; text: Two parts in one in the ninth. Two partes in one in the tenth.] [MOR1597B 19GF]
Here is also another waie in the tenth, which the maisters call per arsin et thesin, that is by rising and falling: for when the higher part ascendeth, the lower part descendeth, and when the lower part ascendeth, the higher parte descendeth, and though I haue here set it downe in the tenth, yet may it be made in anie other distance you please.
[-103-] [Morley, Introduction, 103,1; text: Duae partes in vna per arsin et thesin in the tenth.] [MOR1597B 19GF]
And because we are come to speake of two parts in one vpon a plainsong, per arsin et thesin, I thought good to set downe a waie made by Master Bird, which for difficultie in the composition is not inferior to anie which I haue seene: for it is both made per arsin et thesin, and likewise the point or Fuge is reuerted, note for note: which thing, how hard it is to performe vpon a plainsong, none can perfectlie know, but hee who hath or shal go about to doe the like. And to speake vprightlie, I take the plainsong to bee made with the descant, for the more easie effecting of his purpose. But in my opinion, who soeuer shal go about to make such another, vpon anie common knowne plainesong or hymne, shal find more difficultie then he looked for. And although hee shoulde assaie twentie seueral hymnes or plainsonges for finding of one to his purpose, I doubt if hee should any waie goe beyond the excellencie of the composition of this, and therefore I haue set it downe in partition.
[Morley, Introduction, 103,2; text: Duae partes in vna per arsin et thesin bis repetite. Ad placitum.] [MOR1597B 20GF]
[-104-] [Morley, Introduction, 104,1] [MOR1597B 20GF]
And thus much for Canons of two partes in one, which though I haue set downe at length in two seuerall parts, yet are they most commonlie prickt both in one, and here in England for the most part without anie sign at al, where and when to begin the following part: which vse manie times caused diuers good Musicians sitte a whole daie, to find out the following part of a Canon: which being founde (it might bee) was scant worth the hearing. [A compendious way of pricking of canons. in marg.] But the French men and Italians, haue vsed a waie that thogh there were foure or fiue partes in one, yet might it be perceiued and sung at the first, and the maner thereof is this. Of how manie parts the Canon is, so manie Cliefes do they set at the beginning of the verse, stil causing that which standeth neerest vnto the musick, serue for the leading part, the next towards the left hand, for the next following parte, and so consequentlie to the last. But if betweene anie two Cliefes you finde rests, those belong to that part, which the cliefe standing next vnto them on the left side signifieth.
[Morley, Introduction, 104,2; text: Example.] [MOR1597B 20GF]
Here be two parts in one in the Diapason cum diatessaron, or as we tearme it, in the eleuenth aboue, where you see first a C sol fa vt Cliefe standing on the lowest rule, and after it three minime rests. Then standeth the F fa vt cliffe on the fourth rule from below, and because that standeth neerest the notes, the base (which that cliffe representeth) must begin, resting a minime rest after the plainsong, and the treble three minim restes. And least you should misse in reckoning your pauses or rests, the note whereupon the following part must begin, is marked with this signe .'. It is true that one of those two, the signe or the rests is superfluous, but the order of setting more cliffes then one to one verse, being but of late deuised, was not vsed when the signe was most common, but instead of them, ouer or vnder the song was written, in what distance the following parte was from the leading, and most commonlie in this manner. Canon in * or * Superiore, or inferiore. But to shun the labour of writing those words, the cliffes and rests haue byn deuised, shewing the same thinge. And to the intent you may the better conceiue it, here is another example wherin the treble beginneth, and the meane followeth within a semibriefe after in the Hypodiapente or fift below.
[-105-] [Morley, Introduction, 105] [MOR1597B 21GF]
And this I thought good to shewe you, not for anie curiositie which is in it, but for the easinesse and commoditie which it hath, because it is better then to pricke so as to make one sit fiue or sixe houres beating his braines, to finde out the following part. But such hath beene our manner in manie other thinges heretofore, to doe things blindlie, and to trouble the wittes of practisioners: whereas by the contrarie, straungers haue put all their care how to make things plaine and easilie vnderstood, but of this inough [Double descant in marg.] There is also a manner of composition vsed amongst the Italians, which they call Contrapunto doppio, or double descant, and though it be no Canon, yet is it verie neere the nature of a Canon: and therefore I thought it meetest to be handled in this place, and it is no other thing, but a certaine kind of composition, which beeing sung after diuers sortes, by changing the partes, maketh diuers manners of harmonie: and is founde to be of two sortes. [Diuision of double descant. in marg.] The first is, when the principall (that is the thing as it is firste made) and the replie (that is it which the principall hauing the partes changed dooth make) are sung, changing the partes in such maner, as the highest part may be made the lowest, and the lowest parte the highest, without anie change of motion: that is, if they went vpward at the first, they goe also vpward when they are changed: and if they went downeward at the first, they goe likewise downward being changed. And this is likewise of two sortes: for if they haue the same motions being changed, they either keepe the same names of the notes which were before, or alter them: if they keepe the same names, the replie singeth the high part of the principall a fift lower, and the lower part an eight higher: and if it alter the names of the notes, the higher part of the principal is sung in the replie a tenth lower, and the lower part an eight higher.
The second kinde of double descant, is when the partes changed, the higher in the lower, go by contrarie motions: that is, if they both ascende before, beeing chaunged they descend: or if they descend before, they ascend being changed. [Rules to be obserued in compositions of the first sort of the first kinde of double descant. in marg.] Therefore, when we compose in the first maner, which keepeth the same motions and the same names, we may not put in the principall a sixt, because in the replie it will make a discord: nor may we put the partes of the song so farre asunder, as to passe a twelfe. Nor may we euer cause the higher part come vnder the lower, nor the lower aboue the higher, because both those notes which passe the twelfth, and also those which make the lower part come aboue the higher in the replie, will make discords. Wee may not also put in the principall a Cadence, wherein the seuenth is taken, because that in the replie it will not doe wel. We may verie well vse the Cadence wherein the second or fourth is taken, because in the replie they will cause verie good effectcs. Wee must not also put in the principall a flat tenth, after which followeth an eight, or a twelfe (a flatte tenth is when the highest note of the tenth is flat, as from D sol re, to F fa vt in alte flatte, or from Gam vt, to B fa b mi flat) nor a flat third before an vnison, or a fift when the parts go by contrarie motions: because if they be so put in the principall, there will follow Tritonus or false fourth in the replie. Note also, that euerie twelfe in the principal, wil be in the replie an vnison. And euery fift an eight, and al these rules must be exactlie kept in the principal, else wil not the replie be without faults. Note also, that if you wil close with a Cadence, you must of necessitie end either your principal or replie, in the fift or twelf, which also happeneth in the Cadences, in what place soeuer of the song they be, and betweene the parts wil be heard the relation of a Tritouns or false fourth, but that will bee a small matter, if the rest of the composition be dulie ordered, as you may perceiue in this example.
[-106-] [Morley, Introduction, 106,1; text: The higher part of the principall. lower] [MOR1597B 21GF]
Now change the higher part, making it lower by a fift, and the lower part higher by an eight, and so shall you haue the replie thus:
[Morley, Introduction, 106,2; text: The higher part of the replie. lower] [MOR1597B 21GF]
[-107-] And this is called double descant in the twelfe: [Caueats for compositions in the second sort of the first kind of double descant. in marg.] but if we would compose in the second kind (that is in it, which in the replie keepeth the same motions but not the same names which were in the principall) we must not put in anie case two cordes of one kinde togither in the principall: as two thirdes, or two sixes, and such like, although the one be great or sharpe, and the other small or flat: nor may we put Cadences without a discord. The sixt likewise in this kinde may be vsed if (as I said before you put not twoe of them togither) also if you list, the partes may one goe thorough another that is, the lower may goe aboue the higher, and the higher vnder the lower, but with this caueat, that when they be so mingled, you make them no further distant then a third, because that when they remaine in their owne boundes, they may be distant a twelfth one from another. Indeed we might goe further asunder, but though we did make them so farre distant, yet might we not in anie case put a thirteenth, for it will bee false in the replie: therefore it is best not to passe the twelfth, and to keepe the rules which I haue giuen, and likewise to cause the musicke (so farre as possiblie we may) proceed by degrees, and shun that motion of leaping (because that leaping of the fourth and the fift, may in some places of the replie, ingender a discommoditie) which obseruation beeing exactlie kepte, will cause our descant go well and formablie, in this manner.
[Morley, Introduction, 107; text: The higher part of the principal, of the second sort of the first kind of double descant. lower] [MOR1597B 22GF]
And changing the parts, that is, setting the treble lower by a tenth, and the lower part higher by an eight, we shall haue the replie thus.
[-108-] [Morley, Introduction, 108,1; text: The higher part of the replie. lower] [MOR1597B 22GF]
And this is called double descant in the tenth.
You may also make the treble parte of the principall an eight lower, and the base a tenth higher, which will doe verie well, because the nature of the tune wil so bee better obserued, as here you may perceiue.
[Morley, Introduction, 108,2; text: the high part of the second replie. low] [MOR1597B 23GF]
[-109-] [Rules for singing a third part to other two in double discant. in marg.]
Also these compositions might be sung of three voices if you sing a part a tenth aboue the lowe part of the principall, and in the reply a seuenth vnder the high part. It is true that the descant will not be so pure as it ought to be, and though it will be true from false descant, yet will there bee vnisons and other allowances which in other musicke woulde scarce be sufferable. But because it is somwhat hard to compose in this kind, and to haue it come well in the replye, I will set you downe the principall rules how to do it leauing the lesse necessarie obseruations to your own studie. You must not then in any case put a third or a tenth after an eighth when the parts of the song descend togither: and when the parts ascend you must not put a sixt after a fifth, nor a tenth after a twelfth, especially when the high part doth not proceed by degrees, which motion is a little more tollerable then that which is made by leaping. Likewise you must not goe from an eight to a flat tenth, except when the high part moueth by a whole note, and the lower part by a halfe note (nor yet from a third or fifth to a flat tenth by contrary motions. Also you shal not make the treble part go from a fifth to a sharpe third the basse standing still, nor the basse to go from a fifth to a flat third, or from a twelfth to a flat tenth the treble standing stil, bicause the replie will therby go against the rule. In this kind of discant euery tenth of the principal wil be in the replie an eight, and euery third of the principal in the replie wil be a fifteenth: but the composer must make both the principall and the replie together and so he shal commit the fewest errors, by which means your discant wil go in this order.
[Morley, Introduction, 109; text: The high part of the principall. lower, The third part added so the other two] [MOR1597B 23GF]
[-110-] [By negligence of not thinking vpon a third part in the composition of the principal, the fault of too much distance in the replie was committed which otherwise might easilie haue beene auoided, and the example brought in lesse compasse. in marg.]
[Morley, Introduction, 110; text: the higher part of the replie, lower, The replie of the third part which was added to the principall.] [MOR1597B 24GF]
[Notes to be obserued in the second kind of double descant. in marg.] In the second kinde of double descant where the replie hath contrarie motions to those which were in the principall keeping in the partes the same distances, if you put anie Cadences in the principall, they must be without any discorde, and then may you put them in what maner you list. But if they haue anie dissonance, and in [Errata 20] the replie, they will produce hard effects. In this you may vse the sixt in the principall, but in anie case set not a tenth immediatlie before an eight, nor a thirde before an vnison, when the partes descend together, bicause it will be naught, but obseruing the rules, your descant will go well in this maner.
[-111-] [Morley, Introduction, 111,1; text: The high part of the principall in the seond kind of double descant. low] [MOR1597B 25GF]
If you make the high part lower by a ninth, and the lowe part higher by a seuenth, you shall haue the replie thus.
[Morley, Introduction, 111,2; text: The high part of the replye. low, replie] [MOR1597B 25GF]
[-112-] And if you compose in this maner, the parts of the principall may be set in what distance you will, yea though it were a fifteenth, because in the replie it wil do wel, but yet ought we not to do so. Likewise, if you examine well the rules giuen before, and haue a care to leaue out some things which in some of the former waies may be taken, you may make a composition in such sort as it may bee song all the three before said waies with great variety of harmony, as in this principal and replies following you may perceiue.
[Morley, Introduction, 112; text: The high part of the principall. low, first replye.] [MOR1597B 26GF]
[-113-] [Morley, Introduction, 113; text: The high part of the second replye. low, The high part of the third replye, being per arsin et thesin to the low part of the principall.] [MOR1597B 27GF]
[-114-] And that you may the more cleerelie perceiue the great varietie of this kinde, if you ioine to the low part of the principall, or of the thirde replie a high part distant from it a tenth, or third: Or if you make the lowe part higher by an eight, and put to a part lower then the high part by a tenth (because it will come better) euerie one of those waies may by themselues be sung of three voices, as you saw before in the example of the second waie of the first kind of double descant. There be also (besides these which I haue showen you) manie other waies of double descant, which it were too long and tedious to set downe in this place, and you your selfe may hereafter by your owne studie finde out. Therefore I will onlie let you see one waie Par arsin et thesin, and so an ende of double descant. If therefore you make a Canon per arsin et thesin, without anie discorde in binding maner in it, you shall haue a composition in such sort, as it may haue a replie, wherein that which in the principall was the following part, may be the leading, as here you see in this example.
[Morley, Introduction, 114; text: The principall. replye.] [MOR1597B 28GF]
Thus you see that these waies of double descant carie some difficultie, and that the hardest of them all is the Canon. But if the Canon were made in that manner vppon a plainsong (I meane a plainesong not made of purpose for the descant, but a common plainsong or hymne, such as heretofore haue been vsed in churches) it would be much harder to do. But because these waies seeme rather for curiositie then for your present instruction, I would counsaile you to leaue to practise them, till you be perfect in your descant, and in those plaine waies of Canon which I haue set downe, which will (as it were) lead you by the hand to a further knowledge: and when you can at the first sight sing two partes in one in those kindes vppon a plainesong, then may you practise other hard waies, and speciallie those per arsin et thesin, which of all other Canons carie both most difficultie, and most maiestie: so that I thinke, that who so canne vpon anie plainsong whatsoeuer, make such another waie as that of Master Bird, which I shewed you [-115-] before, may with great reason be termed a great maister in musicke. But whosoeuer can sing such a one at the first sight, vpon a ground, may boldlie vndertake to make any Canon which in musicke may be made. And for your further incouragement this much I may boldlie affirme, that whosoeuer will exercise himselfe diligentlie in that kinde, may in short time become an excellent Musician, because that he who in it is perfect, may almost at the first sight see what may be done vpon anie plainsong.
And these few waies which you haue alreadie seene, shall be sufficient at this time for your petfect [Errata 21] instruction in two parts in one vpon a plainsong. For if a manne shoulde thinke to set downe euerie waie, and doe nothing all his life time but dailie inuent varietie, he should lose his labour, for anie other might come after him, and inuent as manie others as he hath done. But if you thinke to imploy anie time in making of those, I would counsell you diligentlie to peruse those waies which my louing Maister (neuer without reuerence to be named of the musicians) Master Bird, and Master Alphonso in a vertuous contention in loue betwixt themselues made vpon the plainsong of Miserere, but a contention, as I saide, in loue: which caused them striue euerie one to surmount another, without malice, enuie, or backbiting: but by great labour, studie and paines, ech making other censure of that which they had done. Which contention of theirs (speciallie without enuie) caused them both become excellent in that kind, and winne such a name, and gaine such credite, as wil neuer perish so long as Musicke endureth. Therefore, there is no waie readier to cause you become perfect, then to contend with some one or other, not in malice (for so is your contention vppon passion, not for loue of vertue) but in loue, shewing your aduersarie your worke, and not skorning to bee corrected of him, and to amende your fault if hee speake with reason: but of this enough. To returne to Master Bird, and Master Alphonso, though either of them made to the number of fortie waies, and could haue made infinite more at their pleasure, yet hath one manne, my friend and fellow Master George Waterhouse, vpon the same plainsong of Miserere, for varietie surpassed all who euer laboured in that kind of studie. For hee hath alreadie made a thousand waies (yea and though I should talke of halfe as manie more, I should not be farre wide of the truth) euerie one different and seuerall from another. But because I doe hope verie shortlie that the same shall bee published for the benefite of the worlde, and his owne perpetuall glorie, I will cease to speake anie more of them, but onlie to admonish you, that who so will be excellent, must both spend much time in practise, and looke ouer the dooings of other men. And as for those who stande so much in opinion of their owne sufficiencie, as in respect of themselues they contemn al other men, I wil leaue them to their foolish opinions: beeing assured that euerie man but of meane discretion, will laugh them to scorne as fooles: imagining that all the guiftes of God should die in themselues, if they shoulde bee taken out of the worlde. And as for foure partes in two, sixe in three, and such like, you may hereafter make them vpon a plainsong, when you shall haue learned to make them without it.
Philomathes. I will then take my leaue of you for this time, till my next leisure, at which time I meane to learne of you that part of musicke which resteth. And now, because I thinke my selfe nothing inferiour in knowledge to my brother, I meane to bring him with me to learne that which he hath not yet heard.
Master. At your pleasure. But I cannot cease to praie you diligentlie to practise, for that onelie is sufficient to make a perfect Musician.