A.7.1 Transcription of mensural music

When transcribing mensural music, an incipit at the beginning of the piece is useful to indicate the original key and tempo. While today musicians are used to bar lines in order to faster recognize rhythmic patterns, bar lines were not yet invented during the period of mensural music; in fact, the meter often changed after every few notes. As a compromise, bar lines are often printed between the staves rather than on the staves.

global = {
  \set Score.skipBars = ##t

  % incipit
  \once \hide Score.SystemStartBracket
   % Set tight spacing
  \override Score.SpacingSpanner.spacing-increment = #1.0
  \key f \major
  \time 2/2
  \once \override Staff.TimeSignature.style = #'neomensural
  \override Voice.NoteHead.style = #'neomensural
  \override Voice.Rest.style = #'neomensural
  \set Staff.printKeyCancellation = ##f
  \cadenzaOn % turn off bar lines
  \skip 1*10
  \once \override Staff.BarLine.transparent = ##f
  \bar "||"
  \skip 1*1 % need this extra \skip such that clef change comes
            % after bar line
  \bar ""

  % main
  \cadenzaOff % turn bar lines on again
  \once \override Staff.Clef.full-size-change = ##t
  \set Staff.forceClef = ##t
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4
  \override Voice.NoteHead.style = #'default
  \override Voice.Rest.style = #'default

  % Setting printKeyCancellation back to #t must not
  % occur in the first bar after the incipit.  Dto. for forceClef.
  % Therefore, we need an extra \skip.
  \skip 1*1
  \set Staff.printKeyCancellation = ##t
  \set Staff.forceClef = ##f

  \skip 1*7 % the actual music

  % let finis bar go through all staves
  \override Staff.BarLine.transparent = ##f

  % finis bar
  \bar "|."
}

discantusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Discantus  "

    % incipit
    \clef "neomensural-c1"
    c'1. s2   % two bars
    \skip 1*8 % eight bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "treble"
    d'2. d'4 |
    b e' d'2 |
    c'4 e'4.( d'8 c' b |
    a4) b a2 |
    b4.( c'8 d'4) c'4 |
    \once \hide NoteHead c'1 |
    b\breve |
  }
}

discantusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi -- |
  la -- te De -- |
  o, om --
  nis ter -- |
  ra, __ om- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

altusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Altus  "

    % incipit
    \clef "neomensural-c3"
    r1        % one bar
    f1. s2    % two bars
    \skip 1*7 % seven bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "treble"
    r2 g2. e4 fis g | % two bars
    a2 g4 e |
    fis g4.( fis16 e fis4) |
    g1 |
    \once \hide NoteHead g1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

altusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  De -- o, om -- |
  nis ter -- ra, |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

tenorNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor  "

    % incipit
    \clef "neomensural-c4"
    r\longa   % four bars
    r\breve   % two bars
    r1        % one bar
    c'1. s2   % two bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "treble_8"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    r2 d'2. d'4 b e' | % two bars
    \once \hide NoteHead e'1 |
    d'\breve |
  }
}

tenorLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te | % two bars
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

bassusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bassus  "

    % incipit
    \clef "bass"
    r\maxima  % eight bars
    f1. s2    % two bars
    \skip 1*1 % one bar

    % main
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    g2. e4 |
    \once \hide NoteHead e1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

bassusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  % incipit
  IV-

  % main
  Ju -- bi- |
  "..." |
  -us. |
}

\score {
  \new StaffGroup = choirStaff <<
    \new Voice =
      "discantusNotes" << \global \discantusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "discantusLyrics" \lyricsto discantusNotes { \discantusLyrics }
    \new Voice =
      "altusNotes" << \global \altusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "altusLyrics" \lyricsto altusNotes { \altusLyrics }
    \new Voice =
      "tenorNotes" << \global \tenorNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "tenorLyrics" \lyricsto tenorNotes { \tenorLyrics }
    \new Voice =
      "bassusNotes" << \global \bassusNotes >>
    \new Lyrics =
      "bassusLyrics" \lyricsto bassusNotes { \bassusLyrics }
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score

      % no bars in staves
      \hide BarLine

      % incipit should not start with a start delimiter
      \remove "System_start_delimiter_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice

      % no slurs
      \hide Slur

      % The command below can be commented out in
      % short scores, but especially for large scores you
      % will typically yield better line breaking and improve
      % overall spacing if you do not comment the command out.

      \remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


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