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On a continuo organ part attributed to Palestrina.

The earliest mention of the use of the organ for liturgical purposes in 16th-century Italian treatises is by Biagio Rossetti (1529). Even though Rossetti's description is not always clear, it seems to suggest that at the time the organist's role was limited to alternatim performances with the choir.(1) The first clear examples of bassus ad organum are found towards the end of the century, in works by composers from a geographical area that encompasses the Veneto and Emilia regions, such as Alessandro Striggio (1587), Giovanni Croce (1594) and Adriano Banchieri (1595).(2) To these we must add Ludovico da Viadana, a musician from the same region, whose Cento concerti ecclesiastici [...] con il basso continuo per sonar nell'organo, although published in 1602, were partly composed around 1596--7 during a short stay in Rome.(3)

As for the foremost Roman polyphonist, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, the first example of the insertion of a basso continuo part in his compositions dates from the first decade of the 17th century.(4) There is evidence, however, that such a practice was already in use in Rome, albeit irregularly, at least as early as 1585.(5) Only the Sistine Chapel, in its role as the pope's official musical chapel, remained faithful to purely vocal performances, thus respecting its well established tradition. Nevertheless, the organ was heard during the vespri segreti (private Vespers) performed in the private apartments of the pope. Jean Lionnet has recently demonstrated that this was surely happening during the reigns of Paul V (1605--21) and Urban VIII (1623--44).(6) According to the documents that are the subject of the present article, this practice should be shifted back to the vespri segreti of Sixtus V (1585--90). Of particular importance in this respect is a basso continuo part attributed to Palestrina: this valuable piece of information has been found in the manuscripts left by Girolamo Chiti (1679--1759), who from 1726 to 1759 held the post of maestro di cappella at the church of S. Giovanni in Laterano, Rome's cathedral church. Let us examine the matter in detail.

At the conclusion of a letter of 25 September 1752, addressed to padre Giambattista Martini, Chiti announced:

Io poi ho trovato un mottetto a 6 del Palestrina per la Pentecoste concertato ... col basso continuo fatto dal medesimo Palestrina che l'e uno spavento: Dum complerentur C.A.A.T.T.B. et organo; questo l'e cosa rara del nostro Archivio, e dicono servito per li vesperi secreti di Nostro Signore Sisto [V.sup.0]. Ne ricevera copia.(7)

I have also found a six-voice motet of Palestrina for the feast of Pentecost, concerted ... with a basso continuo written by Palestrina himself that is frightful: Dum complerentur C.A.A.T.T.B. and organ; this is a rare item from our archive, and they said it was used for the vesperi secreti of our Lord Sixtus V. You will get a copy.

A copy of this motet, in Chiti's handwriting and also dated 25 September 1752, is at present in the Biblioteca Corsiniana in Rome (illus.2).(8) In this manuscript Chiti repeats the assertion that the motet was taken from an original found in the archive of S. Giovanni in Laterano. In the organ part--and specifically at the beginning of the first, second and third systems--Chiti notes:

[f.65v] Basso continuo written by Palestrina

[f.65v] Basso continuo written by Palestrina ... motet for the private Vespers of our Lord [the pope]

[f.66r] Basso continuo written by Palestrina, a rare and noteworthy thing.(9)

By a lucky coincidence, just when I was correcting the proofs of the present article, Eleonora Simi Bonini, who collaborated with other scholars in reorganizing and reclassifying the musical manuscripts of S. Giovanni in Laterano, a task finished about mid-1994, kindly let me know that in the archive of the cathedral she had recently found--undated and in separate parts--a motet that is in all probability the original mentioned by Chiti; she also found a statement in which Chiti states that the performance of this concertato motet took place in 1585, under Sixtus V, on the occasion of the vespri segreti for Pentecost.(10)

At present, however, the original source that is the basis of Chiti's statement has not yet come to light. In fact, as far as the years 1585--90 are concerned, the diaries of the pontifical chapel (Diari sistini) and those of Paolo Alaleone de Branca, the pope's master of ceremonies, mention only the 'first Vespers' publicly held in the Cappella Sistina the day before Pentecost. (Alaleone's diary is not, though, determinant in this matter, since it is almost exclusively focused on official ceremonies.)(11)

As regards the chapel's private service for the pope in the second half of the 16th century, the real situation is not yet completely clear. The Diari sistini show that from at least 1563 the cantori would sing at noon on Easter Day, during or after the pope's meal; similar duties--extended to Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Pentecost, the Feast of St Peter and St Paul, and the anniversary of the election of the pope--are also recorded in the following years, but only sporadically, though they were referred to as a 'usual' practice. We first begin to find mention of the vespri segreti in the Diari sistini of the years 1591 and 1596, under Innocent IX (1591) and Clement VIII (1592--1605): the context suggests that this kind of service, which looks like a natural extension into the afternoon of the duties during the pope's meal, was at that time by no means a novelty.(12) As for the pontificate of Sixtus V, the Diari sistini do not even mention the motets during the pope's meals; also, as we have seen, they were a normal custom. The private Vespers took place four times a year--on Christmas Day, Easter Day, Pentecost and the Feast of St Peter and St Paul--and their systematic performance isrecorded in the Diari sistini only from the beginning of the reign of Paul V. (It is only from 1605, the year in which Paul V was elected, that these diaries begin to be practically complete and exhaustive.) On these feast-days the cantori of the Cappella Sistina, following their participation in morning Mass, would go to the pontifical apartments for the customary performance of 'motets' ('i soliti mottetti' or 'il solito mottetto') during the pope's dinner. After the usual good wishes and 'holy benediction' they remained there until the late afternoon, waiting for the pontifical private Vespers; during this service they sang 'lively motets and short psalms' in a room ('Aula Apostolorum') communicating with the small cappella secreta in which Paul V stayed alone.(13)

This is all we know of the origins of the pontifical private Vespers. In the light of these documents we can only conclude that no evidence has emerged to contradict Chiti's testimony. Independent confirmation is required before we may be certain that this arrangement of Dum complerentur is indeed the earliest known example of basso per l'organo. At any rate, as I shall show below, the bass is stylistically similar to the bassi seguenti written at the end of the 16th century by composers such as Striggio, Victoria and Rogier. The whole of the first part of the motet is shown as ex.1.


Intabulations of vocal polyphony and the first bassi per l'organo

The practice of intabulating polyphonic vocal compositions was widespread in the 16th century. It is logical to assume that the first bassi per l'organo were simply reductions from these tablatures, from which one would take 'whichever voice part in the composition happened at the moment to be the lowest, and therefore the real basis of the harmony'.(14) The bass of ex.1 follows this rule: see especially bars 19, 23, 45, 55, 81. Identical procedures can be found in other sacred compositions dating from the same period.

1 Alessandro Striggio's 40-voice motet Ecce beatam lucem (1587) has an additional voice part whose title refers explicitly to this practice:

Bassone cavato dalle parte piu basse del 40, per sonar in mezzo del circolo con un trombone per sostentamento della armonia per sonarsi con organo, liuto et cimbali o viole.(15)

Bass part taken from the lowest parts of the 40, to be played in the middle of the circle with a trombone, to support the harmony that is to be played by organ, lute and harpsichords or viols.

2 Between 1590 and 1595 Philippe Rogier, the Flemish maestro of the royal chapel of Philip II in Madrid, wrote a three-choir Missa Domine Dominus noster, in which the organ supplies each choir with its own bass part; ex.2 shows the start of the music for the first choir. The work also includes a guion (a leader or general bass), made up of whichever of the three organ parts happens at the moment to be lowest.(16)


3 Similar remarks can be made about the works published by Tomas Luis de Victoria in Madrid in 1600, which include a bass part for the organ. In this respect the passage in ex.3, taken from the twochoir motet Ave Maria gratia plena, is particularly interesting.(17)


The organ and vocal polyphony

In Rome, as well as in Madrid, the first use of the organ in performances of polyphonic vocal music is found in North European cultural circles. Indeed, the records of the Collegio Germanico of S. Apollinare tell us that on 6 January 1585:

Ad Benedictus fuit organum sonatum sed extraordinarie quia aderat M. Victoria cuius Benedictus cantabatur.(18)

At the Benedictus the organ was played, but, by way of exception, because Maestro [Tomas Luis de] Victoria, whose Benedictus was being sung, was present.

Also sung on the same day was:

mottetum pro Deo gratias, quod erat Surge illuminare Hierusalem, 8 vocum Prenestini, in organo.(19)

a motet for the Deo gratias--which was Surge illuminare Hierusalem for eight voices, by Palestrina--on the organ.

In discussing these documents Thomas D. Culley asks what could be the exact meaning of the expression 'motet sung on the organ', and he suggests that it 'may refer to a motet which was sung with a basso continuo part provided by the organ, to one in which one (or more) of the voice parts was doubled by the organ, or to a motet in which one (or more) of the voices was replaced by the organ'.(20) All three hypotheses are perfectly plausible: in the original manuscript of ex.1, for instance, the first tenor is missing in the vocal score, while it appears occasionally in the continuo part, as in bar 66. It is possible to conclude that the organ accompaniment must have been stylistically similar to those found in the intabulations left by Victoria (see ex.3). An arrangement of this type--in which all voices, including the high ones, are doubled by the instrument--leads us automatically to exclude the possibility that singers might have added extemporaneous ornamentations to their parts. This would support indirectly an interesting statement made by the Flemish Andre de Pape in 1581:

Scimus igitur magnos componistas, cum suas compositiones cani iuberent, pueris alapas saepe dedisse, aliosque cantores sine discrimine ubique diminuentes acriter increpuisse. malebant enim cantum ipsum, ut erat scriptum, integrum incorruptumque audire.(21)

We know therefore that the great composers, when they had their works sung, would often slap the choirboys, and would scold bitterly the other singers, without distinction, whenever they used diminutions. They in fact preferred to hear their vocal pieces as written, whole and uncorrupted.

De Pape's assertions do not, of course, apply automatically to the Roman singers, although in the Cappella Sistina the party of the Franco-Flemish cantori was still very strong in 1583, as shown by Giuseppe Baini.(22)


As we can see from ex.1, Palestrina's Dum complerentur uses chiavette (i.e. the bass part in baritone clef, the two tenors in alto clef, etc.). This implies that during the performance the organ part was transposed. Depending on whether the piece was notated with a B[flat] or not, contemporary performance practice prescribed that the transposition occur at the lower 4th or the lower 5th, respectively. Such a rule, which has a rational justification, is consistently applied in the 1608 Venetian edition of Palestrina's Mottetti a cinque voci. Lib. IV. The organ part of all 29 compositions included in this print is already transposed 'for the ease of the organ player'.(23)

In the late 16th century this rule was generally respected, but there were some exceptions. As we can see in ex.2, one of these is Rogier's Missa Domine Dominus noster, which is, as far as I know, the oldest example of a sacred composition in chiavette to have a bass part for the organ already transposed.

Imitative polyphony and continuo

In the continuo parts we have already examined (e.g. ex.2) even the initial subjects of the counterpoint were doubled melodically by the organ. As Peter Williams has remarked, one of the as yet unsolved questions in figured bass playing is 'to know when composers no longer expected continuo players to double themes and answers in a fugal exposition'.(24) However, at least with regard to Italy, we can say that this practice was still alive in 1766, when Giuseppe Paolucci stated:

si puo accompagnare all'unisono la parte [vocale] acuta con la parte dell'organo; e cio a fine di render piu sensibile l'entrata del soggetto, e tal modo di scrivere la parte dell'organo da alcuni vien detto scrivere in chiavette, cioe servirsi di chiavi che non son proprie della parte dell'organo, tanto piu che queste chiavi si suonano molte volte con uno, o con due diti solamente, senza la riempitura dell'accompagnamento intiero.(25)

one can accompany the high [vocal] part with the organ at the unison; and this so that the entrance of the subject will be better heard, and such a way of writing the organ part is called by some 'writing in chiavette', that is using clefs that are not properly used in organ scores, especially since these clefs are often played with only one or two fingers, without the fullness provided by the whole accompaniment.

Such a use of the term chiavette--which to us seems unusual--is confirmed by the Tuscan Giuseppe Becherini in a brief treatise of 1813.(26)

Organs in Rome

A question of some importance for the modern performer is what type of positive organ was used for the vespri segreti that took place in the private pontifical apartments. The answer is definitely not simple, since the only surviving 16th-century positive organ--likely to be of Roman provenance--is that formerly in the Heyer Collection in Cologne, and now in Leipzig in the Musikinstrumenten Museum of the University (illus.3). The old catalogue of the collection dates it c.1530. Even though it bears the arms of the Della Rovere family (a family originally from Savona, famous for having given the church the popes Sixtus IV and Julius II), the fact that it came from 'a convent near Rome' makes it very likely that it is of Roman provenance. This instrument is at 4' pitch, with only three stops, entirely made up of open metal pipes: Principale 4', Ottava 2', Quintadecima 1'.(27) According to Agazzari (1607), when positives of this type were employed in the realization of a continuo part, the 8' pitch could also be provided by a trombone.(28) The range of the keyboard (F--G--A--B[flat] ... c''') is perfectly adequate for the performance of ex.1.

The next oldest surviving positive organ is also built on the classical three-part plan, with its central pipes in the outward shape of a spiral, and is at 8' pitch. Built in 1608 by Armodio Maccioni, a famous organ builder who worked also for the papal court, it was given the following six stops: Principale 8', VIII, XV, XIX, XXII, [Flauto in XII?]. This organ was still in Rome in 1973--4, but its present whereabouts are unknown.(29)

Apart from instruments of this type, in late 16th-century Rome there must also have been numerous organs built in a shape similar to that of a small table.(30) At any rate, the earliest references to such instruments date from the beginning of the next century: a 1608 inventory of instruments from the Filippini oratorio of the Vallicella lists an organ 'in the shape of a small table' is listed.(31) Even though the inventory does not provide further details, we can exclude the possibility that it might refer to a regal because two other 17th-century documents suggest that--at least in Baroque Rome--this description was used to identify organs with flue pipes, which were primarily used as accompanying instruments.

The first document dates from 1617, and discusses an instrument built by Francesco Maria Tibaldi for the chapel of the apostolic palace of the Quirinale, then in its finishing stages. The Quirinale had been the papal residence since the time of Sixtus V. This 'organ in the shape of a small table' had five ranks of pipes made of cypress wood, presumably at 8' pitch: 'Principale ordinario, Principale flauto, Ottava in flauto, Ottava ordinaria, et Quintadecima.'(32) This document is also important because it is one of the few to record a flute stop at pitch together with the Principale, a characteristic that in Rome became standard around the middle of the 18th century, but only in instruments built by J. C. Werle. As is generally known, in the classical Italian organ the flute family traditionally begins from that 'in ottava.'

The second document is dated 1662, and concerns 'an organ in the shape of a small table,' built by Giuseppe Testa for the Pamphili princes, and provided with four stops: 'Principale, Ottava, Quintadecima and Flauto'.(33)

A third type of typically Roman instrument that should be mentioned is the 'positivo ad ala', so called because its pipes are placed in descending order from left to right, thus forming the shape of a wing. This type of organ is described and praised in a treatise of 1652 by Antonio Barcotto;(34) its diffusion is documented only from around 1618--20.(35) There are very few surviving wing-shaped organs. Illus.4 shows an instrument that as late as 1970 was in the showroom of the Roman antique dealer Sangiorgi, but whose present whereabouts are not known.(36)


Concerning the registration preferred for these bassi per l'organo, the earliest Italian sources at our disposal date from the early 17th century: Ludovico da Viadana (1602), Costanzo Antegnati (1608), Claudio Monteverdi (1610) and Ercole Porta (1620). In motets with up to four or five voices the Principale is thought to be sufficient, bearing in mind the fact that the volume can be increased by filling in chords and reinforcing the bass with the pedals as needed. When the number of voices reaches six--as in Palestrina's Dum complerentur--one can also add the Ottava, and sometimes even the Quintadecima. Monteverdi, for instance, prescribed this combination for his Vespri della Beata Vergine. It might also be acceptable to use Principale and Flauto in ottava (or Principale, Ottava and Flauto in ottava), following the registrations recommended by Antegnati 'to play all sort of things and to concertare motets'.(37)

A misattribution

Finally I should point out that, further on in the manuscript that includes Palestrina's Dum complerentur, Girolamo Chiti also listed at a later date a motet, O sacrum convivium, with the following remarks (illus.5):

Mottetto a 5 voci con il basso continuo ad libitum. Cosi ritrovato benche allora non usasse: del Sig. Gio. Pier Luigi da Palestrina. Chitus 16 Agosto 1753.(38)

Five-voice motet with the basso continuo ad libitum. Found [arranged] this way even though this was not usually done in those times; by Sig. Gio. Pier Luigi da Palestrina. Chitus 16 August 1753.

Actually this motet turns out to be not by Palestrina, but by the Spanish composer Cristobal de Morales (c.1500--53), who from 1535 to 1545 was a member of the papal chapel.(39) This basso continuo part presents the same characteristics of that of ex.1.

The manuscript of the Biblioteca Corsiniana is also remarkable for a few compositions--in eight and 12 voices--transcribed by a late 16th-century copyist, which Oscar Mischiati considers valuable evidence of the first appearance of the basso continuo. In this manuscript, only the first choir of these compositions is transcribed in full score: for the second and third choirs only the basso continuo parts are notated, without the text.(40)

(1)Biagio Rossetti, Libellus de rudimentis musices (Verona, 1529), fol. nII. An Italian translation of this passage can be found in E. Pagnuzzi, 'Medioevo e Rinascimento', La musica a Verona (Verona, 1976), pp.115--16. Biagio Rossetti was the organist of the cathedral in Verona.

(2)See F. T. Arnold, The art of accompaniment from a thorough-bass as practised in the XVIIth & XVIIIth centuries (London, 1931), pp.6--7; P. Williams, 'Continuo', New Grove, iv, pp.685--99, esp. pp.685--6.

(3)See what Viadana himself writes in the preface to this work, reproduced in Arnold, The art of accompaniment, p.3.

(4)See, for instance, Palestrina's Mottetti a cinque voci. Lib. IV (Venice: Raverio, 1608).

(5)For a summary of the evidence see G. Dixon, 'The performance of Palestrina: some questions, but fewer answers', in the present issue of Early music. As far as the Cappella Giulia is concerned, however, only in the year 1600 we find we find the first mention of polyphonic compositions (motets) performed with the organ accompaniment: see G. C. Rostirolla, 'La Cappella Giulia in San Pietro negli anni del magistero di Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina', Atti del Convegno di studi palestriniani, ed. F. Luisi (Palestrina, 1977), p.137.

(6)J. Lionnet, 'Performance practice in the papal chapel during the 17th century', Early music, xv (1987), pp.4--5. Lionnet, 'Palestrina e la Cappella pontificia', Atti del II convegno internazionale di studi palestriniani, ed. L. Bianchi and G. Rostirolla (Palestrina, 1991), p.130. Lionnet, 'The Borghese family and music during the first half of the seventeenth century', Music and letters, lxxiv (1993), pp.519--22.

(7)Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, Ms. I.6.34: G. Chiti (Rome, 25 September 1752, 'from the Lateran') to G. B. Martini (Bologna).

(8)Rome, Biblioteca Corsiniana e dell'Accademia dei Lincei, Ms. Musica M.14, ff.65v--67v. An accurate description of the entire manuscript can be found in O. Mischiati, 'Il manoscritto corsiniano dei Ricercari di Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina', Atti del II convegno internazionale di studi palestriniani, pp.177--201. The manuscript, as Mischiati notes (p.182), dates from the second half of the 16th century, with additions in the hand of Girolamo Chiti in the spaces left blank by the original copyist.

(9)'Basso continuo del Palestrina fatto da esso./Basso continuo del Palestrina fatto da esso ... Mottetto per i vesperi segreti di Nostro Signore./Basso continuo del Palestrina, cosa assai rara, e da osservarsi.'

(10)Eleonora Simia Bonini will present her findings at the 'Terzo Convegno internazionale di studi Palestrina e l'Europa', Palestrina, 6--9 October 1994. In 1585 Pentecost fell on 9 June, just a month and a half after the election of Sixtus V. By an odd coincidence, May--June 1585 was the very period in which Palestrina tried--unsuccessfully--to be elected magister of the pontifical chapel.

(11)See Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Fondo Cappella Sistina, Diari sistini, nos.14 (1585) and 16 (1587--91); see also in the same library, Mss. Vat. lat. 12427--12429: Paulus Alaleo de Branca [Diaria, 1582--1621]. It is also worth while remarking that these sources tell us absolutely nothing about Sixtus V's activity on the afternoon of Pentecost 1585, thus not excluding the possibility that the above-mentioned private Vespers could have been performed.

(12)See Diari sistini, esp. nos. 7 (Easter Day 1563: after the meal of Pius IV a motet was sung, 'ut moris est'), 9 (the same on Pentecost 1572, the day on which Gregory XIII was crowned), 10 (Christmas Day 1572: after morning Mass 'cantavimus motettum in prandio Pontificis'; the same in 1573--6, for the other main feasts), 11 (motet on Easter Day 1577), 16 (31 October 1591, the eve of All Saints' Day: Vespers were sung in the 'Cappella secreta' before Innocent IX; a private Vespers for this particular feast was not at all usual, but the explanation for the exception may be that Innocent IX--who had been elected two days before--would not have been officially crowned until 3 November), 19 (1594: 'as usual' a motet was sung during the meal of Clement VIII, at Easter Day and for the Feast of St Peter and St Paul), 20 (Easter Day 1596, pope's private Vespers: 'i Signori Cantori andarono a cantar il mottetto dal Papa, finito [che fu], perche Nostro Signore voleva il Vespro, ne fu dato a desinare in tinello'), 22 (Christmas Day 1600: Vespers in the 'Cappella secreta').

(13)As for the period under Paul V see the articles by Lionnet cited in n.6, as well as the Diari sistini, no.24--40. Concerning Paul V's Vespers, Alaleo de Branca, Diaria, on Christmas Day 1620 reports: 'Post prandium fuerunt cantatae Vesperae privatae in Aula Apostolorum a Cantoribus Cappellae Apostolicae, coctis indutis, et Papa solus stetit intus suam Cappellam privatam' ('After dinner [at noon] the singers of the apostolic chapel, wearing their surplices, sang for the private Vespers in the Apostle's Room, while the pope--alone--was staying in his private chapel').

(14)Arnold, The art of accompaniment, p.6. At any rate, in general we can say that the old Italian keyboard tablature notation did not seek to keep individual parts separate and recognizable, as convincingly demonstrated by A. Silbiger, 'Is the Italian keyboard intavolatura a tablature?', Recercare, iii (1991), pp.81--103.

(15)On this bass part, see M. Schneider, Die Anfange des Basso Continuo (Leipzig, 1918), p.67.

(16)Philippe Rogier: Opera omnia, ed. L. Wagner, ii (American Institute of Musicology, 1976), p.42. The Mass exists also in a two-choir version, here each choir has its own bass part for the organ, to which we must add the general bass (guion). Philippe Rogier (c.1561--96) was maestro of the Royal Chapel of Spain from 1586 to his death. On this subject see Tomas Luis da Victoria: Opera omnia, ed. F. Pedrell, i (Leipzig, 1902), pp.ix--xi.

(17)Victoria: Opera omnia, i, pp.146--52. The original edition bears the title: T. L. da Victoria, Missae, Magnificat, Motecta, Psalmi [...] Haec omnia sunt in hoc libro ad pulsandum in organis (Madrid, 1600). The organ part of the motet we are discussing is usually limited to the first choir; however, in some passages (see ex.3) it condenses also the parts of the second choir. In 1587 Victoria (c.1548--1611) had moved from Rome to Madrid, where he held the post of maestro di cappella in the Monasterio de las Descalzas de Santa Clara; because of his advanced age, from 1603 to his death he was granted his request that his duties be limited to those of organist.

(18)See T. D. Culley, Jesuits and music, i: A study of the musicians connected with the German College in Rome during the 17th century and their activities in Northern Europe (Rome, 1970), p.82 and doc.89.

(19)Culley, Jesuits and music, p.82 and doc.90.

(20)Culley, Jesuits and music, p.84.

(21)Andreas Papius, De consonantiis seu pro diatessaron libri duo (Antwerp, 1581), pp.156--7. Andre de Pape (1552--81) was, in the last years of his brief life, a canon of the collegiate church of St Martin in Liege.

(22)G. Baini, Memorie storico-critiche della vita e delle opere di Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina ..., ii (Rome, 1828), p.189.

(23)'pro pulsatoris organi commoditate'. See P. Barbieri, 'Chiavette and modal transposition in Italian practice (c.1500--1837)', Recercare, iii (1991), pp.39--52.

(24)P. Williams, 'Basso seguente', New Grove.

(25)Giuseppe Paolucci, Arte pratica di contrappunto [...], ii (Venezia, 1766), p.94.

(26)G. Becherini, Cognizioni pratiche della musica (Prato, 1813), chap.13: 'Delle chiavette'. Becherini calls chiavette the clefs, other than F4, used occasionally for a few bars in a thoroughbass staff in order to avoid ledger lines, especially when doubling a solo performed by an upper voice.

(27)See Kleiner Katalog der Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, verfasst von Georg Kinsky: Musikhistorisches Museum von Wilhelm Heyer in Coln (Cologne, 1913), pp.42--3 and table 11 (no.241). Another valuable positive--whose provenance from a hypothetical 'Roman school' of the 16th century is as yet unproven--is that of the Silberne Kapelle of Innsbruck. As for the other small chamber organs owned by Renaissance popes, we have absolutely no details about their stop-lists: at any rate all the organs mentioned at that time were the work of non-Roman organ builders. See R. Lunelli, L'arte organaria del Rinascimento in Roma [...] (Firenze, 1958), pp.5--8.

(28)Agostino Agazzari, Del sonare sopra'l basso con tutti li stromenti e dell'uso loro nel conserto (Siena, 1607), p.3. After saying that wind instruments are rarely used, Agazzari adds that: 'sometimes the trombone in a small group can be used as bass, when there are small organs [playing] at the upper octave: but it must be well and sweetly played' ('tal volta il trombone in picciol conserto, s'adopera per contrabasso, quando sono organetti all'ottava alti, ma che sia ben sonato, e dolce').

(29)My thanks to Domenico Devenuto for the information concerning this organ. Andrea Taiuti, the Roman antique dealer who sold it in 1973--4 to an unknown German institution, has kindly informed me that inside this organ there were very few wooden and metal pipes left; the diatonic keys were in ivory, with arcaded key fronts. All the frontal pipes were still present.

(30)See P. Barbieri, 'Organi "in forma di tavolino" del Seicento romano', Amici dell'organo [di Roma], 2nd series, i (1982), pp.8--11. Instruments of this type remained in use, at least in France, until the end of the 18th century: see Dom Francois Bedos de Celles, L'art du facteur d'orgues, iv (Paris, 1778), pl.lxxxvi--xci, and pp.558--62. Arnaldo Morelli recently informed me that an interesting organ of this type is currently in the Museum of Musical Instruments of the Akademie fur Musik in Basel.

(31)See A. Morelli, Il tempio armonico: musica nell'Oratorio dei Filippini in Roma (1575--1705) (Laaber, 1991), pp.103, 181.

(32)Barbieri, 'Organi "in forma di tavolino"', pp.9--10.

(33)Barbieri, 'Organi "in forma di tavolino"', pp.10--11.

(34)See R. Lunelli, 'Un trattato di Antonio Barcotto colma le lacune dell'Arte organica', Collectanea historiae musicae, i (Florence, 1953), pp.135--55; esp. p.152.

(35)On this topic see: R. Giorgetti, 'Alla scoperta di un raro organo ad ala', Strumenti e musica, xl (Jul--Aug 1988), pp.48--9; R. Giorgetti and M. Valentini, 'Organi ad ala in Umbria', Strumenti e musica, xliii (Sep 1991), pp.26--30. In this article is mentioned an organ of this type, built by Armodio Maccioni around 1618--20 and now in Perugia.

(36)See G. Lizzani, Il mobile romano (Milan, 1970), (pp.xx, xxviii). In 1965 this organ was seen, at the establishment of the same antique dealer, by F. Luccichenti, 'Gli Alari, organari in Roma', Amici dell'organo di Roma, 2nd series, iii (1984), pp.54--62, esp. p.60 (n.9).

(37)This information comes from A. Morelli, '"Alcuni avvertimenti da farsi, et altri da fugirsi nel suonare l'organo sopra la parte". La prassi del basso continuo all'organo nel XVII secolo', Il flauto dolce, x--xi (1984), p.18. A revised and enlarged version of this article will be published, in English, in Basler Jahrbuch, xviii (1994).

(38)Rome, Biblioteca Corsiniana e dell'Accademia dei Lincei, Ms. Musica M.14, ff.108r--109v.

(39)See Mischiati, 'Il manoscritto corsiniano', p.192; Cristobal de Morales: Opera omnia, ed. H. Angles, ii (Barcelona, 1953), pp.115--21.

(40)Mischiati, 'Il manoscritto corsiniano', p.180.
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Title Annotation:Palestrina Quatercentenary
Author:Barbieri, Patrizio
Publication:Early Music
Date:Nov 1, 1994
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