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|notAmos is an aspiration: "One comming into a cathedrall, whose quire consisted of very ill voices, and made a lamentable noise, said, "Sure the prophecy of Amos was there fulfilled, cap. viii. v. 3: And the songs of the temple shall be howlings."" (Sir Nicholas L'Estrange, Merry Passages and Jests, no. 373)|
Our purpose is to provide performing scores of instrumental and vocal music from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for the general musician. Editing is kept to a minimum, particularly of interpretation and articulation; often little is provided beyond transcription, indicating original decoration, slurring, etc. but leaving the majority of realization to the knowledge and taste of the performer. Figured basses are realized sufficiently to enable adequate performance, but figuring is also provided for the more specialist player. Although information is kept to a minimum on the face of the music, academic enquiries by email are not discouraged.
All items are copyright. Legitimate copies of items are restricted to the number of items paid for, with the exception of ancillary instrumental parts. Purchasers are welcome to copy those as often as necessary. Copyright dates are not disclosed. It is sufficient to know that they are good for the remainder of my lifetime. This coyness is in accordance with eighteenth century practice: "The late Mr Walsh, finding that old music books were like old almanacs, ceased very early in this [18th] century to ascertain the time of their birth by dates, which have ever since been as carefully concealed as the age of stale virgins" (Charles Burney).
There is no satisfactory system of barring polyphony. notAmos barring derives from the conventions adopted by Thomas Tudway when compiling his pioneering collection of English polyphony in the second decade of the eighteenth century. Tudway used unsignalled variable bars applicable to all parts. A combination of 3/2 and 2/2 bars covers virtually every contingency (the assiduous reader will find one 5/4 bar in our editions to date). In performance, most particularly in sight-reading, it has been found useful to signal a change in bar length by use of a time signature. We have therefore adopted the following convention: that a tactical change in the number of beats is signalled by a time signature. A strategic change (permanent or long-term; a change to triple time for example) is signalled by the inclusion of a double barline. notAmos barring is intended as an aid to unity of purpose, principally as an aid to the eye. It should not be taken to sanction a Lullian thump on the first beat of each bar. And on occasion it implies a tyranny of the outer parts which is as unwelcome as it is inevitable.