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Author Topic: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project  (Read 29508 times)

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Roger Hare

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #120 on: January 05, 2019, 05:13:58 AM »

...It seems a very cavalier attitude to the music in the 1800's...
...Interesting stuff looking at these old originals......
Apropos nothing at all, I seem to remember reading, many years ago, that the rate of musical literacy
in the 17th - 19th centuries, amongst all classes, was much higher than it is now. I think I read this in
the context of Pepys' Diaries. So, I guess that if there were lots of folks around who could actually read
and write music, there were varying levels of skill, and consequently a lot of scope for 'mistakes' in
hand-written MSS?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 07:25:39 AM by lachenal74693 »
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #121 on: January 05, 2019, 07:33:44 AM »

Reminiscence alert!

The last few responses are especially interesting from a personal point of view. When I was a student in the late 1960s and early 1970s I had a couple of holiday jobs working as a music copyist for a London-based composer who wrote light band and orchestral stuff for the BBC. I was provided with a copy of the full scores - i.e. multiple staves for all the instruments - and my job was to extract and copy out the individual instrument parts which would be given to each player to perform from.

I had to use a special music-writing fountain pen: it had three 'prongs' on the nib instead of the usual two, and by pressing slightly harder you could form the blob of a note head. Using the nib at different angles resulted in thin and thick strokes to make the note stems and beams of connected quavers/semiquavers, etc. The ink was black draughting indian ink (very opaque) and I had to write the music on translucent plastic (mylar) foil which was pre-printed with blank stave lines. This was so that the parts could eventually be printed on to paper using the diazo process which used coated paper sensitive to UV light and developed with ammonia. Any mistakes on the mylar had to be corrected using a scalpel blade to scratch off the incorrect notes and then re-written.

The work also entailed transposing the parts into the correct keys (e.g. writing the notes up a tone for clarinets/trumpets, etc), rationalising multiple bars rest into a single numbered bar rests, spacing out the music so it was easily legible (not too squashed, not too extended) and ensuring that page turns occurred in places where there was a rest for the player to actually turn the page. It was good work, although it didn't pay very well, 5 shillings per page as I recall. But it kept me in clarinet and saxophone reeds and I sometimes got to play in a band where the pieces I'd written out were actually performed, and I found I had actually absorbed all the music in my head in the copying process!

These days of course, we have music typesetting software such as Sibelius and MuseScore so the job of the humble music copyist has largely disappeared.
 

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #122 on: January 05, 2019, 10:27:25 AM »

Fascinating Steve. It's obviously stood you in good stead and reinforced your musical knowledge for your later love of the box.
I'm not a Luddite and appreciate all our new gubbins that make our lives easier - ipads, ABC apps, pc's, slow downers etc - but there is still value in such things to provide a basic level of knowledge.
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #123 on: January 05, 2019, 11:09:58 AM »

Reminiscence alert!

The last few responses are especially interesting from a personal point of view. When I was a student in the late 1960s and early 1970s I had a couple of holiday jobs working as a music copyist for a London-based composer who wrote light band and orchestral stuff for the BBC. I was provided with a copy of the full scores - i.e. multiple staves for all the instruments - and my job was to extract and copy out the individual instrument parts which would be given to each player to perform from.

I had to use a special music-writing fountain pen: it had three 'prongs' on the nib instead of the usual two, and by pressing slightly harder you could form the blob of a note head. Using the nib at different angles resulted in thin and thick strokes to make the note stems and beams of connected quavers/semiquavers, etc. The ink was black draughting indian ink (very opaque) and I had to write the music on translucent plastic (mylar) foil which was pre-printed with blank stave lines. This was so that the parts could eventually be printed on to paper using the diazo process which used coated paper sensitive to UV light and developed with ammonia. Any mistakes on the mylar had to be corrected using a scalpel blade to scratch off the incorrect notes and then re-written.

The work also entailed transposing the parts into the correct keys (e.g. writing the notes up a tone for clarinets/trumpets, etc), rationalising multiple bars rest into a single numbered bar rests, spacing out the music so it was easily legible (not too squashed, not too extended) and ensuring that page turns occurred in places where there was a rest for the player to actually turn the page. It was good work, although it didn't pay very well, 5 shillings per page as I recall. But it kept me in clarinet and saxophone reeds and I sometimes got to play in a band where the pieces I'd written out were actually performed, and I found I had actually absorbed all the music in my head in the copying process!

These days of course, we have music typesetting software such as Sibelius and MuseScore so the job of the humble music copyist has largely disappeared.

Excellent! That would make an interesting documentary Youtube Vid!

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #124 on: January 05, 2019, 01:15:11 PM »


...When I was a student in the late 1960s and early 1970s I had a couple of holiday jobs working as a music copyist for a London-based composer who wrote light band and orchestral stuff for the BBC...

What a great holiday job. I was at the crass end of the entertainment business, working as a Redcoat.

You must have a much more informed opinion than most, on how much work copying out a book like this would involve and how long it might of taken. I would be interested in your estimate.

One of the things I find impressive about this manuscript is how few mistakes and corrections there are. A lot of the things I have called mistakes aren't really mistakes at all. A free approach to bar lengths in repeats is apparent, but what is meant is easily worked out from the context. Playing in a military band would make it even more obvious. Other "errors" in the pages I am looking at  are, mostly, tuplets and grace notes mis-scored. Maybe the result of a tune being notated by someone who has never actually played  or heard that tune (yet).
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #125 on: January 05, 2019, 04:29:49 PM »

I was at the crass end of the entertainment business, working as a Redcoat.
Hi dee hi!

Quote
You must have a much more informed opinion than most, on how much work copying out a book like this would involve and how long it might of taken. I would be interested in your estimate.

Oh gosh - it was such a long time ago. But having thought about it a bit, I estimate that a single page of 12-stave music (slightly larger than A4 size) would have taken me around 20 - 40 minutes to copy out from a full score, depending on how complex the part was and how much transposition (longer thinking time!) was required. Most of the band parts fitted on two pages and a full symphonic band score might have 20 separate instruments, each requiring a separate extracted part. Do the maths!
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nigelr

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #126 on: January 07, 2019, 08:55:13 AM »

Whatever, it sems a slow process - so far I've done a basic transcription of 31 (out of 43) tunes. Is this slow, fast,
acceptable?

Roger
(*) I think I've seen one example of a wrong note-count being due to the fact that the 'extra' note is in fact a grace-note?

31 out of 43 tunes done already sounds like a cracking pace, for goodness sake don't feel pressured about speed, it's been sitting there since 1800 so another few weeks or months won't matter. Good idea to check transcriptions from other early manuscripts, make that VMP transcriptions where possible  ;) .

I too have picked up on the fact that there are overfull bars where it's possible that some of the notes might be grace notes badly written. The worst of these somehow always manage to to be in the extreme right hand margin of a left hand page where the paralax distortion is at its worst and the notes are crammed together get them onto the end of the stave. I tend to mark these and let Chris give them the once over if I can't think of anything sensible to suggest. This isn't because I'm too lazy to put the work into research but I have limited knowledge of the tunes and the idiosyncrasies of 17th, 18th and 19th century notation, Chris is a far better sleuth than I and he has a vast knowledge of tunes and collections.  ;D

It sounds like you are doing fine Roger, fret not!
That's good to know - I'm about half way through my block and was starting to think the rest of you would all be done by now!  Certainly some tricky bits and some judgement calls that I'm going to have to leave to others, but some interesting tunes.
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #127 on: January 07, 2019, 11:34:21 AM »

I've done about 4 tunes from mine in a fit of enthusiasm on day 1, and then left it...
I need to schedule some time to do a bit of this each day.
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #128 on: January 07, 2019, 11:36:12 AM »

I notice that the Buttrey MS Blog:

https://buttreymilitarysocialtunes1800.wordpress.com/blog/

mentions the VMP Project which it has spawned, and also mentions this melodeon.net thread.

I also notice that this thread has been read more than 1700 times - more than three times as many of the
other threads I (randomly) sampled. Is this some sort of record?

I wonder if there's any connection with the mention on the Buttrey blog?

Roger.
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #129 on: January 07, 2019, 11:52:03 AM »

I have a suspician that this question has already been answered, if so, apologies, but I have looked back through all the posts so far and I can't find one.

The manuscript writer uses a trill symbol which I have been rendering as !trill! but I think the symbol is supposed to indicate a particular type of trill: One with an accented first note.

Is there a way of depicting this in ABC or shall I stick to the easy option?
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #130 on: January 07, 2019, 12:59:50 PM »

The manuscript writer uses a trill symbol which I have been rendering as !trill! but I think the symbol is supposed to indicate a particular type of trill: One with an accented first note.

Is there a way of depicting this in ABC or shall I stick to the easy option?

I think this is just an ordinary trill. I've been notating a few examples from my own allocation of tunes. No need for anything extra such as an accented first note (not a normal ornament in any case) nor needing to start on the upper note as in baroque period music. Coding it as !trill! is perfectly fine.
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Roger Hare

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #131 on: January 08, 2019, 05:48:05 AM »

I think this is just an ordinary trill. I've been notating a few examples from my own allocation of tunes. No need for
anything extra such as an accented first note (not a normal ornament in any case) nor needing to start on the upper
note as in baroque period music. Coding it as !trill! is perfectly fine.

Ah! I've used ~ in the 4 (I think) instances of this I've seen so far. I also looked at !trill!, !roll!, and !turn!.
I used ~ simply because it sounded O.K. !trill! is the preferred option then?

Is the use of ~ 'deprecated'? I couldn't check the standard - that page at the abcnotation.com site is 'suspended'.

Edit - 2 minutes later: In fact, I can't get anything on abcnotation.com to display. Is it busted, or summat?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 06:57:00 AM by lachenal74693 »
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #132 on: January 08, 2019, 08:16:19 AM »

Ah! I've used ~ in the 4 (I think) instances of this I've seen so far. I also looked at !trill!, !roll!, and !turn!.
I used ~ simply because it sounded O.K. !trill! is the preferred option then?

Is the use of ~ 'deprecated'? I couldn't check the standard - that page at the abcnotation.com site is 'suspended'.

Edit - 2 minutes later: In fact, I can't get anything on abcnotation.com to display. Is it busted, or summat?

Yes - the abcnotation website appears to be down at the moment. :(
Perhaps there are hosting fees to be paid by a site admin somewhere.

Ornaments:
There are shortcuts allowed in ABC 2.1, although I can't off-hand remember if the tilde ~ is one of them. However, my personal preference is to use the full spelled-out options, !turn!, !trill!, etc. It might be slightly longer to type, but it has the advantage of being obvious what is meant to a human reading the ABC coding. 
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Roger Hare

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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #133 on: January 08, 2019, 11:03:52 AM »

..There are shortcuts allowed in ABC 2.1, although I can't off-hand remember if the tilde ~ is one of them. However, my personal
preference is to use the full spelled-out options, !turn!, !trill!, etc. It might be slightly longer to type, but it has the advantage of
being obvious what is meant to a human reading the ABC coding.

Ta - good enough - I'll fix 'em - right now in fact, as I'm about to start my daily dose of transcribing...
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #134 on: January 08, 2019, 12:49:04 PM »

Can anyone help? I think I have met my Nemesis.

Tune JBut. 389

Described as "Noney Cremor  A Quick Step 2/4 D", in the page contents, I can make no sense of it, whatsoever, from the score.
Anyone able to recognise any of the melody as a tune known elsewhere, or come up with a serious guess at what the title might be?
I can play with it and make it into a tune if I apply creativity, but only at the risk of creating a new tune, which seems pointless.

I have looked through volumes 1-6 of Aird's (facsimilia), Playforford's 1651 (facsimile) and the Beggar's Opera, 1729 (facsimile) without finding anything it might be a corruption of.
Below is a straight abc of what I see when I look at it
X:38
T:Noney Cremor. JBut.389
T: JBut.389
N:
Z:vmp.2019.Greg Bradfield-Smith.
N:
C:'A Quickstep'
R:Quickstep
M:2/4
L:1/16
Q:1/4=110
K:D
A2BA|AecA e2A2|A2B2AA c2B2G2|d2B2G2 A2B2A2|e4 cAec|defg d4|B4G2d4B2:|
|:A4 e2ed|c4A2e2c2|A4 e2ed|B4G2d4B2|A4 e2ed|A2d4 fe|d4 e2fg|d2BG d4B2:|


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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #135 on: January 08, 2019, 01:03:19 PM »

Look at it from another angle, quite a few bars are overfull, try pick out the obvious crotchets and quavers to fill the bar and maybe the odd little squiggly notes that are left are grace notes (which don't have a time value)?


Random thought but not much time to study it at the moment . . .
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #136 on: January 08, 2019, 01:20:03 PM »

Can anyone help? I think I have met my Nemesis.

Tune JBut. 389
Described as "Noney Cremor  A Quick Step 2/4 D", in the page contents, I can make no sense of it, whatsoever, from the score.
Anyone able to recognise any of the melody as a tune known elsewhere, or come up with a serious guess at what the title might be?
I don't recognise the tune either, but it has a sort of Northumbrian or Scottish feel about it.
However, as is becoming clear to those of us transcribing the tunes, some of the tunes in the MS are badly or incorrectly notated rhythmically, to the extent that it completely muddles what the original tune might have been. This one seems to be a typically notorious example. There is possible confusion about the time signature and perhaps it should be in 6/8 not 2/4? But neither is completely satisfactory.

In some of my allocated tunes I have come up against similar ambiguities. At first I tried to include an additional edited, interpreted version, but after a while I gave up, because there were several different possibilities, none of which were obviously 'correct'.

I think all we can do in these instances is, just as you have done, transcribe the tune into ABC exactly as notated in the MS and simply add a comment in the N: field to that effect.
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #137 on: January 08, 2019, 01:28:46 PM »

Following on from my reply to Greg's previous post, here's an example from my tune allocation which illustrates a particularly 'bad' tune in the MS, and my response to encoding it. I have done a bit of background digging to try to find a 'correct' version of the tune. I've included a link in the N: field, but other than that, I have not tried to amend the Buttrey version in any way; it's pointless to try.

X:65
T:King of Swederlands March. JBut.065, The
Z:Village Music Project 2019 Steve Dumpleton
N:Transcription is exactly as notated in MS.
N:There are many errors and inconsistencies in this tune as notated in the MS,
N:e.g. spurious 4/8 time signature, muddled note lengths, etc.
N:Bar 18 is indicated as "Bis" (i.e. to be played twice) in the MS.
N:However, other sources suggest that it is bar 17 which needs to be played twice.
N:There is evidence of erasure or addition of semiquaver beaming in the
N:final part, but whether the note lengths should be quavers
N:or semiquavers is not entirely clear.
N:For an original source of this tune see:
N:Aird, James, A Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, Vol.3 No.434
N:Glasgow 1795
N:See https://imslp.org/wiki/A_Selection_of_Scotch,_English,_Irish_and_Foreign_Airs_(Aird,_James)
M:4/8
L:1/8
Q:1/4=112
K:G
|:B3A GABG|c2 cc c2 dc|B3A GABG|A3 D3|
B3A GABG|c2 c>c c2 dc|B2 AG AcBA|G2 GG G2:|
|:GABc d2 ed|c2 c>c c2 dc|B2 B>B B2 AG|A3 D3|
GABc d2 ed|c2 dc B2 cB|A2 G2 AcBA|G2 G>G G2:|
|:G2 AB A2 Bc|"[Bis"G/"-"A/"-"B/"-"G/ "-"A/"-"B/"-"c/"-"A/ "-"B2 "-]"D2|\
G/A/B/G/ A/B/c/A/|G/A/B/G/ B/c/d/e/|B2 AG A/c/B/A/|G2 GG G2:|
|:GABc d2 ed|c2 cc c2 dc|B2 BB B2 AG|A3 D3|
GABc d2 ed|cedc Bdgd|B2 AG A/c/B/A/|G2 GG G2:|
|:d/B/G/B/ d/B/G/B/|e/c/A/c/ e/c/A/c/|d/B/G/B/ d/B/G/B/|A/F/D/F/ A/F/D/F/|
d/B/G/B/ d/B/G/B/|c/e/c/e/ B/d/B/d/|c/B/A/G/ A/c/B/A/|G2 GG G2:|
|:G/A/B/c/ d/B/A/G/|A/B/c/d/ e/c/B/A/|G/A/B/c/ d/B/A/G/|D/E/F/G/ A/F/E/D/|
G/A/B/c/ d/B/A/G/|c/e/d/c/ B/d/g/d/|B2 AG AcBA|G2 GG G2:|
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #138 on: January 08, 2019, 03:55:46 PM »

The ABC protocol page on VMP says:
Quote
The definite article is included where given in the MS, but removed to the end of the title and placed after a comma and a space. This is for indexing purposes.

Is this usually applied to the indefinite article too? My block has lots of "A Quickstep" and for indexing purposes again it might help to move that too:
Code: [Select]
T:Quick Step. JBut.246, A
Or perhaps not. What follows the indefinite article doesn't vary much, so if you left the indefinite article at the front, you'd still gets lots of Quicksteps, marches, Waltzes, Jigs etc. grouped together.
What's the official line?
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Re: The VMP Buttrey MSS Project
« Reply #139 on: January 08, 2019, 04:09:28 PM »

I have a lot of "A Slow March"
I'd forgotten and sent my first five tunes to Chris to make sure I was ok in the right track.
Chris tweaked my tunes to exactly as you have it
ie T: Slow March. JBut.123, A
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I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!
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