Accords nouveaux

François-Pierre Goy & Andreas Schlegel

It is interesting to note that some pieces in the lute repertoire with titles like Judentanz require the lute be tuned in scordaturas, which point to the five-course lute.

The Judentanz of Hans Newsidler, Das Ander Buch, Nuremberg 1544, R iiij v – S j v

The tuning instructions are somewhat unclear:

“ziech Erstlich den Mitlern Brumer und die klein saitten/ die Newen dem mitl Brumer stet/ der zieffer fürn/ gleich als da 4. und den klein Brumer. Muß gleich lautten/ wie der mitl Brumer wie vor gemelt der mitl Brumer unn die saiten dar Newen/ unn der klein Brumer müssen all drey ein gleiche stimm haben/ und der zieffer viere als da 4 gleich lautten/ unn die Ebrer quint saitten muß man dem t gleich ziehen/ so ist der zug recht.“

(First tune the middle hummer and the small string at the side of the middle hummer to the cipher four and the small hummer. It must sound at the same pitch as the middle hummer, as said before the middle hummer and the string at the side of this, and the small hummer, they all must have the same voice, and sound the same as the cipher 4, and the upper [?] fifth string has to be tuned to the t, so the tuning is right.)

Comments: 4 and t relate to the German tablature system. 4 stands for the open second course, and t for the second course, fourth fret.

Newidler’s instructions have been interpreted differently by Podolski and Apel. The tanscriptions which can be seen in this PDF are based on their respective interpretations.

 

Version following Michel Podolski: Le Juden tantz. Analyse et transcription, in: Revue Belge de Musicologie 17 (1963) pp. 29–38. The transcription in this tuning is printed in the upper systems of the PDF above:

Quintsaiten: First course, normally a1 = a1

Second course, normally e1 = e1

Third course, normally b = b

Klein Brumer: fourth course, normally g = e/g sharp

Mitl Brumer, fifth course, normally d = e

Groß Brumer, sixth course, normally A = not used here

 

Version following Willi Apel: Die Notation der polyphonen Musik 900–1600, Leipzig 1962, 31982, pp. 84–87 (originally: The Notation of Polyphonic Music, Cambridge/Mass. 1942, 41949, pp. 78–81). Apel assumes a tuning in G and thus arrives at actual pitches which are a whole tone lower than given here:

Quintsaiten: First course, normally a1 = g1 sharp

second course, normally e1 = e1

Third course, normally b = b

Klein Brumer, normally g = e

Mitl Brumer, normally d = e

Groß Brumer, normally A = not used here

 

The interpretation which results in a split fourth course (Podolski) seems logical and the result can be compared to the tuning for the Juden Tantz of Heckel (called “Leyrer zug”, i.e. the Hurdy Gurdy player’s tuning), although Heckel’s description of the tuning reads differently (see below).

 

Heckel describes the “Leyerer zug” on p. 168 of the Tenor. Lautten Buch from 1562 with the following words:

“Nemmlich der groß Bumhart sol der mittel seyten gleich gezogn werden / Der mittel Bumhart sol der gesang seyten gleich gezogen werden / und der kleyn Bumhart soll dem t auf der gesang seyten gleich gezogen werden / so steht sie recht.” (That is to say that the sixth course shall be tuned to third course, the fifth course shall be tuned to the second course, and the fourth course shall be tuned to the t on the second course, so it [the lute] ist tuned well.)

 

First course, normally a1 = a1

Gesang Seyte: second course, normally e1 = e1

Mittel Seyte: third course, normally b = b

Kleyn Bumhart: fourth course, normally g = g sharp

Mittel Bumhart: fifth course, normally d = e

Groß Bumhart: sixth course, normally A = B

 

With the exception of the split forth course this corresponds to what Podolski suggests as the scordatura resulting from Newsidler’s instruction.

Heckel uses this tuning for the Juden Tantz, the Kochelspeger Tantz, and the Schweitzer Tanz der sibentaler genandt … von Urban Weiß.