Toccate, Ricercari, Canzoni & Inni di autori vari da «Il Transilvano» di Girolamo Diruta
The “Transilvano” by Girolamo Mancini (Deruta, Perugia, ca 1550 – after 1610/12), called Diruta after the name of his birthplace, is widely known as the first Italian treatise entirely devoted to keyboard practice. Set out in dialogue form, Diruta’s work is divided in two parts: the first was printed in Venice by Giacomo Vincenti in 1593 and dedicated to Zsigmond Bàthory (Sigismondo Bàttori), prince of Transylvania, while the second, also published in Venice by Giacomo Vincenti in 1609, was dedicated to Princess Leonora Ursina Sforza. Diruta’s method was certainly greeted with interest and enthusiasm, considering that the first part was reprinted three times (in 1597, 1612, and 1625), and the second was also reprinted (1622). The importance of the “Transilvano” lies not so much in its theoretic aspect – treatises of music theory had been published before – as in the practical part: a study method in its own right for organ and keyboard instruments. Particular emphasis is placed on the organ, described by the author as “…Rè de gl’istrumenti…” which “…raccoglie in se tutti gli istrumenti musicali…”. He even compares it to the human body, stating that “meglio rappresenta la voce humana, operandosi in esso il fiato, & la mano… …avendo i mantici corrispondenti al polmone, le canne alla gola, i tasti à denti, e’l Sonatore in vece di lingua…”.