Accords nouveaux

François-Pierre Goy & Andreas Schlegel

Sources which are related to Switzerland (Andreas Schlegel)

I would like to make available online the sources for plucked strings which either have originated in Switzerland, are related to the country, or are preserved there. Naturally this is not always possible, especially when facsimiles oder editions already have been published.

When I am able to present an online facsimile, you will find a link that opens the respective pdf file. To make updating and the provision of additonal information easier, the facsimile and the commentary belonging to it are most often separate files. Please consider the date of each pdf file, and make sure that you always work with the most up-to-date version. I would be delighted to receive feedback, additional information, and corrections, that is: In the interest of all who consult this website I hope for your support!

The booklet coming with the CD Schweizer Lautenmusik – Lautenmusik aus Schweizer Handschriften (Swiss Lute Music – Lute Music from Swiss Manuscripts) from 1990 (currently sold out) contains information on lute music in Switzerland. The text is available in a revised version from 2012 which is updated regularly. In 1988/89 I have studied all of the repertoire known then, and arranged a program which was recorded in 1990 with the soprano Sara Maurer, Roger Harmon on lute and cister, and myself. The booklet text in its most recent version can be opened with this link.

Many of the Swiss sixteenth-century sources are covered by an article on the “Benzenauer” written by Dr. Eberhard Nehlsen and myself. The second part of this article, consisting of a source catalogue, has been published on the website of the university of Freiburg i.Br. and can be opened with this link. The first part has been published in print: Der Benzenauer – Lied, Ton und Tanz (The Benzenauer – Song, Melody Model, and Dance), in: Albrecht Classen, Michael Fischer & Nils Grosch (eds.): Kultur- und kommunikationshistorischer Wandel des Liedes im 16. Jahrhundert, Münster etc. 2012, pp. 187–218 (Populäre Kultur und Musik 3). This link leads to the publisher’s website.

My special thanks go the unversity library Basel, the state archive Bern, the Stiftsbibliothek Disentis and the state archive Graubünden, and the library of the Fundaziun Planta in Samedan for their support and cooperation.

Here follows an overview of the sources with Swiss connections, together with links leading to online facsimiles (when these do exist) with their commentaries, or information about printed facsimiles and editions.




Aarau, Aargauer Kantonsbibliothek (CH-A):

Zurlaubiana AH 70/157

A single sheet, written after c. 1655 in French tablature for 11-course Baroque lute in D-minor tuning (NAO).

Link for the online facsimile with integrated commentary


Basel, Universitätsbibliothek (CH-Bu):

Ms. F IX 23

Written in 1575 in Basel by Ludwig Iselin. German tablature for 6-course lute.

Link for the online facsimile

Link for the online facsimile of the Basel university library

A commentary is in preparation


Ms. F IX 39

written in c. 1575 in German tablature. This is the first part of a manuscript, which originally also comprised what is now NL-At Ms. 207.A.27 (6-course lute).

Link for the online faksimile of the Basel university library

A commentary is in preparation


Ms. F IX 53

Written c. 1620-45 (pieces in Accords Nouveaux c. 1624-34) in French tablature for 10- to 11-course lute.

Link for the online facsimile

Link for the online facsimile of the UB Basel university library

A commentary, primarily on the pieces in Accords Nouveaux, can be found on the pages I:58-65 in the thesis by F.-P. Goy


Ms. F IX 56

Written in French tablature by Bonifacius Amerbach from Basel during his studies in Avignon and Lyon between 1522 and 1525.

Link for the online facsimile and the commentary

Link for the online facsimile of the Basel university library


Ms. F IX 70

Following John Kmetz (Katalog der Musikhandschriften des 16. Jahrhunderts. Quellenkritische und historische Untersuchung, Basel 1988, p. 206 f.) this manuscript in German tablature was written betweeen 1591 and 1594 by Emanuel Wurstisen of Basel for 6-, 7-, 8- and 9-course lute. Based on concordances to other sources, Ralf Jarchow suggests later additions. From 1613 until his death in 1619 Wurstisen was town doctor in Biel, and it is possible that he knew Jacob Murer (see CH-SO DA 111, ms. appendix).

This very large manuscript is divided in eight books. Size and data volume have made it necessary to devide the online facsimiles accordingly into eight books. The inventory and index for the whole manuscript come with each of the books. Concordances are published in a commentary volume.

1 Praeambeln (25 MB)

2 Motets (16.5 MB)

3 Fantasias (22.2 MB)

4 Madrigals (45.7 MB)

5 Passamezzi (102.4 MB)

6 Dances (61.4 MB)

7 Galliards, Chipasse etc. (25.9 MB)

8 Spiritual songs and psalms (27.1 MB)

Link for the online facsimile of the Basel university library

A commentary is in preparation


Ms. F X 11

Written c. 1575 in German tablature for the 6-course lute by Ludwig Iselin of Basel.

Link for the online facsimile

Link for the online facsimile of the Basel university library

A commentary is in preparation


Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz, music department (D-B) 40588 

A manuscript in German tablature, dated 1552 and with the address of a „Salomon Kesler zu Brugg“ on the cover. This book was for a long time kept on castle Wildegg (Aargau/Switzerland). The book cover on which the words “Salomon Kesler (?) || ... [won]hafft zu Brugg || Dem Ersamen vnnd wysen gne||digen [?] Statt Vater [?] zu Kur.” is written, has been removed from the book and is kept with the shelf mark 10327.

Link for the online facsimile of the Staatsbibliothek

A commentary is in preparation


Bern, Staatsarchiv des Kantons Bern (CH-BEa)

Ms. HA Spiez 123 (Herrschaftsarchiv Spiez)

Written probably in Paris in may 1622 for Franz Ludwig von Erlach (patricians of Berne). Music in Accords Nouveaux for 10-course lute.

Link for the online facsimile with integrated commentary


Bern, Burgerbibliothek (CH-BEb)

Ms. Hist.Helv. XLIV 135

A transcription into guitar notation of the music in D-B 40588, written 1848–52.

A commentary is in preparation


Disentis, Stiftsarchiv (CH-D) 

Chronicles of the family Berther

French tablature for 4-course diatonic cittern in French tuning e’ – d’ - g - a on pp. [424–444], begun in 1623.

Link for the online facsimile [pp. 254–273 from Ursus Brunold & Adrian Collenberg: Berther Chronik. Die Selbstwahrnehmung einer Bündner Notabelnfamilie im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert, Chur 2010 (Quellen und Forschungen zur Bündner Geschichte 23). With the friendly support and permission of the publishers].

A commentary is in preparation


Einsiedeln, Kloster Einsiedeln, music library (CH-E)

Chamber music with Mandora

Parthia A-major for 2 Violins, Bass and Mandora (in E) (695,25.1) with edition.

Parthia D-major for Violin, Bass and Mandora (in E) (695,25.2): Mandora part (portrait format) / Strings (landscape format). A commentary and edition are in preparation.

Parthia C-major for Violin, Bass and 2 Mandoras (in D) (695,25.3). A commentary and edition are in preparation


Fribourg, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire (CH-Fcu)

Ms. Cap. Res. 527

A single sheet with Italian tablature for the 6-course lute from the library of Peter Falk, Fribourg (1468–1519), written before 1513/14.

A facsimile of this source together with a commentary has been published in: Martin Kirnbauer & Crawford Young (eds.): Frühe Lautentabulaturen im Faksimile / Early Lute Tablatures in Facsimile, Winterthur: Amadeus 2003, pp. 159–169 (Pratica Musicale 6).


Cologne, Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek (D-KNu)

Ms. 5.P.177

Among the music of this manuscript are pieces by Tauseana (Johann Anton Tausean), who was from 1757 to 1759 music director of the Collegium Musicum in Zofingen (Aargau).

See François-Pierre Goy: Zur Biographie des Lautenisten „Tauseana“ (mit einem Beitrag von Joachim Lüdtke & Andreas Schlegel) in: Lauten-Info 4 (2011), pp. 8–15). Link for the article


Kraków, Biblioteka Jagiellońska (PL-Kj)

Mus. ant. pract. W 510, manuscript appendix to Rudolf Wyssenbach: Ein schön Tabulaturbuch, Zurich 1563

The repertoire written down in this appendix points to Basel. 

We hope to move the library to put an online facsimile on its homepage soon.


Kremsmünster, Benediktinerstift, (A-KR)

Ms. L 81

This manuscript is connected to Johann Sebastian von Hallwyl (1623–1700), a scion of the austrian line of this family, which originated in Switzerland. The ancestral castle Hallwyl stands in Switzerland on the shores of Lake Hallwil (the Hallwilersee, stretching from the southern part of the Aargau towards the canton Lucerne). 

Since the publication of Flotzinger’s study (Rudolf Flotzinger: Die Lautentabulaturen des Stiftes Kremsmünster. Thematischer Katalog, Vienna 1965 [Tabulae Musicae Austriacae 2]) this book is seen as an autograph of Johann Sebastian von Hallwyl. For a number of reasons, this has to be rejected, see Andreas Schlegel: Das so genannte Lautenbuch des Johann Sebastian von Hallwyl, in: Beiträge zur Ausstellung im Schloss 2, Hallwyl 2005, S. 91–102

Our request for an online facsimile has been received by the Benediktinerstift.

A commentary is in preparation


Samedan, Biblioteca Fundaziun Planta (CH-SAM)

Ms. FP/M 1

A manuscript in German tablature for the 6-course lute, written in 1563 probably in Basel. 

Link for the online facsimile

A commentary is in preparation


Ms. FP/M 2

Following Staehelin this bifolio with German tabalture for the 6-course lute was probably written in Munich by the hand of „H D“, who also wrote D-Mbs 1512.

Link for the online facsimile

A commentary is in preparation.


St. Gallen, Kantonsbibliothek Vadiana (CH-SGv)

Manuscript entries into P 3050 (Gorlier’s & Morlaye’s guitar books)

Two intavolated Bicinia by Facciola and Antiquis in German tablature for 6- and 7-course lute, with the seventh course a wholetone below the sixth. The intavolated music was first printed in 1585.

An online facsimile is in preparation


This book comprises the famous four guitar tablatures by Gorlier and Morlaye. These were published in 1980 in facsimile by Editions Chanterelle:

Morlaye, Guillaume: Le Premier Livre de Chansons…, Paris 1552 (Howard Mayer Brown 1552-5) 

Morlaye, Guillaume: Le Second Livre de Chansons…, Paris 1553 (Howard Mayer Brown 1553-4) 

Morlaye, Guillaume: Le Troysieme Livre…, Paris 1551 (Howard Mayer Brown 1551-1) 

Morlaye, Guillaume: Quatriesme Livre…, Paris 1552 (Howard Mayer Brown 1552-6) 

The Bicinia are written onto the pages of an quaternion which is presently bound in in the wrong position. 

A codicological description of the books can be consulted here

The tablature signs used in these pieces can be seen here set onto the appropriate places on an “Lautenkragen”, a schematic representation of the lute’s fingerboard. The notation of the sixth course follows a manner also found in the prints of Hans Judenkünig, and the sign for the seventh course is unique.

The Fuga by Fabricio Facciola (7-course lute)

- the version of CH-SGv VadSlg P 3060 in French tablature

- a synopis in staff notation of the lute version and the Bicinium after the Munich print from 1591 (Gerlach)

The Fantasia by Giovanni Giacomo de Antiquis (6-course lute)

- the version of CH-SGv VadSlg P 3060 in French tablature

- a synopsis in staff notation of the lute version and the Bicinium after the Antwerp print from 1590 (Phalèse & Bellère)


Solothurn, Zentralbibliothek (CH-SO)

DA 111

This book comprises 4 prints by Nicolas Vallet

- Petit discours, s.l., s.d.

- Le Secret des Muses auquel est naivement montré la vraie / maniere de bien et facilement apprendre a jouer du Luth. Amsterdam 1615. 

- Le second Livre de Tablature de Luth intitule / Le Secret des Muses: ect. 1616. 

- Eenen twintich Psalmen Davids / ghestelt om te singhen ende spelen, ’tsamen door N: Vallet.  Amsterdam 1615. 

In addition there is a manuscript appendix written c. 1621 in French tablature for the 10-course lute in Vieil Ton (some of the music was copied from sources which are for an 11-course instrument). 

The addressee of an entry and possibly possessor of the entire book was Jacob Murer (baptized 25 March 1588 in Biel; the last documentation about his life found so far is from Strasbourg in 1650), who was protestant pastor in Biel, Henau, Niederglatt and Herisau, then again in Biel, and worked after 1648 as medical doctor.

The manuscript appendix has been published: Christoph Greuter (ed.): Solothurner Lautentabulatur DA 111, ca. 1614–1620, Winterthur 2009.

Some of the assertions of the editor are discussed in my following publication:

Andreas Schlegel: On Lute Sources and Their Music – Individuality of Prints and Variability of Music, in: Journal of the Lute Society of America 42-43 (2009-2010) © 2011, pp. 91–164.

In this article I also describe the complex matters of printing and arranging several prints into books of Vallet. Differences between the old STIMU-facsimile of Vallet’s prints, and the copies in Solothurn have made me aware these complexities.


Ulm, Stadtbibliothek (D-Us)

Ms. 131b

Manuscript in German tablature for the 6-course lute, dated to 1556. The entry which contains the dating has been read by variantly. Meyer in Christian Meyer Sources manuscrites en tablature. Luth et theorbe (c.1500–c.180. Catalogue descriptif. Volume 2: Bundesrepublik Deutschland (D), Baden-Baden & Bouxwiller 1994 (Collection d’études musicologiques 87), has on p. 296: „Laus deo semper 1556 A° dj 2j Jenner in Vlm per me Matth. Vreck“. Clytus Gottwald: Katalog der Musikalien in der Schermar-Bibliothek Ulm, Ulm 1993 (Veröffentlichungen der Stadtbibliothek Ulm 17), reads on p. 69: „Laus deo semper 1556 Ad 21 Jenner in Bern per me Matthae[um] Gred[ ]“. Paleography does not allow to read „Vlm“.

This source has been published in facsimile: Lautenbuch Ms. Ulm 1556, Stuttgart 1997 (Faksimile-Edition Schermar-Bibliothek Ulm 19).

A commentary is in preparation


Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, nusic department (CH-Zz)

Ms. Q. 907

French tablature in Accords Nouveaux and NAO for 10- and 11-course lute, written possibly in Paris 1640-42.

Link for the online facsimile with a commentary.

Link for the online facsimile of the ZB Zürich (without commentary).




Basel, Universitätsbibliothek (CH-Bu)

1511-3: Sebastian Virdung: Musica getutscht und außgezogen (imperfect)

1562-4: Wolff Heckel: Tenor. Lautten Buch


Bern, Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek (CH-BEsu)

1536-6: Hans Newsidler: Ein Newgeordent Künstlich Lautenbuch


Einsiedeln, Kloster Einsiedeln, music library (CH-E)

1529-1: Martin Agricola: Musica instrumentalis deudsch


formerly Lausanne, private library of Alfred Cortot (CH-Lcortot) 

Following Cortot’s death in 1962 the library was sold little by little. In the following the present locations of items are given if possible.

1536-4: Ottomar Luscinius: Musurgia seu praxis Musicae (a free translation of Virdung)

1542-1: Martin Agricola: Musica instrumentalis deudsch (US-Cn)

1546-6: Francesco da Milano: Intabolatura de lauto […] libro primo

1546-7: Francesco da Milano: Intabolatura de lauto […] libro segondo

1546-10: Giovanni Maria da Crema: Intabolatura de lauto […] libro primo (US-Cn)

1546-13: Marcantonio del Pifaro: Intabolatura de lauto (F-Pn)

1546-15: Antonio Rotta: Intabolatura de lauto (Scotto) (US-Cn)

1548-1: Julio Abondante: Intabolatura de lautto libro secondo (F-Pn)

1549-2: Melchiore de Barberiis: Opera intitolata contina, intabolatura di lauto […] libro decimo (GB-Lbl)

1555-1: Juan Bermudo: Libro llamado declaracion de instrumentos musicales (US-Cn)

1565-5: Tomás de Sancta Maria: Libro llamado arte de tañer fantasia

1581-1: Fabritio Caroso: Il ballarino

1584-5: Vincenzo Galilei: Fronimo (US-Cn)


St. Gallen, Kantonsbibliothek Vadiana (CH-SGv)

1551-1: Simon Gorlier: Le troysieme livre […] de Guiterne

1552-5: Guillaume Morlaye: Le premier livre […] de Guiterne

1552-6: Guillaume Morlaye: Quatriesme livre de Guyterne

1553-4: Guillaume Morlaye: Le second livre de tabulature de guiterre


Zürich, Zentralbibliothek, manuscript department (CH-Zz)

1560-3: Jean Paul Paladin: Premier livre de tablature de luth

1572-1: Bernhart Jobin: Das Erste Büch Newerlessner […] Lautenstück

1573-2: Bernhart Jobin: Das Ander Buch Newerlessner […] Lautenstück

1575-3: Sixt Kargel & Johan Dominco Lais: Toppel Cythar


Zofingen, Stadtbibliothek (CH-ZO)

1536-6: Hans Newsidler: Ein Newgeordent Künstlich Lautenbuch […] Der erst [Teil]


Private library:

151?-1 & 1523-2: Hans Judenkünig: Utilis et compendiaria introductio & Ain schone kunstliche underweisung (both of these books must be dated to 1523!)


Printed in Switzerland:

1511-3: Sebastian Virdung: Musica getutscht und außgezogen (Basel)

1550-4: Rudolf Wyssenbach: Tabulaturbüch uff die Luten (Zürich). This is a reprint in German tablature of music from a book in Italian tablature, which was probably printed in 1546 by Casteliono in Milan (no surviving copy known). A pirate edition of this lost print was published in the same year by Scotto in Venice (1546-8). 

[1552-9]: Hans Jacob Wecker: Discant Lautenbuch (Basel): No surviving copy of this book, to which the Tenor Lautenbuch (1552-10) forms a companion, is known. A large part of the pieces in the lost book can be reconstructed, as many of the duets from Wecker’s double publication where later reprinted bei Wolf Heckel in 1556 and 1562.

1552-10: Hans Jacob Wecker: Tenor Lautenbuch (Basel) (PL-Kj)

1563-10 Rudolf Wyssenbach: Ein schön Tabulaturbuch auff die Lauten (Zürich); the contents are the same as in 1550-4


Connection with Swiss repertoires:

1556-5: Wolf Heckel: Discant Lautten Buch

1562-3: Wolf Heckel: Discant. Lautten Buch

1556-6: Wolf Heckel: Tenor Lautten Buch Provenienz: Appenzell und Luzern

1562-4: Wolf Heckel: Tenor. Lautten Buch


The fate of the following book remains unknown:

Widenhuber, before 1548:

It is only known through Conrad Gesner: Pandectarvm sive Partitionum uniuersalium Conradi Gesneri Tigurini, medice philosophiae professoris, libri XXI. Zurich (Christophorus Froschouerus) 1548, the second part of Gesners Bibliotheca Vniversalis. Gesner writes in the Liber VII De Musica, on fol. 85 v of the Titulus VII De Musicis instrumentis, ijs qui eorum usu claruerunt, left column among the Cantiones Germanicae: “Tabulaturae liber ad testudinem secundum Tonos, perquam artificiosus, in gratiam tyronum, per incomparabilem in hac arte uirum Ioannem Vuidenhouberum Sangallensem compositus.”