The original paper contained five appendixes. As many of these have migrated to other parts of the basse dance project pages, only one is reproduced in its entirety below.
[The original paper included some facsimiles from the Brussels MS, and from the Toulouze Imprint. A picture of the dances Beaulte and M'Amour from the Brussels MS is available on the Basse Dance Project page.]
According to Gafurius and other authors of the time, there are a number of species of note which are commonly used by composers of the time. They are as follows in order of length maxima (used rarely), longa, breve, semibreve and minim. There are also short units of time which are called by a number of names by a number of authors. Each of these notes can be perfect or imperfect. Perfected notes are worth three of the next smaller value, and imperfected notes are worth two of the next smaller value. Perfection dropped out of usage at the end of the Renaissance.
There was a name designated to each relationship between longer note and shorter note. The relationship between maxima and longa is the major mode. the relationship between longa and breve is the minor mode. The relationship between breve and semibreve is the tempus and the relationship between semibreve and minim is the prolation. Thus, as the basse dances are written in perfect tempus and imperfect prolation, they have three semibreves per breve and two minims per semibreve hence six minims per breve.
Perfection could be indicated in a number of ways. First, there was often a sign at the beginning of the piece given the tempus and prolation. Second, there could be a cannon (or rule) instructing the musicians to play the notes in perfect mode, tempus or prolation. Third, if a piece was written in a imperfect mode, tempus or prolation, a note could be perfected by adding a dot of perfection; this notation has survived to this day as our dotted notes which are worth 1.5 times their normal value. Fourth, a sign such as 3 atop 2 could indicate the change of the duration of notes. Finally, a short section of notes could be ``blackened,'' which has approximately the same effect as our modern triplets. Hence, the blackening of the breves in the basse dance may be evidence that they are intended to be played perfected, or else it may simply be a throwback to an earlier black mensural notation (dating from the time of the Ars Nova, a century earlier) or even chant notation which was simpler to print, the white mensural notation being unnecessary for the rhythmically simple basse dance tenor.
The semibreve corresponds to the modern whole note, however, music of that period is normally reduced 2:1 when transcribed into modern notation and then played alla breve (cut time) with the half-note getting the beat. Thus the breve would be transcribed as a whole note, the semibreve as a half note and the minim as a quarter note. Because of the perfection of the breves, they are rendered as dotted whole notes in my settings of the basse dances, and the dances are given in 3/2 time, three half notes (semibreves) per measure or six quarter notes (minims) per measure, where each measure in the music (as opposed to measures in the dance) corresponds to one note of the tenor.
Readers interested in Fifteenth Century musical notation should read Gafurius or any of a number of books about the history of music theory. [There is also a WWW page on White Mensural Notation available.]
[The original paper contained contrapunctal analyses of several settings of the La Spange tenor. As these were never entered electronically and they are fairly easy to recreate, they are not reproduced here. Note that MIDI versions of the first two settings are available on this page for those who are interested in trying that exercise.]
The pieces are as follows:
[The original paper included settings for 10 basse dances. Later versions of settings are available as part of the Basse Dance Project. As it turned out, only one of the competition judges had enough musical background to read the paper. One of the other judges later confessed that the size of this appendix was what swayed his judgement.]
[The original paper included settings of the following tenors:]
Alenchon [This piece, probably my most successful effort to date, was the one performed at the competition.] Avignon, Bayonne, Casulle [Castille] La Nouvelle, Franchoise Nouvelle, La Franchoise, La Rochelle, La Tantaine, M'Amie, and Orleans.
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This file developed and maintained byRussell G. Almond