THIS BOOK IS AN IMPORTANT SOURCE OF SIXTEENTH-CENTURY ITALIAN LUTE MUSIC: pages 62 to 160 ('L'intavolature delle canzoni a quattro, a cinque, et a sei voci di diversi eccellentissimi musici'), comprises intabulations of madrigals by Cipriano de Rore, Orlando di Lassus, Giovanni Palestrina, Adrian Willaert, Alessandro Striggio, Antonio Ferrabosco, Vincenzo Ruffo, Annibale Padovano, Costanzo Porta and others, including Galilei himself. Unlike German tablature, the six-line staves show the individual courses (strings) and the letter-notation indicates the frets clearly and simply.
There are two separate issues of the 1568-1569 edition, not distinguished in RISM or Edit16, the priority not established. The present copy has one title page dated 1568, no second title and the colophon is dated 1569, as in the Hirsch copy in the British Library. This work is also found divided into two parts, with a second title dated 1569 (at signature Q2 : cf IT\ICCU\LO1E\046003 and Edit16 CNCE 32331). The 'Tavola' at the end also differs here: it is 3 pages rather than one, including a table of contents as well as the list of the intabulated music. We have traced no modern facsimile of the first edition of Fronimo, although various reprints of the second edition of 1584 exist. The book takes the form of a didactic dialogue, where Fronimo is the master explaining music to a pupil. In Sannazaro's Arcadia (1504), Fronimo is "sovra tutti i pastori ingegnosissimo"); see lot 200.
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