Simon Gorlier - Troysieme Livre (1551)

Simon Gorlier was a French guitarist.  In 1551, Gorlier's renaissance guitar book, Le troysieme livre contenant plusiers duos, et trios… en tablature de guiterne was published in Paris as part of a series of guitar books (the other books in the series are by Guillaume Morlaye).  Le Troysieme Livre consists primarily of Gorlier's renaissance guitar settings of songs written by other composers, along with a few pieces that appear to be original compositions by Gorlier.  In 1558, Gorlier began printing music himself.  Gorlier's book uses French Tablature notation.

Cover page of Gorlier's Troysieme Livre (1551)

Pourquoy Font Bruit & S'assemblent Les Gens - Simon Gorlier (1553)

Pourquoy Font Bruit is a psalm arranged for renaissance guitar by Gorlier.  In Troysieme Livre, Gorlier does not provide information about the original composer of Pourquoy Font Bruit (he does credit other composers elsewhere in his book).  The original song appears to be based on the text by French poet Clement Marot (Psalm 2), which was set to music by Clement Janequin in 1549.  The song also appears in various settings by other composers.

Facsimile of Gorlier's Pourquoy font bruit from Troysieme Livre (1553).  The piece begins on the 3rd line of the 1st page (zoom in to read the title - and note the letters used in this book are disappointingly plain, compared to letters from some of the other guitar books and lute books).  Also note double bar lines (e.g. line 2 of the piece, on page 1).  These (or similar) double bar lines typically indicate a repeat in the mid-1500s renaissance guitar books.

Transcription of Gorlier's Pourquoy Font Bruit (1551) to staff notation and modern guitar tablature, by Johann von Solothurn.


A note on printing errors:  There appear to be a couple of printing errors in this piece.  My transcription above corrects those errors.  The piece is written in douple meter.  As printed, measures #26 and #52 of the piece would be in an equivalent to 1/4 meter (these two measures, as printed, only contain one full beat each).  Since there are no indications in the original print that there is a change in meter, I assume that the printer simply used the incorrect note values - this is the simplest explanation, as any other explanation would require that bar lines were printed incorrectly as well.  I therefore addressed the printing error by doubling the printed note values in the two measures in question.   Transcribing the piece exactly as printed in 1551 would yield the following: 

Measure 26 (uncorrected, to the left) would have 1 beat, with 2 beat measures resuming in measure 27.

Measure 52 (uncorrected, to the left) would have 1 beat, followed by 2 beat measures for the remainder of the piece.

Johann von Solothurn

Johann is a bard and Court Musician in the Kingdom of Atlantia.  Johann enjoys sharing his art.  If you would like Johann to assist you in organizing or judging bardic/music competitions, teaching classes, or if you would like him to drop by your camp and perform, just send him a note (email below).  

Johann von Solothurn

Barony of Black Diamond

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