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Panat Times

Volume 1, redone Dec. 2014


Volume 1


Orest's Pages

Patricia's Musings



Musical Rhetoric

Transcribed Sources


Discovered at the Lilly Library: manuscript "XLI," an autograph theoretical work by Marc-Antoine Charpentier (late 1698)

Part III: Marc-Antoine Charpentier as a drafter of composition manuals

The fact that the Lilly manuscript is in Marc-Antoine Charpentier's hand does not prove that he was the author of the text. Could the little treatise be his copy of someone else's work? This question must be addressed, because although Loulié's and Brossard's joint attribution reassures us that Charpentier was the author of the Règles de composition and the Augmentations, it does not prove that Charpentier was the author of manuscript "XLI."

To treat the Lilly autograph in isolation would be to wear blinders: the manuscript was not created in a vacuum. It is part of a continuum that stretches from circa 1691 all the way to the fall of 1698. And it seems to be part of a mirror-of-princes pedagogical experiment that began in 1688. For this reason, a comparison of certain aspects of manuscript "XLI" with the same aspects of the Règles and the Augmentations, as copied by Loulié, can conceivably not only demonstrate that Charpentier was the author of the Lilly manuscript, but also shed light on any connection it may have to the Duke of Chartres.

This comparison will be a two-step process:

1) The first step will be to compare the layout of the Règles(32) and the layout of manuscript "XLI." The Augmentations was excluded from this particular exercise, because there is no way to be certain that when Loulié transcribed these excerpts, he was faithful to the layout of the original.

2) The second step takes the form of a brief investigation of the written style and the content in the Règles, the Augmentations, and the Lilly autograph.

The layout of the Règles and the layout of manuscript "XLI"

Let us attempt, then, to investigate whether the layout of manuscript "XLI" is a format with which Charpentier was comfortable; whether he used this format circa 1691 for his personal copy of the Règles; and whether he honed and perfected it over the years, all the way to 1698.

 A layout associated with the Duke of Chartres?

As a corollary to that proposition, let us attempt to determine whether the layout of the Règles reflects the pedagogical imperatives laid down by the preceptor of the Duke of Chartres in 1688. That is to say, the courses of study would consist of sections separated by centered text, followed by clear statements of the principle being presented, and then by some concrete examples. This layout has survived in Loulié's Éléments, published in 1696. (Below is a page from the Éléments; and detail from Loulié's copy of the Règles, fol. 9v. Note the centered headings, the sentence-long statements of rules, and finally the examples. In the right-hand illustration, the light writing at the upper left is one of Loulié's interpolations, added when he was copying out the Augmentations. I would have preferred to show a section from the Règles that is approximately as long as the one from Loulié, but this is the only instance where the examples appear on the same page as the heading and the rules.)

If the possibility of a link to Chartres has any merits, it would suggest that, from start to finish of the Règles, Charpentier adhered to a layout that could be called the "Chartres model."

The layout of the Règles does indeed conform to this model. For example, the heading Pratique de la Sixte is followed by ten sentence-long paragraphs and two staves of examples accompanied by commentary; and in the section called Du Ton et Demy Ton favory du Mode ou de la Cadence, the heading is followed by five brief paragraphs and some examples with commentary.(33) Loulié used the same layout in his Éléments: for example, the heading Dièze, Bémol, Béquarre is followed by seven short paragraphs plus some examples with commentary, and the heading Idée de ce qu'on appelle Mode ou Ton (see the above illustration) is followed by eight brief statements and examples.(34)

In short, in the early 1690s Charpentier and Loulié were using very similar layouts in their manuals for the Duke of Chartres. Having said that, I want to emphasize that it cannot be ruled out that Loulié's copy modifies Charpentier's original layout and brought it closer to his own preferred layout.

There are some significant differences between the two men's manuscripts, as seen in the theoretical manuscripts that Loulié was drafting during the first half of the 1690s. These differences make it difficult to argue that the Règles represents Loulié's notes and Loulié's reactions to Charpentier's work. That is to say, certain elements in Loulié's copy of the Règles simply do no appear in his own manuscripts. Take the heading "Exemples" (or simply "Ex."), which precedes almost all the musical examples in the Règles. The same practice can be observed throughout manuscript "XLI." But that particular heading is not to be found in Loulié's Éléments, nor in the planned "Supplement" to that book,(35) and it only appears in his manuscripts when he wants to distinguish between two examples written on the same staff: "Ex. 1" and "Ex. 2." The omnipresence of this heading in the Règles, and its rarity in Loulié's other manuscripts, suggests that the Règles is a faithful representation of the lost Charpentier original.

Take also the way the different sections in both the Règles and the Lilly autograph conclude with a general "remark," an "observation," or a "recapitulation" of the material just presented, or with a "practical" application of a rule (sections called Pratique can be found in both the Règles and in manuscript "XLI"). This approach is not part of of Loulié's pedagogy: it appears to be pure Charpentier.

Charpentier did not, however, let his approach become frozen in one specific format. For example, there is a stunning difference in the approach he used in the Règles and his approach in manuscript "XLI." In the Règles he singles out the exceptions to the rules he is presenting: on four occasions, the discussion includes a little section called "Exception." There is no trace of this approach in the Lilly autograph of 1698 — nor, for that matter, in the Augmentations for Chartres.

Both the Règles and manuscript "XLI" use a pedagogical device that I have not found in Loulié's manuscripts, and that may harken back to Charpentier's education in a collège. That is, both manuscripts begin and end with a pithy maxim or rule.

For example, the Règles begins with "Four poetic lines it is good to learn by heart," and it ends with a maxim: La pratique fait l'ouvrier, Fabricando fabri fimus ("Practice makes the worker. It is by forging that we become blacksmiths").

In like manner, half-way down folio 1 recto of the Lilly autograph, and indented on each side, is a two-line maxim to which Charpentier returns several times in that manuscript: Tout ce qui choque la diversité est une grande faute en har[mo]nie, "Everything that shocks diversity is a great fault in harmony." What are we to make of the fact that similar passages can be found in the Règles and in the Augmentations? Pour ne pas blesser la diversité qui fait toute l'essence de la musique, "... in order not to wound the diversity that is the very essence of music"; or La seule diversité en fait toute la perfection [de l'harmonie], "Diversity alone makes harmony totally perfect."(36) It is as if Charpentier were reminding the "disciple" to whom this manuscript is addressed about a principal he had learned years earlier. Is the "disciple" the Duke of Chartres?

The Lilly autograph ends with another maxim-like rule: La cadence de quinte est le point dans le discours, "A cadence on the fifth is the equivalent of a period mark in speech." Charpentier had made the same point some five years earlier, in the Augmentations for the Duke of Chartres: Les cadences où la basse monte de quarte ou descend de quinte sont les points de la musique et l'on ne les doit employer qu'aux sens finis, "Cadences where the bass moves up a fourth or descends a fifth are the period marks of music, and they should only be employed at the end of complete thoughts."(37)

This final maxim suggests the intellectual osmosis going on between Loulié and Charpentier — and apparently between Charpentier and the Duke of Chartres. Here, too, it is as if, by placing this maxim at the end of manuscript "XLI," Charpentier was reminding the Duke of the composition lessons of yore. Only a few years earlier, Loulié had included a similar remark about cadences of the Éléments (which, we must not forget, is a record of Chartres musical studies): "The cadence concludes a melody, for melodies are to an air what [rhetorical] periods and other parts are to a speech [discours]; and the conclusion of these melodies ... is sometimes related to the period mark [point], sometimes to the comma, and sometimes to the question mark."(38)

There are some interesting similarities between Charpentier's and Loulié's layouts. Among them are the esthetic judgments squeezed in below the examples. They would seem to a Charpentier device. Judgments of this sort can be found in his comments on Beretta's mass (which at the latest date from circa 1683), they appear in the Règles of circa 1691, and they are used throughout the Lilly autograph.39 In the Règles, they are are not always positioned immediately beneath the example; instead, they sometimes follow the example, and letters refer the reader to the example. This may reflect Charpentier's format, circa 1691, although modest tampering by Loulié cannot be ruled out.
In other words, what might be taken for Loulié's personal esthetic judgments, prove to be Charpentier's typical way of pointing out good or bad practice. By the late 1690s Loulié had adopted this practice: beneath the examples in some of his manuscripts he occasionally marked just that sort of judgment — principally in his drafts of the counterpoint methods that he seems to have intended for the Duke of Chartres.(40) (And what are we to make of the bon, mauvais, ordinairement, rarement, and quelquefois that stud Charles Masson's Nouveau Traité des règles de la composition de la Musique of 1697 — a book whose layout, save for the absence of the heading "Example," is strikingly similar to that of Charpentier's Règles? And what are we to think of the fact that most these aesthetic judgments were eliminated from the second edition, which Masson dedicated in 1705 to the Duke of Chartres, now Duke of Orléans?)

In sum, when Loulié made his copy of Charpentier's Règles, he — who was very familiar with this layout — took pains to capture the appearance and the content of his colleague's manuscript. In fact, as the following illustration shows, in a few instances he placed the explanation of an example on the staves that he had drawn for the musical example itself, just as Charpentier would do in manuscript "XLI."(41)

A comparison of the layout in Loulié’s copy of the Règles and the layout in manuscript "XLI"

De la fausse relation from Charpentier’s Augmentations as copied by Loulié in 1690s; and De la fausse relation in ms "XLI," fol. 2v, late 1698 (Courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana)

Pratique des consonances en abregé, from ms. "XLI", fol. 5r, late 1698
(Courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana)

Note, in the above illustrations, that the title of the treatise is centered, and below it the rule is stated succinctly in a centered block. The musical examples are followed by an explanation (in ms. "XLI" it is copied onto musical staff) Esthetic judgments are tucked in below the examples

 The layout of manuscript "XLI"

Charpentier's layout evolved over the years. By 1698 it had become more schematic, more concise. As the yellow-tinted details in the preceding illlustration show, the string of sentence-long rules that typify his and Loulié's manuscripts of the early-to-mid 1690s, gave way to a succinctly stated rule that occupies only a few lines. The mockup text below shows schematically this evolution in the Chartres-model layout.

mockup of layout

 The title of each section is written in quite large letters and is centered so that it will stand out from the surrounding text. This centered title is immediately followed by a succinct statement of the rule, written in a somewhat smaller hand; the lines of the musical staff double as lined writing paper on which to write the rule. This rule is usually followed by the centered heading Exemple, and below it come one or more musical examples. The left margin contains a brief label that shows the point being demonstrated by the example; and longer remarks are either sandwiched in between the examples or else they follow them, more often than not stretching well into the right margin. Tucked in below many of the examples, and written in a smaller script, are esthetic judgments about the chords and progressions shown in the example itself.

A cluster of "treatises"

Neither manuscript "XLI" nor the Charpentier texts copied by Loulié, are based on the step-by-step pedagogical approach that Loulié employed in his méthodes for viol and recorder.(42) Charpentier's manuscripts advance by subject, and one discussion does not necessarily led to the next. (We shall soon see why.) A Charpentier-like organization by subject did, however, shape one of Loulié's published works, Les Éléments ou Principes. There, each element or principle is separated from its neighbors by a horizontal line. That both men could, when necessary, organize and lay out their texts in a similar way is not surprising: the Éléments reflects their collaboration during the course of study that they jointly prepared for the Duke of Chartres. It likewise reflects the parameters established back in 1688 by the prince's preceptor.

Twice in manuscript "XLI," Charpentier reveals his reasons for choosing this compartmentalized approach. He was not writing a pedagogical method book by which a pupil progresses from the elementary (sic, as in Loulié's Éléments) to the difficult. He was drawing up a cluster of juxtaposed "treatises," traités, each devoted to a specific question: Passez au traité de la fausse relation, Tournez (lower right-hand corner of folio 2 recto); and Tournez pour la suite du traité de la quarte (lower right-hand corner of folio 4 recto). That is to say, each subdivision of the Lilly autograph — with its centered title, its explanations, its examples, and its recapitulations or pratiques — constitutes what Charpentier calls a "traité," a treatise.

The definition of traité in Furetière's Dictionnaire universel (1690) clarifies Charpentier's use of the word: Traitté se dit ... d'un sujet sur lequel on ecrit. Un Cours de Theologie se divise en plusieurs Traittez ... La plus-part des Auteurs divisent leurs Livres en Traittez sur plusieurs matieres, ("Traité denotes a subject on which one writes. A course in theology is divided into several traités ... Most authors subdivide their books into traités on several subjects"). In other words, irrespective of whether a theoretical manuscript was short or book-length, Charpentier organized his presentation in the manner of a "course" or a "book subdivided into treatises."

A sentence in the Règles reveals that that manuscript, too, was made of up "treatises": Je réserve à parler de plusieurs quartes de suite au traité particulier de la quarte, "I won't discuss several consecutive fourths until the separate treatise on fourths."(43) In this way Charpentier himself tells us, across time, that this manuscript too is a collection of "treatises," not a pedagogical method.

How does the content of the treatise-organized manuscript written circa 1691, compare with the treatise-organized content of manuscript "XLI"? It is hazardous to compare a manuscript of some twenty pages with one that has only twelve pages. It is even more hazardous to try to discern the borders between one "treatise" and another. Suffice it to say that if a detailed list of the contents of each manuscript is made, and the items on each list are ticked off one by one, only a few items remain without a check before them — most notably, Fugue, Imitation, and the gamut of the voices in French music. In short, Charpentier organized his materials very differently in 1698, and he did so more concisely; but, in this manuscript at least, he remained focused on the same theoretical materials that he had laid out in the Règles for the Duke of Chartres.

Once one is aware of Charpentier's intentions in the Règles and in manuscript "XLI," the common approach he took in both manuscripts can be readily seen. Separate "treatises" are clustered together, to form a "course," that is, a theoretical expression of interrelated principles. In short, he was not writing for practicing musicians, who were reputed to scoff at musical theory. He was writing for other composers, and/or for people who were interested in musical theory as a science. It is revealing to contrast Charpentier's approach with the approach of the "Supplement" that Loulié was preparing for the Éléments around the same time. After the fact, Loulié was going to break each "part" of the book into "chapters," chapitres, that would make the overall contents "more distinct and less confused."(44) (Was he reacting to Masson's use of this term in his composition treatise, published shortly after the Éléments?)

What preliminary conclusions might we draw from this comparison of the layouts of the Règles and manuscript "XLI"?

First of all, we can now view the Règles through a different perspective: neither it nor manuscript "XLI" are pedagogical works. They are "courses" that state, with scientific conciseness, a body of theoretical knowledge. They are learned works made up of a number of brief "treatises."
More important still, although nearly a decade separates the Règles from manuscript "XLI" — a decade during which Charpentier's way of putting a course of study down on paper presumably evolved — the layouts of the two manuscripts are quite similar. Scholars can rest assured that Loulié reproduced Charpentier's Règles with impressive accuracy. True, Loulié left quite a bit of blank space in his copy of the Règles, but he did that in most of his manuscripts. Charpentier, by contrast, was extremely miserly about paper: he tended to fill every bit of available space in his musical scores; he did the same thing in manuscript "XLI." A highly-respected theorist in his own right, Loulié is to be applauded for having shown such respect for Charpentier's theoretical work.

These similarities in layout are at best circumstantial evidence. Even so, they suggest that the Règles is not an incomplete and disorganized summary of a lost Charpentier manuscript; it is a carefully drafted, and carefully copied, teacher's manual.

To summarize the findings thus far:

 1) The handwriting in manuscript "XLI" is undeniably Marc-Antoine Charpentier's.

2) According to both Loulié and Brossard, who belonged to Charpentier's circle, the Règles were written "by Monsieur Charpentier."

3) The layout of manuscript "XLI" (1698) has much in common with the layout of the Règles (circa 1691).

A crucial question remains to be answered: Does manuscript "XLI" contain the thoughts of Marc-Antoine Charpentier? That is, is he the author of the manuscript, or merely the copyist?

Since both Brossard and Loulié state that Charpentier was the author of the Règles, comparing the style and contents of the Règles with the contents and written style of manuscript "XLI" — and, where feasible, the contents and style of the Augmentations that Charpentier added to the Règles around 1693 — could provide further clarification.

Parallels in the written style and content of the Règles, the Augmentations, and manuscript "XLI"

I believe that I have convincingly demonstrated that the Règles is a faithful copy of Charpentier's thoughts, rather than Loulié's notes. But one more test can be made, to see if there are parallels in the written style and content of the two manuscripts. If I am wrong about the Règles being a faithful copy of a Charpentier original, it will be quickly evident: stylistic traits will diverge noticeably. If, however, a similarity over time emerges in the wording and contents of the Règles, the Augmentations, and manuscript "XLI," it will suggest that the same person wrote all three manuscripts.

My findings demonstrate just that. The rules are stated in a consistent, scientific, learned way that calls to mind scientific or mathematical writings. Over time Charpentier would, however, chose a synonym for an earlier term, or would invert the order of his words.

These findings are presented below, for each page of the Lilly autograph.

Despite the years that separate the three manuscripts, the written style of all three manuscripts proves to be very similar. Especially interesting is the fact that when the Augmentations discusses the same subject as the other two treatises, an evolution in Charpentier's thought or manner of presenting the subject can sometimes be discerned.

Two very different, and quite personal, written styles

First, a more general statement. The overarching style in these three manuscripts is markedly dissimilar from the written styles of theorists who were part of Charpentier's circle and who conceivably could have loaned him their own treatises, or whose books he might have read. I am thinking particularly of Loulié and of Charles Masson. I looked quite carefully at the style and vocabulary in Loulié's and Masson's publications; I also went through the old photocopies of a dozen Loulié manuscripts that I had worked on back in the 1980s. Nowhere did I find a written style that approaches the style of the Règles, the Augmentations, and manuscript "XLI." Just to make sure, I printed out several more of Loulié's manuscripts, chiefly composition rules. Still no similarities in style.

Loulié's style, as contrasted with Charpentier's, is especially interesting. It tells us about the man as much as about the theorist. Throughout the Éléments — and in most of his step-by-step méthodes, Loulié repeatedly referred to the "master" and the "pupil": "the master should ...," "it is good if the pupil ..., "the pupil must ...," and so on, over and over. By contrast, in the Lilly autograph, Charpentier refers once to the "disciple" to whom the manuscript was addressed. Neither there, nor in the Règles and the Augmentations, is there talk about masters and pupils.

The two men address their readers in very different ways. In the Éléments and its "Supplement," and in his counterpoint methods as well, Loulié frequently speaks in the first person: "I place ...," "I put ...," "I am talking here only about ...," "I call it ...," and so forth. In other words, he is explaining how he teaches, step by step. By contrast, Charpentier avoids mentioning himself. He occasionally addresses his reader directly, using the second personal plural, "you" — often in the form of a command: Faites, "Do...;" Esvitez, "Avoid ...," Remarquez, "Notice ..." When not addressing the reader directly, Charpentier conceals his presence, so to speak: he talks of what "one" (on) can or should do: "one can," "one moves to," "one permits," one cannot do," "one can do it," "one does," "if one moved," et cetera. Sometimes he uses the passive voice, which likewise permits him to remain in the background: se pratique, "is practiced ..." Loulié tends to be more blunt: he says il faut: "it is necessary," "must," "must not": "it is necessary to make the pupil practice," "... must not..." "the pupil must ..." Of course Loulié occasionally says on, just as Charpentier sometimes says il faut; still, each man has a clear predilection for one grammatical construction over the other.

I continued this comparison of written styles by examining the style of Charles Masson, whose Nouveau Traité des règles de la composition de la Musique (with its Chartres-model layout) was published only a year after Loulié's Éléments, and who, as a future Musing will suggest, was one of the musical theorists around the Duke of Chartres. Although he sometimes uses "I," Masson does not discuss the master-pupil pair. Nor is he given to frequent il faut's. Rather, he uses a moderate number of passives (se termine, se pratique and so forth), and a great number of on's: on entend, on pourra dire, on y ajoute, on doit, on commence, and so forth. In short, a style that can scarcely be confused with either Charpentier's or Loullé's, even when they are writing about the same subject.
Loulié's manner of speaking, his phrasing, and his choice of words simply are not in the Règles. Just as Charpentier's manner of speaking and choice of words are absent from Loulié's Éléments and his manuscript methods. And the same can be said about Masson. What more eloquent proof does one need that Charpentier wrote the Règles, and that Loulié copied them faithfully, within inserting himself as a middleman?

 Written style and content in the manuscripts attributed to Charpentier

"Pictures are worth a thousand words," they say. As I quite fruitlessly attempted to compare sentences and, without the help of illustrations, to move page by page through manuscript "XLI," the Règles, and the Augmentations, I increasingly appreciated the wisdom of that truism. In fact, I eventually concluded that even if I were to write a thousand words each about of the twelve pages of the Lilly autograph, I would fail to make my point. My readers would drown the verbiage.

I finally concluded that I must show, page by page, the images of the Lilly autograph. That is the only way I can meet the challenge set before me by the Lilly Library — which I repeat here: I am attempting to prove that manuscript "XLI" is an authentic treatise by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, not simply in handwriting but above all in content and wording.

For each page, I present some selected lines from that page in the Lilly autograph; and I compare those lines with statements from the Règles and/or the Augmentations. For each page I also show a thumbnail image of the page. (Click it and you will see the page.) In the quoted lines, stylistic similarities — they occasionally are stated with a slightly different vocabulary — are shown in bold type. Centered headings are italicized. The quotations appear in reverse chronological order: 1698 (manuscript "XLI"); circa 1693 (Augmentations, when that manuscript covers that material); and circa 1691 (Règles). These selected phrases are not, of course, the only instances where the manuscripts say virtually the same thing. Rather, they are intended as guides to how a scholar, by consulting the scans and comparing their content with the Règles and the Augmentations, can continue, on his own, this comparison of content and style over approximately a decade.

There are striking continuities, and I am focusing solely on them here, the better to make my point. But the discontinuities will surely be no less interesting to scholars. Some of them doubtlessly will suggest changes in Charpentier's thought.

Some points to keep in mind as you make these comparisons:

First of all, sometimes the phrases are almost identical across the years, the chief differences being a slightly different choice of words.

Sometimes, on the other hand, phrases diverge to a greater or lesser degree. When they do diverge, it often is because Charpentier was striving for concision in manuscript "XLI." Indeed, he often managed to use only one-quarter or one-half the number of words that he had employed back in the early 1690s to say virtually the same thing. Sometimes, however, it works the other way, and the 1698 version is longer than the earlier one: he apparently felt a need to be more precise on that particular point.

When a point is not mentioned in the Augmentations, it is seems likely that, circa 1693, Charpentier was still satisfied with the wording and the presentation he had used circa 1691, in the Règles. In short, rather than seeing the silence of the Augmentations as a gap, any silence should be viewed as a continuity of thought and expression.

The accent marks and modern spelling in quotations from the Règles and the Augmentations are explained by the fact that I used Cessac's modernized transcriptions; for the Lilly autograph I retained the more archaic forms.

The divergences among these three theoretical works should prove of great interest to Charpentier scholars, and to scholars of musical theory in general. Superimposed upon one another as they are, over the span of roughly a decade, the three manuscripts provide three superimposed sources that call to mind the strata studied by geologists. Thus the Règles is the equivalent of a broad geological substratum laid down circa 1691. Brossard suggests that this substratum is intact. On top of that substratum lies the Augmentations, a veined layer deposited here and there, in pockets, circa 1693. The top stratum is manuscript "XLI," a pristine layer dating from the fall of 1698. When viewed from this perspective, these three strata — these three manuscripts — provide precious evidence about how Charpentier's thought and expression evolved between circa 1690 and the fall of 1698.

Another point of interest for the scholar who compares the two manuscripts: although manuscript "XLI" discusses many of the concepts that Charpentier had set forth almost a decade earlier in his Règles and his Augmentations, it omits some of the earlier materials — for example, the sections on meter, and modes. The absence of these materials probably can be chalked up to the fact that, although those items were a part of the Duke of Chartres's course of study back in the early 1690s, they were not needed by the "disciple" to whom Charpentier was offering the Lilly autograph. Sometimes, however, the Lilly autograph expands upon the content of the Règles and the Augmentations: for example, it concludes with disproportionately long discussions of fugue and imitation, and of the "bad effect" created in French choral music by the awkward distance between the basses and the high voices. Charpentier's unnamed "disciple" clearly had moved on to more complex subjects.

Manuscript "XLI," page by page

Folio 1 recto

1698: Point d’harmonie sans tierce
(see also fol. 6 verso: Faites tierce contre la basse ou entre les parties, autrement point d’harmonie.
Tout ce qui choque la diversité est une grande faute en har[mo]nie.
C’est pourquoy deux quintes de semblable espece de suite sont deffendues.
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Ca. 1693: La tierce ou contre la basse, ou entre les parties en fait toute l’harmonie [de la musique]
La seule diversité en fait toute la perfection, comme l’uniformité en fait tout le fade et le désagrément.
... tierce entre les parties ou contre la basse
Règles, pp. 456, 459 (1988); pp. 490, 494 (2004)

Ca. 1691: Il n’y a point d’harmonie sans tierce, si ce n’est contre la basse il faut que ce soit entre les parties. La quinte seule détermine l’accord, c’est pourquoi il n’en faut jamais faire deux de suite à moins qu’elles ne soient de différente espèce, pour ne pas blesser la diversité qui fait toute l’essence de la musique.
Règles, p. 438 (1988); p. 472 (2004)


Folio 1 verso

En quel sens deux octaves de suite sont deffendues
Le b mol donne inclination à baisser apres luy de demiton.
Le # diesis donne inclination à monter apres luy.
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 

ca. 1693

ca. 1691:
Plusieurs octaves de suite entre les parties ou même contre la basse ne font pas de faute parce qu’elles ne détermine point les accords.
On dit communément qu’après tous les dièses, il faut toujours monter d’un demi-ton, mais c’est parler trop généralement. ... La règle qui enseigne aussi qu’après tous les bémols il faut descendre toujours d’un demi-ton ou d’un ton n’est pas assez général ....
Règles, pp. 438 and 439-40 (1988); pp. 473, 474 (2004)

Folio 2 recto

La sixte majeure veut estre toujours suivie de l’octave, quinte ou tierce.
La sixte mineure veut toujours estre suivie de la quinte ou de la tierce et jamais de l’octave, à moins que ce ne soit pour monter un degré plus haut à la tierce.
On fait de suite tant de sixtes et de tierces qu’on veut parce que les unes estant majeures et les autres mineures, la diversité n’est pas choquée.
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 

ca. 1693:

ca. 1691:
On peut faire plusieurs tierces et plusieurs sixtes de suite par toute sorte de mouvement sans pécher contre la diversité parce qu’elles sont presque toujours de différente espèce.
La sixte majeure se sauve en octave un demi-ton plus haut, en quinte sur la même place ou en descendant d’un ton, ou en tierce un degré ou deux plus bas.
La sixte mineure se sauve en toutes les manières qu’on sauve la majeure, excepté en octave.
Règles, pp. 444, 445 (1988), p. 479 (2004)


Folio 2 verso

De la fausse relation
La fausse relation est l’intervalle du triton ou de la quarte superflue qui se trouve entre une note des parties superieures qu’on vient d’entendre, avec une note des parties inferieures qu’on entend immediatement apres et qui demande du repos.
[This is a very important example, for our understanding of Charpentier the Theorist. The wording of the version of 1693 (for the Duke of Chartres) is closer to the wording of manuscript "XLI" than it is the wording of 1691. In other words, we should view the Augmentations as representing a midway point in Charpentier’s intellectual evolution.]
Ms "XLI," Courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

ca. 1693:
De la fausse relation
La fausse relation est l’intervalle du triton
formé par une note dans une partie supérieure contre une note des parties inférieures ou de la basse même qui vient immédiatement après pour s’y reposer.
Règles, p. 459 (1988); p. 493 (2004)

ca. 1691:
De la fausse relation
La fausse relation se fait quand on vient d’entendre une note dans une partie supérieure qui fait triton contre une note qu’on entend immédiatement après dans une partie inférieure ou dans la basse.
Règles, p. 439 (1988); p. 473 (2004)


Folio 3 recto

Les fausses relations causées par les tons et demi tons favoris non seulement sont permis mais il est encore deffendu de les eviter.
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

ca. 1693:

ca. 1691:
La fausse relation causée par le demi-ton favori d’un mode ou d’une cadence non seulement est permise, mais il est défendu de l’éviter.
Règles, p. 440 (1988); p. 473 (2004)


Folio 3 verso

De la Quarte
Quoy que La Quarte soit une consonance parfaite on la considere quelques fois comme dissonance et quelque fois comme consonance.
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

ca. 1693:
La quarte se considère quelquefois comme consonance et quelquefois comme dissonance.
Règles, p. 450 (1988); p. 484 (2004)

ca. 1691:
La quarte
quoique consonance parfaite se pratique néanmoins comme dissonance. ... Quand la quarte est considérée comme dissonance, elle se lie sur un temps faible, se fait sur un temps fort et se sauve sur un temps faible en descendant d’un degré.
[For the final clause of that sentence, see the first sentence of the 1698 version and the circa 1691 version, on folio 4 recto.]
Règles, p. 450 (1988); p. 484 (2004)


Folio 4 recto

Ces quatre dissonances [9e, 7e, 4e, 2de] se preparent toujours sur un temps foible, se font sur un temps fort, et se sauvent sur un temps foible. ... Ces quatre dissonances se pratiquent encore sur une tenue de basse, se font sur les notes foibles et se sauvent sur les notes fortes en cheminant d’une degré conjoint sur sa consonance la plus proche tant en montant qu’en descendant.
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

ca. 1693:

ca. 1691:
Quand la quarte est considérée comme dissonance, elle se lie pareillement sur un temps faible, se fait sur un temps fort et se sauve sur un temps faible en descendant d’un degré. ... La 9e et la 7e se font sur une tenue de basse sur les temps et notes faibles en cheminant par degrés conjoints, et se sauvent en descendant d’un degré sur leurs plus proches consonances.
Règles p. 453 (1988); p. 487 (2004)


Folio 4 verso

Plusieurs quartes de suite permises entre les parties et contre la basse pourveu qu’entre toutes ces quartes il y en ait quelque une de differente espece.
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

ca. 1693:

ca. 1691:
Deux quartes de suite de semblable espèce ou de différente espèce sont permises contre la basse en non pas davantage.
Règles, p. 451 (1988); p. 485 (2004)


Folio 5 recto

Ne passez point du parfait au parfait par mouvement semblable parce que la diversité y est choquée.
Ne passez point non plus de l’imparfait au parfait par mouvement semblable parce [que] la diversité y est choquée...
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

ca. 1693:

ca. 1691:
Le mouvement semblable ... empêche la diversité que demande la musique. Le mouvement contraire ... contribue merveilleusement à la diversité.
C’est à dire que deux accords parfaits de suite et par même mouvement blesseraient la diversité, et qu’on ne les peut faire que par mouvement contraire. ... C’est à dire que d’un accord imparfait on ne peut passer à un parfait que par mouvement contraire.
Règles, pp. 441, 443 (1988); p. 475 (2004)

Folio 5 verso

La fugue
est la representation du chant à la quarte ou à la quinte au dessus ou au dessous, quelque fois à l’octave et à l’unisson.
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

ca. 1693:

La fugue est l’imitation du chant à la quarte ou à la quinte tant en montant qu’en descendant. ... L’imitation à la quinte ou à la quarte tant en montant qu’en descendant n’en fait pas une des moindres beautés [de la musique].
Règles, p. 460 (1988); pp. 495-96 (2004)

ca. 1691:
Voilà ce qui fait trouver les fugues, et les deux, trois et quatre desseins qui s’accordent en même temps, et qui font toute la beauté de la musique.
Règles, p. 455 (1988); p. 489 (2004)


Folio 6 recto

De l’imitation
L’imitation est la representation d’un petit chant à la seconde, à la tierce ou à l’unisson. L’imitation ne peut se pratiquer qu’à voix pareilles ...
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

ca. 1693:
L’imitation doit être courte et légère. ... La fugue doit être plus longue et plus grave que l’imitation.
Règles, p. 450 (1988); p. 494-95 (2004)

ca. 1691

Folio 6 verso

Faites tierce contre la basse ou entre les parties, autrement point d’harmonie. ...
Ne faites aucune fausse relation qui ne soit causée par les tons ou demi tons favoris de la cadencevous voulez tomber.
Enfin que la diversité ne soit jamais choquée ni effectivement par les accords parfaits de sixte ny par ce qui leur ressemble et vous ferez de la musique parfaite.
Ms "XLI," courtesy Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

ca. 1693:
Grande diversité dans la musique
Tierce entre les parties ou contre la basse.
Point de fausse relation si les tons et demi-tons favoris des cadences qu’on veut faire ne les causent.
La musique ne peut manquer d’être aussi belle que bonne.
Règles, p. 459 (1988); p. 494 (2004)

ca. 1691:


Thus far I have presented the following the evidence about Charpentier’s involvement in manuscript “XLI”:

1) Manuscript “XLI” is undeniably in Charpentier’s hand.

2) The layout of the Règles and the layout of manuscript “XLI” have many points in common; but this offers only circumstantial proof that manuscript “XLI” was authored by Charpentier himself.    

3) Both Loulié and Brossard assert that the Règles was written by Marc-Antoine Charpentier: par Mr Charpentier, “by Monsieur Charpentier.” Both sources are very reliable.

4) The Règles, the Augmentations, and manuscript “XLI” share a similar written style and a similar content; indeed, they show a continuity over approximately a decade.

5) Nowhere in manuscript “XLI” itself is there an attribution to Charpentier.

The fifth and final point can scarcely be called evidence. Indeed, it points to a distressing lack of evidence. Without an attribution similar to the one that Loulié and Brossard provided for the Règles, any assertion that Charpentier is the author of manuscript “XLI” rests on the first four types of circumstantial evidence. No matter how those four points are combined, explained, and reasoned about, they do not, and cannot, prove conclusively that manuscript “XLI” is the fruit of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s experience and intell

Continue to Part IV


32. For transcriptions of these manuscripts, see Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, pp. 467-495 (1988), or pp. 467-96 (2004). The typesetting of the first edition is somewhat closer to the original manuscripts than is the second. In both editions it is, however, difficult to discern, with certainty, the brief "augmentations" that Loulié copied into the Règles. These emendations are in smaller type, but the size is not consistent; and sometimes small type is used for words that are integral parts of the Règles.

33.  Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, pp. 444-45 (1988), and pp. 478-79 (2004); and pp. 439-40 (1988), and p. 474 (2004).

34. Loulié, Éléments, pp. 11, 65.

35. Ms. XVIII, part 3 (1695-99), BnF, ms. n.a. fr, 6355, fols. 130-41v.

36. For these passages from the Règles and the Augmentations, see Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, p. 438 (1988) or p. 472 (2004); and p. 456 (1988) or p. 490 (2004).

37. Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, p. 457 (1988), or p. 491 (2004).

38. Loulié, Éléments, p. 71.

39. For example, in his comments on Beretta's mass, he wrote: ces deux quintes sont admirables ..., and j'approuve cecy ...; in the Règles he comments: cet exemple, bon parce que ..., mauvais parce que ...; in the Augmentations: excellente parce que ..., or mauvaise parce que ...; and in manuscript "XLI": très justement condanné, or bon ..., meilleur, ... permis, or j'expliqueray ....

40. In his notes from Zarlino, Loulié marked cette règle est bien, and added bon, mauvais to some examples, BnF, ms. n.a. fr 6355, fols. 24, 25 (circa 1700); and for one example among many, in his Éléments de composition de musique (ms. V, 1695-99), he wrote bon, mauvais, and bon contrepoint, fols. 30-40.

41. See fol. 10v in the Règles and fol. 14v in the Augmentations.

42. For Loulié's pedagogical approach, see Ranum, "Loulié," 1987, pp. 52 ff. Compare this with Psychoyou in "Les Règles de Composition," p. 211.

43. Règles, in Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, p. 438 (1987) or p. 473 (2004). He does not reach that "treatise" until p. 450 (1987), or p. 484 (2004). See also p. 462, for Cessac's presentation of the "principal rubrics as they appear in Loulié's manuscript.

44. BnF, ms. n.a. fr., fol. 130. Furetière defines Chapitre as denoting une division d'un ouvrage ou d'un livre, afin que les matieres soient plus distinguées et moins confuses


Continue to Part IV

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