Het Derde Musyck Boexken (also known as Danserye) – Tielman Susato (1551)
John Kilpatrick's complete edition.

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clarinet & sax quartet page

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Notes on the edition.

This more-or-less urtext edition has been derived from facsimiles of the original four part books published in 1551, for Superius, Contra Tenor, Tenor & Bassus. It is set in MuseScore, which is free at source, so that anyone can make and edit extracts, to construct suites for quartets, or whatever. These are the are the principles followed.

Numbering of the Pieces: Only the Rondos and Galliards are numbered in the original. The numbering here follows an existing established system, disputable though it may be.

The Score: There was no original full-score; this edition combines the part-books to form a score.

Note Values: These are halved throughout (not quartered in 3-time, as is sometimes favoured).

Time Signatures: The original ones are retained, with C is implemented as 4/4, as 2/2, C3 is as 6/4, and ₵3 as 3/2. The time signature of a cut circle used in the Galliards is implemented as 6/4 (presumably it was used instead of C3 as a chosen indicator of the distinctive galliard rhythm "step-step-step-leap—step"). In the original all the Galliards commenced with a rest, which might have been intended as a qualifier to the rare cut-circle time signature; whether or not this was the intention, the result was that all phrases became misplaced by one beat, and in this edition (as in others) the offending opening rests have been relocated to the ends of their phrases.

Barring: There is no barring in the original except for repeats and end-bars. In this edition the barring matches the implemented times as given above. Pieces start on the bar, not the half-bar, as defined by the dance patterns, regardless of the later Baroque conceit. Pick-up bars are, of course, present where required. Bar numbers are added for general convenience.

Repeats: Both repeat bars and segni were used, sometimes inconsistently across the part-books. They are mirrored in this edition, a majority approach being applied where necessary. In the original there are no 1st- and 2nd-time bars, but these have reluctantly been added where it seems necessary to achieve mathematical consistency. A departure from consistency has been deliberately retained in no.42 bar 17: the rest should not be included in the repeat. 

Accidentals: Original accidentals were sparse, and are shown in front of the notes to which they apply. Editorial accidentals are added above the staff, and are present principally for playback purposes: they range from the essential to the disputable - there are no right answers here.

Clefs & Pitch: The original clefs are retained, though in modern character form. The various clefs found in the part-books arise because the printing method demanded the minimum of overrun into ledger lines. As the pieces were intended for any consort of instruments, there is no single correct playing pitch: transpositions of a fourth, firth, or octave must be adopted to suit circumstances. This is not difficult in MuseScore.

In two of the pieces (6 & 41) no suitable clef was available for printing the bass part, so it was represented a fourth high. This is implemented by having a visible but silent part set in Voice 2 and an invisible but sounding part set in Voice 2, together on the bass staff.

Text and Spelling: Presentation and spelling are quite erratic across the part-books (example: Gaillarde / Galliarde / Gallarde). Random choices are included in this edition, to preserve the flavour.

Other Discrepancies: There are no major discrepancies across the original part-books, just minor ones such as a dotted note in one part and a note+rest in another. These discrepancies are mostly carried over into this edition, as they are easily seen and can be corrected to taste.

Playback in MuseScore: All the pieces play back as midi clarinets, without any attempt at expression or other refinements. It is possible to play back the whole collection from beginning to end, with 3-second gaps between pieces, but in real life playing more than a few at a time can be tedious.