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date: 26 January 2020

Strich (Ger.: ‘stroke’, ‘line’)locked

  • Howard Mayer Brown


(Ger.: ‘stroke’, ‘line’)

In bowing, Aufstrich is up-bow, Niederstrich or Abstrich is down-bow. But a Taktstrich is a bar-line. The Mensurstrich, a line drawn between and not through the staves, has been used in many modern editions of medieval and Renaissance music, beginning with those made by Heinrich Besseler in the 1920s; it was invented to minimize interruptions to the rhythmic flow and to avoid ties for syncopated notes. Most editors prefer to use ordinary bar-lines, but the Mensurstrich continues to find favour with some. Medieval manuscrsipts written in modal notation sometimes include vertical strokes to call the singer's attention to a change of syllable in the text; these are called Silbenstriche. (See F. Ludwig: Repertorium organorum recentioris et motetorum vetustissimi stili, i, Halle, 1910, p.49.) Strich, in the context of ‘Punkt und Strich’ (‘dot and dash’), refers to the Dash used as an articulation mark or accent in music notation.

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