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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningHistory of the Trombone(Moderator: bhcordova) The Mystery of the Missing Equali
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robcat2075

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« Reply #40 on: Nov 11, 2017, 05:10PM »

Here's a transcription of the last one in the book, "Ad Peregrinu Tonum Quinq Vocum".

What makes it "Peregrini"? 

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« Reply #41 on: Nov 11, 2017, 08:54PM »

From what I can glean from this  book, the ones prefaced with "Ad aequales" have the voices closer together. More equally matched than SATB ( I guess le tromboniste already pointed that out)

Using the quartet "Die hungrigen" (Peregrinus Tonus)on pg 58 of the Discant book as an example, the highest voice (in the "alto" book) is in mezzo-soprano clef, not treble clef and the lowest voice is in baritone clef rather than bass.

The book contains many different settings of the same few liturgical texts. So maybe the aequale entries allow the option for choirs of only adult men and no boy sopranos or women.
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« Reply #42 on: Nov 12, 2017, 12:36AM »

Here's a transcription of the last one in the book, "Ad Peregrinu Tonum Quinq Vocum".

What makes it "Peregrini"? 



The chant it's based on.

You see in the given first phrase of chant (discantus book), the "tenor note" is D - that's the first note and the one the chant revolves around. Now the polyphonic stuff is just a setting of the second phrase, which happens to be (almost) intact in the tenor part. Look at that part and you'll see that after repeating the opening D-F motif, the chant goes down to C, which becomes its "main" note, before ending on G a fifth below the initial D. You'll notice that the harmony kind of follows that, it moves from Bb for the opening motif to C, and then cadences to G. That's textbook tonus peregrinus. It's a bit hard to see how the C is the main note of the second phrase here because the whole setting is so short, and the chant is treated rhythmically like the other voices rather than being treated as a cantus firmus.


However if you go back in the book the the whole section of German magnificats in Tonus perigrinus, you'll find other settings of the same chant. This is the quinta pars of one of them, p. 39 of the Bassus book.


It is the same chant, treated a fourth lower (more on that below) and with the chant used strictly as a cantus firmus, which makes it much more obvious. (it starts with the first phrase recited in the discantus again, but then both phrases alternate, always in the quinta pars.) It is very clear - first phrase always insists on A, then second phrase inists on G and cadences down to D.


It is a fourth lower because it is in chiavi naturali (soprano, alto, tenor, (tenor,) bass). The example you transcribed, meanwhile, was in chiavette (Treble, mezzo, alto, (alto,) baritone). It would have likely been sung or played transposed down - a fourth would make sense given the ranges and the previous treatments of the same chant.
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #43 on: Nov 12, 2017, 12:43AM »

From what I can glean from this  book, the ones prefaced with "Ad aequales" have the voices closer together. More equally matched than SATB ( I guess le tromboniste already pointed that out)

Using the quartet "Die hungrigen" (Peregrinus Tonus)on pg 58 of the Discant book as an example, the highest voice (in the "alto" book) is in mezzo-soprano clef, not treble clef and the lowest voice is in baritone clef rather than bass.

The book contains many different settings of the same few liturgical texts. So maybe the aequale entries allow the option for choirs of only adult men and no boy sopranos or women.

Same here, that one might well have been sung or played transposed down - mezzo-alto-alto-baritone is a standard chiavette combination for equal voices
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Maximilien Brisson
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« Reply #44 on: Nov 12, 2017, 04:30AM »

When two note heads are connected (a ligature?) that implies a slur on one syllable and the two notes together take half the time they normally would?

Here's that little helper I had written to myself to remember.



Sorry for my bad calligraphy, this was meant for me to read back :-P

I haven't noticed any ligatures with more than 2 notes in this book so you should have all possibilities on there. If there were any that are more than two notes, everything in the middle is breves.
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« Reply #45 on: Nov 12, 2017, 06:16AM »

Here's that little helper I had written to myself to remember...

thanks!
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« Reply #46 on: Nov 12, 2017, 09:39AM »

Back to the word “equali” or “aequali”...

1. It seems to be a type of composition, and not a style of composition.

2. What is meant or intended by the word seems to have changed over time. That is, either the thing the word referred to changed, or the word started to be used differently.

This second point is, I think, very important in this discussion. There are lots of “things” out there (in museums, attics, etc.) that had a specific meaning at one time, or perhaps a particular meaning at a specific time and place, that have essentially become meaningless today. Examples might be “halberd” from ancient weaponry, or “mullion” from castle-building. We know today what they are because of extant records. But they have little meaning in today’s world. (An exception to mullion: side-by-side refrigerators sometimes have them to ensure a proper seal.)

I’m beginning to view the word “equali” or “aequali“ like we use the word/s sackbutt, sackbut, sacbut, shagbutt, saquebouche, etc. What it meant when it was used is different from what we understand today. Today, the word sackbutt, sackbut, sacbut, etc. has come to mean something like, “the trombone as it was before ca. 1750,” or “the immediate progenitor of the trombone.”

Perhaps equali were a type of composition that had some use or purpose at one time which has been lost to history. Or, perhaps the term “equali” wasn’t applied consistently, and we’re left with an ill-defined, sporadically used term from history that has little meaning today.

 
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« Reply #47 on: Nov 12, 2017, 10:02AM »

Back to the word “equali” or “aequali”...

1. It seems to be a type of composition, and not a style of composition.

2. What is meant or intended by the word seems to have changed over time. That is, either the thing the word referred to changed, or the word started to be used differently.

This second point is, I think, very important in this discussion. There are lots of “things” out there (in museums, attics, etc.) that had a specific meaning at one time, or perhaps a particular meaning at a specific time and place, that have essentially become meaningless today. Examples might be “halberd” from ancient weaponry, or “mullion” from castle-building. We know today what they are because of extant records. But they have little meaning in today’s world. (An exception to mullion: side-by-side refrigerators sometimes have them to ensure a proper seal.)

I’m beginning to view the word “equali” or “aequali“ like we use the word/s sackbutt, sackbut, sacbut, shagbutt, saquebouche, etc. What it meant when it was used is different from what we understand today. Today, the word sackbutt, sackbut, sacbut, etc. has come to mean something like, “the trombone as it was before ca. 1750,” or “the immediate progenitor of the trombone.”

Perhaps equali were a type of composition that had some use or purpose at one time which has been lost to history. Or, perhaps the term “equali” wasn’t applied consistently, and we’re left with an ill-defined, sporadically used term from history that has little meaning today.



The thing is, there are very few referenced to the term "aequali" as a type of piece.

The much earlier "ad aequales" previously discussed most definitely doesn't designate a type of composition.
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« Reply #48 on: Nov 12, 2017, 10:43AM »

Back to the word “equali” or “aequali”...

1. It seems to be a type of composition, and not a style of composition.

By Bruckner's time it is clearly both. A solemn, mostly homophonic piece for trombone choir. Within 4 years of each other Bruckner and Lambel compose things that fit that outline and explicitly call them that. They both use the word in this way and yet we know of no other examples prior to them to establish that meaning.

Maybe
it meant that to Beethoven also, but it doesn't appear he actually called his pieces "equale"


Quote
2. What is meant or intended by the word seems to have changed over time. That is, either the thing the word referred to changed, or the word started to be used differently....

Perhaps equali were a type of composition that had some use or purpose at one time which has been lost to history. Or, perhaps the term “equali” wasn’t applied consistently, and we’re left with an ill-defined, sporadically used term from history that has little meaning today.


I agree that words change over time. 

I see the Giovanni Pinello set as maybe representing the first step in the evolution of the term. It's an interesting fish on the beach but we don't know if it grew legs after that and continued on.

What we would need to see are pieces from 1600-1800 that more resemble our expectations and use the word in the way the legend has told us it was being used.



 

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« Reply #49 on: Nov 12, 2017, 11:04AM »

There seem to be numerous compositions and arrangements from the 17th and early 18th century in the German that call for "gleiche Instrumente," or songs for sets of the same instrument (sometimes voices). This seems more close in practice to the "equali" model of a set of trombones, but stylistically they range far beyond the solemn and somber funeral music and the word "equali" in any version is nowhere to be found.
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« Reply #50 on: Nov 12, 2017, 01:49PM »

Don’t know why I didn’t remember this earlier, but I remember an article from several years ago in the Historic Brass Society Journal specifically about Beethoven’s pieces. I’ll have to see whether I can find it on their website or in my library...
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« Reply #51 on: Nov 12, 2017, 02:09PM »

Unfortunately the link is dead - http://www.historicbrass.org/Portals/0/Documents/Journal/2002/HBSJ_2002_JL01_010_Weiner.pdf
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« Reply #52 on: Nov 12, 2017, 08:16PM »


Yes, I just realized that.

For those who want to ask for a copy via interlibrary loan, here’s the citation:
Weiner, Howard. Beethoven’s Equali (WoO 30): A New Perspective. Historic Brass Society Journal, vol. 14 (2002): 215-277.

It’s quite extensive.

On equali in general:

“Additional information about the function of equali is provided by Franz Xaver Glöggl: In his Kirchenmusk-Ordnung (‘Church Music Regluations’) from 1828, he wrote in the chapter ‘About Funerals’ (Von den Leichenbegängnissen):

    ‘In the first class [of funerals], the arrival of the clergy is announced by a short funeral piece (equale) with trombones or other wind instruments as a sign of the sacred funeral act for those present. After its completion, the funeral procession starts to move. This is again announced by the wind funeral music, with which the vocal ensemble, sing a three- or four-part Miserere, alternates during the procession up to the entrance of the church or burial ground, where before the consecration of the Verse: Requiem aeternam is to be sung. After the consecration and the general prayer, a funeral motet is to be sung.’

“[T]he term ‘equale’ as a designation for short, chordal, three- to four-part trombone pieces seems to have originated from Franz Xaver Glöggl, and found usage only in his immediate environment.”

Glöggl’s environment was Linz, Austria.

Weiner goes on to note discrepancies in various accounts of Beethoven’s funeral. But there’s a lot more to the article: facsimiles of the original MS, facsimiles of original printings, etc. Quite a read.
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« Reply #53 on: Nov 12, 2017, 08:42PM »

from the wikipedia article on Glöggl
Quote
When Beethoven visited Linz in the autumn of 1812, he visited and became friends with Glöggl. Beethoven asked if he could hear an equale, the characteristic funeral trombone music genre of Linz, and Glöggl arranged a performance at his house. Glöggl asked him for a six-part equale, to include the unusual soprano and quart trombones that he owned. Beethoven wrote for him the Drei Equale für vier posaunen (WoO 30), which are for alto, tenor and bass trombones and do not call for the soprano or quart instruments.

Glöggl's collection of musical instruments and manuscripts was acquired in 1824 by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, and formed the basis of what may be the oldest surviving institutional musical instrument collection, the Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, which since 1938 has been held in trust by the Viennese Kunsthistorisches Museum...
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« Reply #54 on: Nov 12, 2017, 08:55PM »

Here are the San Francisco Symphony program notes that the article derives the Glöggl story from




Quote
...Many years later, F.X. Glöggl’s son, Franz, set down his reminiscence of that time:

Quote
Beethoven was on intimate terms of friendship with my father, capellmeister of the cathedral of Linz, and when he was there in 1812, he was at our house every day and several times took meals with us. My father asked him for an Aequale for six trombones as in his collection of old instruments he had a soprano and a quart trombone, whereas only alto, tenor and bass trombones were commonly used. Beethoven wanted to hear an Aequale such as was played at funerals in Linz, and one afternoon when Beethoven was expected to dine with us, my father appointed three trombone players and had them play an Aequale as desired, after which Beethoven sat down and composed one for six trombones, which my father had his trombonists play.
Franz Glöggl’s memory must have been close but not spot-on, as Beethoven’s Equali employ four trombones rather than six, in the disposition of two alto trombones, tenor trombone, and bass trombone—not using either the soprano or quart trombones in his father’s collection (the quart being pitched a fourth below the standard tenor trombone). The circumstances were further described by Glöggl’s pupil and Beethoven’s friend Tobias Haslinger, who stated that “Mr. Glöggl [asked Beethoven] to compose for him so-called Equale for four trombones for All-Souls’ Day (November 2nd), which he would then have his musicians play, as was usual, on this feast—Beethoven declared himself willing; he actually wrote three movements for this purpose, which are indeed short, but which, through the excellence of their design, attest to the master’s hand.”

...


Sounds like it was dashed off in a few minutes.
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« Reply #55 on: Nov 13, 2017, 12:55AM »

Here are the San Francisco Symphony program notes that the article derives the Glöggl story from



Franz Glöggl’s memory must have been close but not spot-on, as Beethoven’s Equali employ four trombones rather than six, in the disposition of two alto trombones, tenor trombone, and bass trombone—not using either the soprano or quart trombones in his father’s collection (the quart being pitched a fourth below the standard tenor trombone). The circumstances were further described by Glöggl’s pupil and Beethoven’s friend Tobias Haslinger, who stated that “Mr. Glöggl [asked Beethoven] to compose for him so-called Equale for four trombones for All-Souls’ Day (November 2nd), which he would then have his musicians play, as was usual, on this feast—Beethoven declared himself willing; he actually wrote three movements for this purpose, which are indeed short, but which, through the excellence of their design, attest to the master’s hand.”

...


Sounds like it was dashed off in a few minutes.

And sounds, as was pointed out, that this was a tradition specifically in Linz and the surroundings, all the more reasons not to draw big direct links with the the widespread practice of writing certain pieces or certain parts of pieces in equal voices.
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« Reply #56 on: Nov 13, 2017, 07:15AM »

And sounds, as was pointed out, that this was a tradition specifically in Linz and the surroundings, all the more reasons not to draw big direct links with the the widespread practice of writing certain pieces or certain parts of pieces in equal voices.

Yes, according to Howard Weiner’s article.

Weiner also discusses Franz Xaver Glöggl’s account, comparing it to Franz Glöggl’s (F. X. Glöggl’s son) account, and the account of Tobias Hanslinger. All three agree in general terms but there are discrepancies amongst the three accounts. Again, a large article.
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« Reply #57 on: Nov 13, 2017, 07:18AM »

I wonder if Glöggl's collection of manuscripts in that Vienna Museum has any equali, perhaps the example that was played for Beethoven.
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« Reply #58 on: Nov 13, 2017, 09:47AM »


“[T]he term ‘equale’ as a designation for short, chordal, three- to four-part trombone pieces seems to have originated from Franz Xaver Glöggl, and found usage only in his immediate environment.”

Glöggl’s environment was Linz, Austria.


And indeed Linz was also Bruckner's and Lambel's environment. It's likely that Beethoven's Equale remained in the repertoire of the Linz trombone choir and likely then that Bruckner and Lambel heard them and were aware of them.


But, at least in Linz, before Beethoven came to dinner, they were playing something that came to be called "equali" .  Those are the missing equali.
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« Reply #59 on: Nov 13, 2017, 10:26AM »

And indeed Linz was also Bruckner's and Lambel's environment. It's likely that Beethoven's Equale remained in the repertoire of the Linz trombone choir and likely then that Bruckner and Lambel heard them and were aware of them.


But, at least in Linz, before Beethoven came to dinner, they were playing something that came to be called "equali" .  Those are the missing equali.

Yes and then the interesting question of course is when did that start.

I suspect all the relevant archives that haven't been destroyed in the war have already been combed through - it is probably not likely that a significant number of "equali" for trombones or other winds will suddenly appear. However, an interesting lead would be to go through these archives again while looking for equal voice vocal, specifically funeral music. It is entirely possible that the music used for those circumstances was, if only at first, existing 3, 4, 5, or 6 part vocal music that they had at their disposal.
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