Editing Early Keyboard Music: The Role of the Scribe in the Transmission of Music by Peter Philips (1560/61–1628)

Smith, David J. (2013) Editing Early Keyboard Music: The Role of the Scribe in the Transmission of Music by Peter Philips (1560/61–1628). In: Early Music Editing: Principles, Historiography, Future Directions. Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, pp. 141-169. ISBN 9782503551517

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There are no autograph manuscripts by Peter Philips (1560/61-1628), so the editor of his keyboard music relies on sources copied by scribes in the early seventeenth century, about a decade after it was composed. This paper will address a number of interrelated questions with specific reference to editorial decisions taken in the process of editing his keyboard music for Musica Britannica, but the issues involved have a wider significance. How should we interpret written sources? How consistent are their notational conventions? Does the use of keyboard tablature by some scribes affect their copying? Is it possible to uncover the composer's original intentions, or is such a notion a 21st -century anachronism? Did scribes sometimes assume a compositional role? Did they interpret their copy-texts in the light of their own performance practice, or adapt the music to conform to current fashion in keyboard music? Were scribes all copying out keyboard music for the same reason, and if not, how does their motivation affect the reliability of their texts? The answers to these questions have an impact on our editorial approach to early keyboard music: does it make sense to conflate sources when editing this repertoire, or is it better to select one ‘best’ text?

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: History, Songs, Musicology, Editing, Music publishing
Subjects: V300 History by topic
W300 Music
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 03 May 2019 11:44
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 19:16
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/39180

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