The arrangements of motets in Wurstisen lute book. More about the process of intabulation

Yavor Genov

Wurstisen Lute Book contains intabulations of four Latin motets among its enormous number of pieces. The first three bear the authorship of Orlando di Lasso, while the last one is a barely known piece of music. Before focusing on the musical content and the process of arranging the vocal models to lute pieces, I find it necessary to focus my attention on the outstanding musical figure of Orlando di Lasso and the influence of his music on the lute repertory in the second half of the 16th century. Another crucial topic that needs to be discussed is the problem of musica ficta, its guidelines and positions among some prominent modern musicologists. This preliminary data leads to the core part of the study – the motets of Lasso, intabulated for lute and written down by Wurstisen. It has become clear that these particular arrangements were first published by Melchior Neusidler in his Italian print of 1566, only four years after their original appearance, and were reprinted later in 1571 by Pierre Phalese. The analysis sheds light on the questions of how the intabulations were compiled, which rules were preferable, how the ornamentation and passages were used, and whether any word-painting was involved. The examination supports the notion of the special influence which the two Bavarian-based masters Lasso and Neusidler had on Wurstisen. A further examination of this manuscript has the potential of revealing more about it.

The arrangements of motets in Wurstisen lute book. More about the process of intabulation [2019]

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