CH-D, "Berchtersches Chronik" (formerly "Berchtersches Tagebuch"), 1623
Kloster Disentis, Stiftsarchiv

Last updated Thursday, June 21, 2012.
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This chronik or tagebuch (i.e. diary) belonged to a "Jacobo Berchter" and is the only surviving 17th century cittern source from Switzerland that is known to exist to-date. There are numerous dates in the manuscript from the 17th and 18th centuries, but the first page of the section of cittern instruction and tablature is dated 1623.

The cittern section, which runs from pp. 424-44, is of three basic parts. There are two pages of instructional material, which include a diagram of a diatonic fretboard, the names of strings, and explanation of rhythms, and the tuning; followed by a short section of sacred works (pp.426- 33); followed by a section of secular songs and dances (pp.434-44).

The works are all fairly simple settings without diminution. Many standard mistakes abound, including the transposition of tablature ciphers in chords and the inclusion of the open string on the fourth course in chords where it does not harmonize.

A facsimile edition of the entire volume is available: Brunold, Ursus & Collenberg, Adrian (Bearb.): Berther-Chronik. Die Selbstwahrnehmung einer Bündner Notabelnfamilie im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Quellen und Forschungen zur Bündner Geschichte: Band 23, Staatsarchiv Graubünden, Chur 2010. ISBN 978-3-85637-387-0. The cittern-only portion is available on my Music Files page, courtesy of Dr. Ursus Brunold, Kloster Disentis, Pater Urban Affentranger, Staatsarchiv Graubünden.


Piece # Page Title Notes
  424

"Vnderricht vnd Documenta Auff die Zitharen, wie man dieselb der Tabulatur nach schlagen solle, alßdann in volgenden Exempeln, vnd stückhen, fundamentaliter zu sehen, den 13 Februarij Ao. 1623 angefangen. Erstlich von erkhantnuß vnd namen der Bünd: oder grif, vnd Saiten."

"Explication der Mensur."

Instructional section. Includes a diagram of a semi-diatonic fingerboard with letters for each fret and the names of strings.

The "explication" includes instructions on understanding rhythm signs.

  425

"Grundtlicher bericht wie man ein Zitharen stimmen solle."

Instructions on how the cittern should be tuned.
  426 "Cantiones Iam quaedam sequuntur sacriae" Start of the collection of sacred works.
1   O Salutaris hostia  
2 427 Reich und arm sollen frölich sein  
3 428 Salve corpus  
4 429 O gloriosa Domina  
5 430-31 Lÿtania B.M.Virg:[inis]  
6 431-32 Simile est regnu[m] coelorum  
7 432-33 Jesu Dulcis memoria  
  434 "Hernach volgen Allerhandt Teutsche gesänge, däntz, Gassenhawer vnd sonst kurzweilige stickh." Beginning of the section of secular songs and dances.
8   Es wolt ein Meidtlein holen külen wein.  
9 435 Proportio oder die galliarda darauf Continuation of #8 in triple time.
10   Salue mi puella. dantz Appears to have been added at a later date as a "filler" at the bottom of the page.
11 436 Alte Wiber und Satan. Ein dantz.  
12   Nachdantz. Continuation of #11 in triple time..
13   Nachdantz. Continuation of #10 in triple time.. Appears to have been added at a later date, along with #10.
14 437 Teitscher dantz.  
15   Nachdantz. Continuation of #14 in triple time.
16 438 Chy passa per questa strada  
17   Salue mi puella alia modo A different version of #10. The title actually appears at the bottom of page 437, and the piece follows directly after "Chy passa" without a break, causing Nehlsen to miss it in his catalog of pieces. Like #s 10 and 11, it appears to have been added at a later date.
18 439 Studenten dantz.  
19   Nachdantz. Continuation of #18 in triple time.
20 440 Galliarda .1.  
21   Der Marti gieng den schachen[?] auf, dantz  
22   Nachdantz

Incomplete[?] continuation of #21 in triple time. The piece in only three measures long on p.440 and continues on the bottom of p.439, but for only one more measure.

Not cataloged by Nehlsen.

23 441 So wünsch Ich Ihr ein gute nacht.  
24   Waß wöln wir uf den abend thun. dantz.  
25 442 Weiß mir ein bliemlein ist hipsch und fein. Includes a measure for insertion (labeled "NB") at the end of the piece.
26 442-43 Gassenhawer Followed by a measure insertion (marked with a cross-hatch #) for piece #27.
27 443 Giggeler wil nit kreihen  
28   Kutz biß mich nitt The only piece in the collection to be comprised primarily of single notes (melody?).
29 444 Von Wilhelm dellen, das Lied  

Sources:

  • Brunold, Ursus & Collenberg, Adrian (Bearb.): Berther-Chronik. Die Selbstwahrnehmung einer Bündner Notabelnfamilie im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Quellen und Forschungen zur Bündner Geschichte: Band 23, Staatsarchiv Graubünden, Chur 2010. ISBN 978-3-85637-387-0.
  • Nehlsen, Eberhard. Wilhelmus von Nassauen. Studien zur Rezeption eines niederländischen Liedes im deutschsprachigen Raum vom 16. bis 20. Jahrhundert. Münster, 1993.

How to cite this page: Hartig, Andrew. "CH-D, 'Berchtersches Chronik,' 1623." Renovata Cythara: The Renaissance Cittern Site. Ed. Andrew Hartig. 21 June 2012. 26 June 2017. <http://www.cittern.theaterofmusic.com/manuscript/berchtersches.html>.


All site contents, unless otherwise stated, are copyright © Andrew M. Hartig, 1999-2012. All rights reserved.