Structure[ edit ] A page from the Buxheim Organ Book as preserved in Bavarian State Library, Munich In addition to arrangements of secular chansons, dances and songs, it contains about fifty pieces of liturgical character and about thirty preludes, in which rhapsodic-figurative and purely chordal parts alternate. The pieces are mostly two- and three-part, but several are four-part. The research is still at odds with the origins of the Buxheim Organ Book. There are no records of its use, so it can therefore be regarded as a transcript for teaching or illustration purposes.
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Jump to navigation Jump to search Buxheimer Orgelbuch, Cim. Organ tablature is a form of musical notation used by the north German Baroque organ school, although there are also forms of organ tablature from other countries such as Italy , Spain , Poland , and England. The first extant example of keyboard tablature, which was almost certainly for organ, was in the Robertsbridge Codex , from about Although it is English, it is closely related to the later German tablatures.
It reflects the work of Conrad Paumann, a blind organist, lutenist, and composer. An emblematic organ tablature of the early baroque era is the Linzer Orgeltabulatur , compiled between and and containing pieces of mostly non-liturgical character.
The feature of organ tablature that distinguishes it from modern musical notation is the absence of staves , noteheads, and key signatures.
Pitches are denoted by letter names written in script, durations by flags much like modern notation , although in early notations durations were shown using mensural indications,  and octave displacement by octave lines drawn above a letter. There was some variation in the notation of accidentals, but sometimes sharps were specified by the addition of a loop to the end of the letter.
B natural and B flat were represented by h and b respectively. Key signatures are not specified; they are implied by the indicated sharps. In Renaissance works the uppermost melodic line is given in normal mensural notation on a staff, and the tablature given below each note. Repertoire originally written in tablature has been translated into modern notation. However, this translation carries a risk of error. Likewise, an octave line over a series of notes can begin or end ambiguously.
Different solutions are given by different editors, and this is one manifestation of the improvisatory tradition of organ performance of the period. Music in the Age of the Renaissance. Norton and Company, New York, Macy accessed March 15, , grovemusic.
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