Nürnberg: J. Petreius, 1540.
Small quarto (182 x 137 cm). Modern half mid-tan calf with speckled boards, raised bands on spine in decorative compartments gilt, dark red leather title label gilt, red edges. [i] (title with woodcut device), [xi] ("Epistola," with indices to both books to final leaf), 163, [i] (blank) pp. With numerous musical examples type-set in diamond-head notation, diagrams, and small decorative woodcut initials throughout.
With early signature ("Oswold") to title, additional musical notation and annotation to margin of p. 17, and manuscript presentation inscription to upper margin of blank verso of final leaf.
Uniform light browning; upper and lower margins very slightly trimmed, not at all affecting printed text but just touching signature to title and inscription to final leaf. A very good, crisp copy overall.
The second, expanded edition of the work first printed in 1537. Rare. Davidsson p. 43. Gregory-Bartlett p. 123. Hirsch I, 246 (title in facsimile). Reese no. 38. Wolffheim I, 705 (the 1537 edition). Not in Cortot, Cowden, or Damschroder and Williams. RISM Écrits p. 412 (only 4 copies in the U.S.).
"Designed for the instruction of the boys at the St. Sebaldus school in Nuremberg, where Heyden was the rector, De arte canendi is a clear and comprehensive musical manual, written in question-and-answer form. ... Book I treats of such fundamentals as the gamut, solmization, and note-shapes; Book II deals with mensural notation and the modes. This work reflects the disintegration of the old church-mode system, induced by the demands of polyphony. ... The De arte canendi contains many musical examples from contemporary and earlier composers; one of Ockeghem's two catholica ... is included, and the information Heyden gives about it provides modern scholarship with important clues leading to the correct resolution of the piece." Reese
Heyden's Musica (Ars canendi) (1537) ... "was outstanding for its many examples, drawn, according to the author’s prefatory statement, from the works of the best and most renowned composers – Josquin, Obrecht, La Rue, Isaac, Brumel, Ghiselin – not only as the most useful examples but also as demonstrations of great music. The examples are presented mostly without texts or with incipits only. The treatise De arte canendi, effectively a second edition of Musica (Ars canendi), appeared in 1540; though considerably enlarged it covers similar subjects. There are also more music examples, particularly of the works of Ghiselin and Obrecht, and Senfl is referred to as ‘the chief of all Germany at this time for Music’. Some of the anonymous polyphonic examples may be by Heyden himself." Victor H. Mattfeld in Grove Music Online
Rare Book Hub records only one copy of the present work having come to auction in recent times (Sotheby's London,1966).
An attractive copy of this very rare and important 16th century theoretical work.
Price: $14,500.00 other currencies