LIBER TABULATURE

 

 

The Liber Tabulatura is a manuscript conserved in the Library of the Academy of Sciences of Lithuania in Vilnius. Tablature refers to a specific way to notate music for a particular instrument, in this case, the organ.

 

This manuscript is like a “notebook” of the unknown local organ player of the beginning of the XVIIth century, which allowed him to play the continuo parts in polyphonic music. This kind of material was very common in whole Europe during the transition between prima prattica and seconda prattica.

 

What makes this particular “continuo book” unique is that in many pieces, composed by great composers such as Orlando di Lasso or Leo Hassler, written diminutions are present. Through this manuscript we can have a clear idea not only of what music used to be played in Lithuania and neighbouring territories in the XVIIth century, but also how local performers made musical ornaments and improvised. In the concert program these diminutions are presented and compared with some known schools of diminutions in Europe, such as the Bassano’s, Dalla Casa’s and Rognoni’s. 

 

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