Oakeley, Sir Herbert (Stanley)

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(c) The 3rd.

The turn. All French Baroque sources use the same sign for a four-note ornament, starting from the upper and involving a lower auxiliary, with the exception of Chambonnières (1670), whose turn involves two lower auxiliaries (but no upper auxiliary) and a point d'arrêt. It is variously called double cadence (Chambonnières), double cadence sans tremblement (d'Anglebert) and doublé (Rameau, 1724); Hotteterre's (2/1715) and Corrette's (H1758) turn, the tour de gosier, is applied after the main note.

The compound trill. A trill involving both upper and lower auxiliaries is called cadence, though the variation in interpretation is great. In d'Anglebert's case the direction from which his cadence is approached is evident from the orthography of the symbols, starting on either the upper or the lower auxiliary. Despite its name Rameau's double cadence does not imply longer repercussions: it is in fact identical with d'Anglebert's tremblement et pincé in being a standard trill terminated by a lower auxiliary turn. Compared to Rameau's, d'Anglebert's double cadence is a complicated affair, comprising both a turn and a compound trill.

Filling in a tierce. Filling in the interval of a 3rd is as inviting as it is convenient. Both outer main notes of the three-note ornament should be held, with a slight dwelling on the first and with the passing note released as soon as possible. Though the coulé is usually marked with a stroke through both notes, d'Anglebert's use of curves reveals a sophisticated approach (see fig.2): the horizontal curve, his coulé sur deux notes de suite, links two consecutive notes a 3rd (or more) apart, while the vertical curve, his coulé sur une tierce, is placed before or after the interval, respectively, for an ascending or descending ornament; the latter corresponds to Rousseau's (H1687, p.95) cheute. Hotteterre's straight line linking two consecutive notes a 3rd apart is the same ornament, but labelled port de voix double. Many composers, however, used notes perdues (small notes) to indicate the ornament. D'Anglebert has a four-note version of the ornament, starting on the lower auxiliary of the upper main note of a 3rd (double cheute sur une tierce) or on a single note (double cheute à une note).

Ornaments, §7(ii): French Baroque: The agréments

(d) Larger intervals.

D'Anglebert's juxtaposition of a turn with a compound trill (double cadence) involves multiple auxiliaries, resulting in an ornament that spans the interval of a 4th. Consecutive notes of any interval can be joined to make ‘une grande liaison dans le chant’. This involves either a changing note tucked in just before the second main note (see above §(c), ‘The turn’), or some sort of a run, indicated by small notes and called coulade (Loulié, H1696, p.87).

Chords can be rendered more attractive by breaking them or by inserting acciaccaturas. A vertical curve or wavy line beside a chord or a stroke through the stem indicates harpègement or arpégé. D'Anglebert's use of the stroke – an innovation praised by Saint Lambert (H1702, chap.26, p.55) for ‘encumbering the score less’ – encompasses a refinement indicating upward or downward spreads, corresponding to acute or grave sloping strokes. Though agrément tables explain the arpeggio in terms of what appears to be rhythmic subdivision of notes, an ametrical spread is a more likely interpretation. This is corroborated by depictions of chord spreads in unmeasured keyboard preludes and by Saint Lambert's skewed representation of ‘Harpégez simples’ (ex.44), whereby ‘no perceptible interval appears between the notes which could alter or break the rhythm of the piece’. In contrast to the spreading of densely textured chords, Saint Lambert recommended the rhythmicized arpeggiation of a chain of two-note chords, advice reiterated in his later treatise (H1707, p.62) as ‘a kind of pulsation’ (une espèce de battement). This reflects the encroaching influence of Italian galanteries, as seen in the metrical subdivision of a figured bass realization in triplet rhythm in the Addendum (1724) to Delair's Traité (H1690). The dichotomy of harpègement (a spread chord) and arppegio [sic] (rhythmic figurations) in Corrette's ‘Explication des marques’ at the end of his Pièces de clavecin (1734; ex.45) is a succinct reminder of the continuing querelle about the merits of French versus Italian styles. D'Anglebert called the insertion of small notes within a chord cheute, of which there is a large variety. Saint Lambert's (H1702, p.55) term for this is ‘arpégé figuré’, with the acciaccaturas inserted ‘avec discretion’ but imparting no perceptible rhythmic alteration to the arpeggiation.


8. German Baroque.

Ornamentation in German-speaking regions of Europe during the period 1600–1750 encompasses a number of distinct traditions. Modern interest in the subject has focussed on questions arising in the instrumental works of J.S. Bach, and several relatively late theoretical sources (particularly Quantz, I1752, and C.P.E. Bach, I1753–62) have been regarded as authoritative. But a clearer understanding of Bach's ornamentation and that of the German Baroque as a whole emerges through a broader consideration of surviving music and documentation.

Perhaps because the practice was so widespread and so fundamental to good performance, no single word was used throughout the period for what we call ornamentation. Printz (I1689) discussed a number of ornaments as instances of figurae (figures), but by the 18th century the most common term for ornaments was Manieren. Only gradually, however, was the latter identified with specific melodic decorations. For Bernhard (Ic1649) Manier still had the general sense of ‘good style’; he used the term Kunststück for specific ornaments but also for fermatas and dynamics. All were understood, evidently, as ‘ornaments’ in the classical rhetorical sense that they contributed to the perfection of a performance.

(i) Sources.

(ii) Historical trends.

(iii) The 17th century: vocal ornamentation.

(iv) The 17th century: instrumental ornamentation.

(v) The later 17th and early 18th centuries.

Ornaments, §8: German baroque

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