Ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la

bullutre.nwcAugust 20034.84 kB00:03:55
Composer:Bull, John (1563-1628), English
Submitter:Alberga, Cyril N
Email:calberga (e-mail)
Transcribed from the Dover reprint of the 1899 edition of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, Vol. I, J. A. Fuller Maitland and W. Barclay Squire. Number LI in the collection.
A set of divisions on the first six notes of the mixolydian scale.
Note that certain aspects of the score could not be reproduced in NWC, thus many of the groupings written as triplets should be sextolets, and the ornamentation should be notated using strokes across the stems of the notes, not with grace notes.
One aspect is quite at variance with modern notational conventions. In particular, the time signature only indicates the basic length of the beats, not the measure lengths. The bars are placed at irregular intervals, matching the phrasing, without the time signature changing.
The editors of the edition cite this as highly important in the history of notation. It is claimed to be one of the earliest examples of the use of a circle of keys. The theme is raised a full tone at each entry, except that following F, where it raises a tone and a half, to A flat. It is felt that this piece implies some form of equal temperament, as the discords would have been unacceptable otherwise. At the time there was now means for expressing enharmonic equivalents, thus at the fourth entrance, where the subject is a hexachord beginning on D flat, that "spelling" is used, in spite of the fact that it isreally a C sharp, the mediant in the triad of A major. To directly quote the authors:
"The passage is of such importance in the history of notation that the writer's makeshift way of expressing himself has been left unaltered. Any player who can attempt the rhythmic problem further on may be trusted to read this passage correctly."