universum rei harmonicae concentum absolvunt – The Harpsichord in the 16th century

21/04/2021 ore 13:15, Neuer Konzert Saal, Wien


Lecture-recital: On Performing Josquin’s Chansons on the Clavicytherium

The upcoming 5th centenary of Josquin Desprez’s death prompted me to look for keyboard intabulations of his chansons. Many questions arose not only about their dissemination and function, but also concerning performance practice issues such as the choice of instrument for playing them, its keyboard compass and tuning.
To justify the performance on the clavicytherium I investigated the topic thoroughly, finding evidence that this instrument was in use at the time of Kleber, Sicher and Cavazzoni, since it is mentioned by both Sebastian Virdung (Musica getutscht, 1511) and Martin Agricola (Musica instrumentalis deudsch, 1529).
The paper describes the distinguishing features of the clavicytherium, illustrates the keyboard compass as it appears in Virdung, Agricola and also in Lanfranco da Terenzio (Scintille di musica, 1533), compares the monochord division with the tuning described by Lanfranco, and deals with the so-called musica ficta and Lanfranco’s naming of the keyboard keys.
The second part of the paper places the pieces performed in their historical context and deals with specific aspects of performance practice, such as fingering, articulation and how to make decisions about musica ficta.


“Adieu mes amours” from St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, MS 530 (Fridolin Sicher Tablature) fols. 90v–91r,

“Bergerette Savoyenne” from St. Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, MS 530 (Fridolin Sicher Tablature) fols. 122v–123r,

“Fortuna d’un gran tempo” from Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Ms 40026 (Leonhard Kleber Tablature) fols. 20r–21r,

“Plus ne regres” from London, British Library, K.8.B.8 –Recerchari Motetti Canzoni composti per Marcoantonio di Bologna, Libro primo, Bernardinum Vercelensem, Venezia 1523

“Canzon sopra Falt d’argens” from Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica di Bologna, Shelf mark S.2 -Intavolatvra, cioè Recercari Canzoni, Himni magnificati (sic) composti per Hieronimo de Marcantonio da Bologna, Venezia 1542

Mappa non disponibile

Giorno(i): 21/04/2021
Ora: 13:15 - 14:30

Neuer Konzert Saal
Rennweg 8