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Arcangelo Corelli. Trio Sonatas, Op.3 (partbook, 1689)

There are at least three dozen editions of Corelli’s Op. 3 Trio-sonatas from the century following their first appearance. This partbook is from the very first edition, printed in Rome by the Bohemian-born Giovanni Giacomo Komarek, with a title page engraved by Nicolas Dorigny, and in a vellum binding dating within a few years of publication. The music is printed from moveable type; each lozenge-shaped note, with its own short segment of stave-lines, has a separate piece of type. In less conservative centres than Rome this technique was falling into disfavour by 1689. The part represented here is for a low stringed instrument, either bowed or plucked. “Violone” normally signifies a double bass, but in this context Corelli probably intends a violoncello. The plucked alternative, an “arcileuto” or archlute, was a type of lute with additional strings to extend its bass range. Because the archlute could also play chords above the bass, this part has figures to indicate the harmonies.

Click on thumbnails to see larger images.

Cover page.
Title page (engraved).
Page 7 of music (moveable type)


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