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. Musicians today are used to bar lines, but these were not known during the period of mensural music. As a compromise, bar lines are often printed between the staves, a layout style called mensurstriche layout.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% A short excerpt from the Jubilate Deo by Orlande de Lassus
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

global = {
  \set Score.skipBars = ##t
  \key g \major
  \time 4/4

  % the actual music
  \skip 1*8

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

  % finis bar
  \bar "|."
}

discantusIncipit = {
  \clef "neomensural-c1"
  \key f \major
  \time 2/2
  c''1.
}

discantusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \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 {
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te De -- o,
  om -- nis ter -- ra, __ om-
  "..."
  -us.
}

altusIncipit = {
  \clef "neomensural-c3"
  \key f \major
  \time 2/2
  r1 f'1.
}

altusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c'' {
    \clef "treble"
    r2 g2. e4 fis g |
    a2 g4 e |
    fis g4.( fis16 e fis4) |
    g1 |
    \once \hide NoteHead
    g1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

altusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te
  De -- o, om -- nis ter -- ra,
  "..."
  -us.
}

tenorIncipit = {
  \clef "neomensural-c4"
  \key f \major
  \time 2/2
  r\longa
  r\breve
  r1 c'1.
}

tenorNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "treble_8"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    % two measures
    r2 d'2. d'4 b e' |
    \once \hide NoteHead
    e'1 |
    d'\breve |
  }
}

tenorLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi -- la -- te
  "..."
  -us.
}

bassusIncipit = {
  \clef "mensural-f"
  \key f \major
  \time 2/2
  r\maxima
  f1.
}

bassusNotes = {
  \transpose c' c' {
    \clef "bass"
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    R1 |
    g2. e4 |
    \once \hide NoteHead
    e1 |
    g\breve |
  }
}

bassusLyrics = \lyricmode {
  Ju -- bi-
  "..."
  -us.
}

\score {
  <<
    \new StaffGroup = choirStaff <<
      \new Voice = "discantusNotes" <<
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Discantus"
        \incipit \discantusIncipit
        \global
        \discantusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto discantusNotes { \discantusLyrics }
      \new Voice = "altusNotes" <<
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Altus"
        \global
        \incipit \altusIncipit
        \altusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto altusNotes { \altusLyrics }
      \new Voice = "tenorNotes" <<
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Tenor"
        \global
        \incipit \tenorIncipit
        \tenorNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto tenorNotes { \tenorLyrics }
      \new Voice = "bassusNotes" <<
        \set Staff.instrumentName = #"Bassus"
        \global
        \incipit \bassusIncipit
        \bassusNotes
      >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto bassusNotes { \bassusLyrics }
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    \context {
      \Score
      %% no bar lines in staves or lyrics
      \hide BarLine
    }
    %% the next two instructions keep the lyrics between the bar lines
    \context {
      \Lyrics
      \consists "Bar_engraver"
      \consists "Separating_line_group_engraver"
    }
    \context {
      \Voice
      %% no slurs
      \hide Slur
      %% Comment in the below "\remove" command to allow line
      %% breaking also at those bar lines where a note overlaps
      %% into the next measure.  The command is commented out in this
      %% short example score, but especially for large scores, you
      %% will typically yield better line breaking and thus improve
      %% overall spacing if you comment in the following command.
      %%\remove "Forbid_line_break_engraver"
    }
    indent = 6\cm
    incipit-width = 4\cm
  }
}

[image of music]


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