The Ranums' Panat Times
Some intriguing patterns:
Laurent Guillo's PAP's and Patricia Ranum's watermarks do not coincide: they are interlaced
This Musing refers to
Laurent Guillo's "Les papiers imprimés
Laurent Guillo doubtlessly can explain the phenomenon I show below in an oversimplified chart that combines some of his findings and some of mine. In fact, I hope that he will focus on these intriguing patterns and make more sense of them than I can.
In the meanwhile, if someone asked me to make sense of this chart, here is how I would reply:
"It looks as if Charpentier ― or the person who went to the stationer's and lugged home heavy bundles of paper for him ― tended to visit one shop or another several times in succession. It also appears that, in a given ream of music paper sold at that shop (or at those shops?), several brands of paper were frequently intermingled yet were printed with the same forme. Or vice versa: several formes were sometimes used to print staves on a single brand of paper.
"Unless the purchaser was preoccupied with watermarks ― as Charpentier may have been ― he might not notice that what appeared to be identical sheets of music paper were actually printed on several brands. On the other hand, he could scarcely fail to notice when a variety of staves were printed on the same paper, which would have resulted in a visibly disparate batch of paper. I therefore conclude that any variety in the staves printed on a given brand of paper and used by Charpentier within a short period of time, would reflect the composer's preferences or immediate needs.
"I base these hypotheses on the fact that printing formes were one-of-a-kind devices, just as a pair of watermark formes were unique devices. Both types of formes had a limited use-life: when they wore out, they had to be replaced by another unique, hand-crafted forme. In other words, each forme (each of Guillo's PAP's) would have been used by a specific print shop until that particular forme was worn out. Thus, for a number of years this forme owned by Printer X more often that not was used to print several different brands of music paper the choice of the paper reflecting either the music-paper seller's desire to make a profit, or else his customers' preferences for size of the sheet or heaviness of the paper.
"That is not to say, of course, that all the papers Charpentier used
were produced by the one single print shop. Indeed, do the areas in the chart
that are marked with dense blue-and-green color-coding reflect the flexibility
and the large stock of materiel at the shop of one large-scale printer?
And do years with scant color-coding represent purchases made at a shop that
used only one brand of paper and that possessed only a few formes?"
Especially intriguing is the fact that, at a given moment, Parisians could purchase a specific brand of paper with staves printed by more than one forme. Does this mean that a paper wholesaler purchased blank paper from a given mill, then sold the paper to several music printers, who in turn used their unique forme to print staves on that paper? I should think not. Rather, the interlaced pattern shown below by blue watermark codes and green PAP numbers suggests to me that a single music printer used several formes and several papers concurrently, and that he intermixed papers and formes. (In fact, the chart below, especially cahiers XXXIII and XXXIV, suggests that the printer sometimes mixed paper brought to him by the Jesuits with paper he had himself purchased.)
I leave confirmation or refutation of all these hypotheses to Laurent Guillo, the specialist on the subject.
A few details about the chart below, which shows how paper and formes interlace in the French and/or Roman series of Charpentier's notebooks. I used color to call attention to the arrival of a new forme that is used for a familiar paper, or of a new paper that is printed with a familiar forme. This color-coding proved inadequate for the task, but I could devise no better way to suggest how papers and printed staves intertwine in the Mélanges over the years.
Only the principal papers are shown: pages or entire cahiers known to have been recopied or reworked have been omitted, lest they blur the broader pattern. Shown in red are watermarks and PAP's that serve as "red flags" because they diverge from the chronological flow. Are they later modifications? I will say more about these red flags in other Musings.
Since most of the papers used after 1688 have hand-drawn (ms, manuscript) staves, for all intents and purposes this chart stops with the early 1690s.
1. This is the central sheet of the cahier, fols. 68-69, and is an integral part of the instrumental mass (H.513).
2. In theory, cahier 8 dates from 1674, but the presence of paper E/83 raises the possibility that Charpentier did not immediately finish copying out the instrumental mass at that time ― indeed, that he did not get around to completing the copy until circa 1677, when he began using paper E/83 routinely. If this is so, he clearly finished cahier 8 prior to December 1680, when he changed the shape of his G-clef.
3. The clefs in this cahier are the type that Charpentier used prior to January 1681. It is therefore surprising to note that this cahier ― it contains works composed for Circé (1675) ― was copied onto paper F/39, which Charpentier used in early 1680 (cahier 28, the famous tenebrae for the Abbaye-aux-Bois, with the same early clefs) and again in 1682 (cahiers XXXIII-XXXIV, with the clefs he began using in December 1680). Recopyings or reworkings do not appear to be involved here. Rather, it appears that small amounts of paper F/39 were purchased on three separate occasions, first in 1675, then in 1680, and again in 1682 ― at which point paper printed with forme 39 disappears from the Mélanges.
4. This is the central folded sheet and clearly was part of the original cahier.
6. In other words, some sheets of Jesuit paper were printed by the shop that used forme PAP-39.
7. How intriguing! Paper L in these three cahiers has manuscript staves, in contrast to cahiers 49 and XLVIII, where that same paper was printed by forme PAP-86. Does this suggest that Charpentier provided blank paper to printer but sometimes ruled it himself? Or did his usual paper shop also sell hand-ruled paper? Be that as it may, we now can be quite sure that cahier "II" is contemporary with cahiers L and LI, that is, it appears to date from late 1686 or early 1687. For more on the dating of cahier "II," see my Musing about the paper in cahier 'II' and a revised dating of La Descente d'Orphée aux enfers.
8. There is another paper in this cahier: a hand-ruled Jesuit paper (†/ms): this provides strong evidence that this cahier dates from the transitional months between Charpentier's departure from the Hôtel de Guise and the beginning of his service to the Jesuits.
9. If we could date even a single work in cahiers 58, 59, and LVIII which contain sheets of this very rare printed Jesuit paper I think we can reliably date the revisions on the same paper that are scattered through the Mélanges.