On Tue, 15 May 2007 18:52:47 -0400, Brad Lehman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>I tried out several Froberger and Frescobaldi toccatas that use some
> >>of each enharmonic pair. I tried the Froberger ricercar in C# minor
> >>(1658, last piece in Schott's volume 1), which *didn't* work: the B#
> >>and E# don't have split keys, and are consequently way out of tune
>for >>their contexts. Also, it was awkward to play one of the left-hand
> >>parts in there where the pinky takes G# on the front half of its key,
> >>and 1 or 2 take the D# up on the top half of *its* key.... Turn that
> >>wrist around in a weird way!
> >You should have tried transposing it up a half step (easy to do at
> >sight; if I can do it, I'm sure you
> >can). Played in D minor (as it was conceived?), regular meantone
> >accommodates all the notes except
> >a-flat (original G natural) below middle c. I suspect it's
> >considerably less awkard to play in the
> >transposed position on that keyboard, besides sounding much better.
>Then, what besides quadruple pique would possess Froberger to notate the
>thing in four sharps? Why would he bother?
Good questions. On second thought, a more likely scenario, especially given the Phrygian nature
of this work, would be that Froberger originally composed it in B minor, later adding extra sharps
and shifting the music up a line. The piece works beautifully in B-minor meantone, with only two
notes, d#' and a#' (as notated, e#' and b#'), deviating from "regular" meantone.
Still, why would he bother to notate it in C# minor? *Perhaps* this composition is evidence that
Froberger had at his disposal a transposing keyboard of the type described by Schlick, which can
be shifted by a whole tone, and of which we have extant examples, both harpsichord and organ.
Such an instrument would be set in meantone, the keyboard would then be shifted upward a
whole tone, and the piece would be played as notated in C# minor, sounding in B minor.
Wildly conjectural, I'll admit, but why should others have all the fun?