This, That, or the Other: Labeling in Early Music

I just finished adding nearly 40 new entries to the 17th century (2nd half) timeline from Charlotte Leonard’s very thorough “The Role of the Trombone and its Affekt in the Lutheran Church Music of Seventeenth Century Saxony and Thuringia: The Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century” Historic Brass Society Journal 12 (2000), 161-209.

One of the things worth noting about the music in question is the freedom with which instrumentation is treated. Many, many of the composers are loose with instrumentation, providing several different options for which instruments may be used. At times there is so much latitude that instrumentation instructions come across as suggestions rather than requirements. In earlier eras, of course, instrumentation wasn’t even labeled at all. Based on this and other evidence, I would be suspicious of anyone who puts too much emphasis on precise labeling in early music (including alto versus tenor trombone). By all accounts, labeling was really quite free!

New Timeline Entries:

1648—Johann Rosenmüller scores for soprano voice, 2 violas or trombones, violone or trombone, and basso continuo in Lieber Herre Gott (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1648—Johann Rosenmüller scores for alto voices, 3 violas or trombones, violone or trombone, and basso continuo in O admirabile commercium (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1652—Zittau, Germany: Andreas Hammerschmidt calls for 3 trombones in Lob- und Danck Lied aus dem 84 Psalm (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1652/53—Johann Rosenmüller scores for alto voice, 2 violas or trombones, violone or trombone, and basso continuo in O dives omnium bonarum dapum (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1652/53—Johann Rosenmüller scores for soprano and alto voices, 2 violas or trombones, violone or trombone, and basso continuo in O dulcis Christe, bone Jesu Charitas (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1652/53—Johann Rosenmüller scores for alto voices, 3 violas or trombone, violone or trombone, and basso continuo in Amo te Deus meus amore magno (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1657—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for alto voice, 2 violas or trombones, violone or trombone, and basso continuo in Gehe aus auf die Landstrassen (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1657—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for alto voice, 3 violas or trombones, a violone or trombone, and basso continuo in Jesu dulcis memoria (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1657—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for SATB, cornetto or violin, 2 violas or trombones, a violone or trombone, and basso continuo in his Magnificat (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1657—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for SATB, 2 violins, 3 trombones or violas, trombone or violone, and basso continuo in his Missa a 10 (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1658—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for bass voice, viola or trombone, violone or trombone, and basso continuo in Herr, nun läst du deinen Diener (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1658—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for soprano, alto, and tenor voice; 3 flutes or violins; flute or trombone or violone; and basso continuo in Seht euch für den falschen Propheten (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1658—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for voices, trombone or bassoon or viola, trombone or bassoon, 2 bassoons, and basso continuo in Fürchtet euch nicht (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1658—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for voices, 2 violins, 2 violas or trombones, 2 flutes, 2 trombones, and basso continuo in Meine Seele erhebet den Herren (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1658—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for SATB, 2 violins, 3 trombones, and basso continuo in Erschienen ist der herrliche Tag (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1658—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for voices, 3 trombones or violas, “trombone majore,” and basso continuo in his Magnificat (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1658—Briegel scores for voices, 2 cornetti, 4 trombones, and basso continuo in his Nun lob mein Seel (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1662—Zittau, Germany: Andreas Hammerschmidt scores for soprano voice, 2 trombette, 4 trombones, violone, and basso continuo in Nun lob mein Seel (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1662—Zittau, Germany: Andreas Hammerschmidt scores for alto voice, 2 clarinos, 4 trombones, violone, and basso continuo in Herr hadre and Gelobet systu Jesu Christi (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1662— Zittau, Germany: Andreas Hammerschmidt scores for voices, 2 violins, 3 trombones, and basso continuo in his Missa XIII (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1663— Zittau, Germany: Andreas Hammerschmidt scores for voices, 2 violins, 4 trombones, and basso continuo in his Missa XVI (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1663—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for voices, 2 violins, 2 trombette, 2 cornetti, 2 trombones, 2 flauti, and basso continuo in Sie ist fest gegründet (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1664—Bernhard’s multichoral Benedic anima mea calls for 4 trombones (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1665—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for voices, 2 violins, 4 trombones, and basso continuo in Zwingt die Saiten in Cithara (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1665—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for voices, 2 violins, 4 trombones, and basso continuo in Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1665—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for voices, 2 trombette, 3 trombones, and basso continuo in his Benedicamus (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1665—Johann Rudolph Ahle calls for 4 trombones in his Gloria in excelsis Deo (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1672—Knüpfer calls for 4 trombones in Quare fremuerent gentes (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1674—Becker scores for voices, 2 violins or trombette, 2 trombones or violas, trombone or bassoon or violone, and basso continuo in Das Blut Jesu Christi (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

c. 1675—Johann Rosenmüller calls for 5 trombones in his Als der Tag der Pfingsten erfüllet war (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

c. 1675—Johann Rosenmüller calls for 5 trombones in his Nun gibst du, Gott, einen gnädigen Regen (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1678—Johann Rudolph Ahle scores for soprano voices, 2 trombette, 3 trombones, and basso continuo in his Freudenlied (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1686—J.P. Krieger scores for soprano voices, violin, and viola da gamba or trombone in Ich bin eine Blume zu Saron (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

c. 1690—Schulze calls for trombone (or bassoon or violone) in his Historia Resurrectionis Domini nostri (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

c. 1690—Knüpfer calls for 4 trombones in Komm heilger Geist (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1690—Johann Rosenmüller calls for 4 trombones in Siehe eine Jungfrau ist (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

1700—Knüpfer scores for voices, 2 violins or cornettini, viola da gamba or bambardo or trombone, and organ in O benignissime Jesu (Leonard, The Role of the Trombone…Mid- and Late Seventeenth Century).

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