Item #39466 Musice Active Micrologus Andreae Ornitoparchi Ostrofranci Meyningensis, Artium Magistri, Libris Quattuor digestus. Omnibus Musicae studiosis non tam utilis quam necessarius. Andreas ca. 1490-? ORNITHOPARCHUS.
Musice Active Micrologus Andreae Ornitoparchi Ostrofranci Meyningensis, Artium Magistri, Libris Quattuor digestus. Omnibus Musicae studiosis non tam utilis quam necessarius
Musice Active Micrologus Andreae Ornitoparchi Ostrofranci Meyningensis, Artium Magistri, Libris Quattuor digestus. Omnibus Musicae studiosis non tam utilis quam necessarius
Musice Active Micrologus Andreae Ornitoparchi Ostrofranci Meyningensis, Artium Magistri, Libris Quattuor digestus. Omnibus Musicae studiosis non tam utilis quam necessarius
Musice Active Micrologus Andreae Ornitoparchi Ostrofranci Meyningensis, Artium Magistri, Libris Quattuor digestus. Omnibus Musicae studiosis non tam utilis quam necessarius

Musice Active Micrologus Andreae Ornitoparchi Ostrofranci Meyningensis, Artium Magistri, Libris Quattuor digestus. Omnibus Musicae studiosis non tam utilis quam necessarius

[Köln]: [Johann Gymnich], [1533-40].

Small quarto (130 x 148 cm). Full early green vellum, spine with dark red title label gilt with a date of 1540. 1f. (recto title printed in red and black, verso blank), 128 pp. Text in Latin. With numerous woodcut musical examples diagrams, and historiated initials throughout. Errata to verso of final leaf.

Title printed within 4-part decorative woodcut border, the lower piece incorporating 4-line musical staves and woodcut music printed in diamond-head notation for "Orpheus," "Euridice," "Discantus," and "Tenor" flanked by a male and female figure.

With early manuscript annotations to flyleaf noting place, publisher, and date as "Coloniae ... Joh. Gymnicus, Anno 1540 [crossed out, and replaced with "1533" in blue pencil = Köln: Johann Gymnich, 1533]; "Sehr selten" (very rare) in blue pencil to upper outer corner of front pastedown.

Early ownership inscription to head of first page of text: "Monastery Weingartensis 1615" and minor early manuscript additions to H2 and barlines to upper portion of L2.

Binding slightly worn, stained, and abraded; unevenly faded; minor bumping to corners; title label partially lacking; hinges splitting; endpapers worn, soiled and slightly wormed. Slightly browned, a bit heavier to first three leaves; minor dampstaining to several leaves; very occasional soiling, foxing and small stains; title slightly browned and dampstained with minor bleeding to portions printed in red; small holes to several leaves, just touching text; lacking five leaves (A3-6 and M1). Title leaf in facsimile.

Later edition (probably 1533) of the work first published in Leipzig in 1517.

Becker: Systematisch-chronologische Darstellung der musikalischen Literatur, col. 425. Cowden, no. 10 (other editions). Cortot, p. 144 (the 1519 edition). Damschroder and Williams: Music Theory from Zarlino to Schenker, pp. 226-27 (other editions). Davidsson, p. 61. Gregory-Bartlett, p. 201 (another edition). Hirsch I, pp. 164-65 (the 1533 edition). Wolffheim I, 889 (the 1519 edition). RISM Écrit, p. 627 (no copies of the 1533 edition and only one copy of the 1535 edition; no copies of the 1540 edition).

"Ornithoparchus published his treatise Musicae activae micrologus in Leipzig in 1517. ... By the term ‘musica activa’ he meant musica practica as opposed to musica theoretica. In the dedications of the four books of the treatise he showed something of his wide musical experience. The first book, on ‘cantus planus’, is dedicated ‘to the Governours of the State of Lyneburg’ (Dowland’s translation) for the use of the young. The second and fourth books are dedicated to two musicians of the chapel of the Heidelberg court, the Kapellmeister Philipp Surus and the organist Arnolt Schlick. The second book, on musica mensuralis, was written in collaboration with Georg Brack, the second Kapellmeister at Stuttgart, whom he had visited there about 1515. Ornithoparchus’s list of the most excellent musicians (bk. 2, chap. 8) includes Ockeghem, Ghiselin, Alexander Agricola, Obrecht, Josquin, La Rue, Isaac, Finck, Brumel and Lapicida, and among theorists Gaffurius, Jacobus Faber Stapulensis and Tinctoris were considered authorities. In the course of his discussion of musica ficta he extended the Guidonian system by two notes at each end. The fourth book, on counterpoint, follows Schanppecher’s pattern in Wollick’s treatise in distinguishing between improvised counterpoint added to a cantus firmus (‘sortisare’) and the written ‘composition’. Ornithoparchus advised beginners to use a ten-line staff. He sharply criticized practices in sacred music, complaining of the priests’ inadequate musical knowledge and hasty singing, wrong accentuation, incorrect pronunciation, rhythmic waywardness, ‘crying’ and ‘howling’. For psalm singing he advised the reader to study De vero modo psallendi ... written by Michael Muris Galliculus, a member of the Cistercian cloister of Altzelle in Saxony. Ornithoparchus’s treatise was clearly popular, for editions followed in 1517, 1519 and 1521, and editions were published in Cologne (1533 and 1535) with the title De arte cantandi micrologus. It was widely used as a textbook: in 1539 it was used at Kraków University; Angelo da Picitono incorporated whole chapters into his Fior angelico di musica (Venice, 1547), as did Sebastiani in his Bellum musicale (Strasbourg, 1563); and in 1609 Dowland published an English translation (R1973). Both Johann Gottfried Walther and Hawkins knew Ornithoparchus’s work; the latter included a translation of the chapter on sacred music in his General History." Klaus Wolfgang Niemöller in Grove Music Online

"The ... Micrologus ..., a treatise on all the different branches of musical knowledge, received the honour of translation into English at the hands of the eminent lutenist John Dowland (London, 1609: folio). Both the original and the translation are of considerable rarity and interest, the outspoken quaintness of the original losing none of its vigour in the translation. It is from this work that comes the often-quoted passage "The English doe carroll; the French sing; the Spaniards weepe; the Italians which dwell about the coasts of Janua (Genoa?) caper with their voyces; the others barke; but the Germanes (which I am ashamed to utter) doe howle like Wolves." Matthews: The Literature of Music, pp. 38-9.

Item #39466

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