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The Fingering of keyboard music with figures 1 to 5 for each hand, 1 standing for the thumb, a system in general use throughout the world today. The term was used in Britain in the 19th century in contrast to so-called English fingering (not, however, exclusively English), which provided for four fingers (marked 1 to 4) and a thumb (marked +)....

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The Fingering of keyboard music with figures 1 to 4 representing four fingers, and + the thumb, of each hand, a system used in England and elsewhere in the 19th century and now obsolete. The term contrasted with Continental fingering, which provides the figures 1 to 5 for each hand, 1 standing for the thumb, a system in general use throughout the world today....

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L.H  

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Meane  

Owen Jander

[mean, mene] (from Old Fr. moien, or meien: ‘middle’)

English term referring originally to the middle part of a three-voice polyphonic texture. R. Brunne’s Chronical of Wace (c 1630) refers to ‘the clerkes that best couthe synge, wyth treble, mene & burdoun’. In discussions of discant, 15th-century theorists (Leonel Power, Pseudo-Chilston) applied ‘mene’ to the part sounding a 5th or a 3rd above the plainchant. In the Mulliner Book ten compositions by John Redford (d 1547) bear such titles as ‘Lux with a meane’; these are three-part keyboard works in which the middle part is ingeniously passed back and forth between the two hands, the notes being written in black to guide the eye. Morley (A Plaine and Easie Introduction, 1597) used ‘mean’ synonymously with ‘altus’, while Campion (A New Way of Making Fowre Parts in Counter-Point, c 1615) and Playford (A Breefe Introduction to the Skill of Musick, 1654...

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MG  

Article

Peter Williams

A quasi-Latin term derived from pedalis (a part ‘for the feet’) to indicate that a piece of organ music so labelled is played by both hands and feet. The word appears to have arisen as an antithesis to Manualiter and was so used by Schlick (1511). Although it does not indicate a piece played by pedals alone, it does in practice imply one with a developed pedal part. Sometimes composers used it to suggest a large-scale work in several ‘voices’ (e.g. Scheidt's ‘Benedicamus à 6 voc. pleno organo pedaliter’, 1624). However, in the third section of his Clavier-Übung Bach seems to have contrasted manualiter with a phrase such as ‘canto fermo in basso’; but pedaliter itself also appeared in music from his circle, chiefly outside the context of organ chorales and pedal melodies, as for example in the autograph manuscript of bwv535a, and in Buxtehude's C major Praeludium in the ‘Johann Andreas Bach Buch’....

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Primo  

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Article

Peter Williams

(It.: ‘single key’)

A phrase used by composers to instruct the keyboard player of a continuo part to play the bass note(s) alone, without chords above. The phrase seems to occur in music (e.g. Corelli op.5) before it is described in theory books (Heinichen, 1728, Pasquali, Albrechtsberger), where the player is directed to play only those notes, singly (Heinichen) or with their octave (Adlung) or (if long) restruck (C.P.E. Bach etc.). C.P.E. Bach noted that the Italians did not in practice ever play tasto solo. Many composers also gave figures for passages marked tasto solo and in this case the figures may merely indicate the harmony implied or stated above by other instruments; these are either for the continuo player to fill in if necessary or, as in the case of Bach’s cantata bass parts, for the sake of the copyist writing out a part from the full score. To distinguish single notes from those doubled at the octave above or below, C.P.E. Bach applied the phrases ...

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