G. Frescobaldi, E. Pasquini, T. Merula
ll Libro di fra Gioseffo da Ravenna. Opere di diversi Autori, di Girolamo Frescobaldi, d’Ercol Pasquino, Cesare Argentini, Incert’Autore
This volume, preserved in the Biblioteca Comunale Classense of Ravenna ( MS 545), is one of the most important seventeenth-century anthologies in manuscript of Italian music for keyboard (organ and/or harpsichord). The source is laid out in accordance with the graphic conventions of so-called Italian tabulature for keyboard. This consists of two systems, one of five lines and the other of seven, which correspond to the right and left hand, respectively. The manuscript contains eleven pieces composed by Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643), eleven others by Ercole Pasquini (ca. 1540-ca. 1620), a canzona by Antonio Cifra (1584-1629), a toccata attributed to Andrea Gabrieli (1510-1586), a canzona attributed to Tarquinio Merula (1590-1665), another to Cesare Argentini (an otherwise unknown composer), and thirty-four anonymous pieces, totaling in all 60 compositions. This manuscript was surely compiled for various reasons: as a collection of compositional models; as training for keyboard-playing and composition; as a sampling of useful pieces for the liturgy; and merely as recreation.