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Anthoine Carre -
Livre de pieces de guitarre de musique

Presented here are all of the pieces in Anthoine Carre's book of music for Baroque guitar, Livre de pieces de guitarre de musique. The cover page is laid out as follows:


dedie A son Altesse Royalle Madame la Praincesse D'orange
Compose et mis au jour Par Anthoine Carre sieur
De lagrange

Anthoine Carre used what we call French tablature, and further commentary about Carre's tablature follows the table of contents below. For convenience, each piece by Carre has been assigned a short ID of the form ACn(b) where

AC = Anthoine Carre.
n = page number on which piece starts.
"b" indicates the second piece to start on the given page.

This modern tablature uses only common keyboard characters - no graphics. It's very simple and instantly usable, but you can click here for some general comments on the modern tablature, including tips on printing it out perfectly. If anyone is inspired to generate input files for use with a program that makes beautiful, graphic tablature, I invite you get in touch with me first. It would have to be much easier for you to work from my input files rather than the generated output you see in these web pages.

Livre de pieces de guitarre de musique

Pieces for solo guitar:

AC1: Prelude (D major).
AC2: Chacone (D major).
AC4: Alemande (D major).
AC6: Sarabande (D major).
AC7: Chacone (F major).
AC8: Air de Sarabande (F major).
AC9: Alemande (F major).
AC10: Menuet (F major).
AC11: Courante (F major).
AC13: Prelude (unmeasured, G minor).
AC14: Sarabande (G minor).
AC15: Alemande (G minor).
AC17: Sarabande Plainte (G minor).
AC18: Courante (G minor).
AC18b: Sarabande (G minor).
AC20: Prelude (A minor).
AC21: Air de Sarabande (A minor).
AC22: Pasacaille tanbour (A minor).
AC23: Alemande (A minor).
AC23mod: Same Alemande as above, but with added octave notes for the modern guitar. Compare with AC23 to see how simple this is to do.
AC25: Gavote (A minor).
AC26: Pasacalle (D minor).
AC28: Alemande (D minor).
AC30: Sarabande (D minor).
AC54: Tombau (C minor).

Guitar duet:

AC30b: Menuet (D minor). AC31: Second desus de menuet.

Pieces du Conser desus:

This is a big suite for 2 guitars, plus melody and bass instrument. The melody and bass parts are written in music notation. I intend to put them up in image files, but for now you can make do with the 2 guitar parts, plus the bass part which I translated into tablature for modern guitar. The melody part is expendable because it is identical with the top line of the 1st guitar part (with just a few identified exceptions.) I'm not even sure if the melody part was supposed to be played, or if it was just to show clearly the melody heard in the 1st guitar part. The melody part is not even ornamented, whereas the melody in the 1st guitar part is. The whole suite is in C major.

AC44: Ouverture. AC55: Ouverture, Second desus.
AC45: Air de balet. AC56: Air de ballet, Second desus.
AC46: Danse pour deux arlequains. AC57: Danse pour deux Arlequains, Second desus.
AC47: Sarabande. AC57b: Sarabande, Second desus.
AC47b: Menuet. AC58: Menuet, Second desus.
AC48: Gigue. AC59: Gigue, Second desus.
AC49: Gavote. AC59b: Gavote, Second desus.
AC50: Minuet 2. AC60: Minuet 2, Second desus.
AC51: Chacone. AC60b: Chacone, Second desus.
AC53: Air de Sarabande. AC62: Air de Sarabande, Second desus.
AC39: Basse. Bass parts for all of the pieces in the above suite. Transcribed for modern guitar with the 6th string tuned down to C, and the 5th string tuned down to G. (The low Cs sound great!)

Anthoine Carre, Baroque guitar and tablature

Anything I know about Anthoine Carre and his guitar book comes from Richard Pinnell's dissertation on Francesco Corbetta. In his section on the guitar in the Low Countries, Pinnell writes (page 203-204): "A collection of particularly high quality is that of Antoine Carre. Although neither place nor date is provided, it appears to have been printed at the end of the 17th century. Much of the music approximates the style of Corbetta in 1671; several of the pieces are exact duplications, while others show a similarity."

On the cover of this copy, a librarian wrote, "[ca. 1720]", which seems much too late.

You see that I stick with the spelling "Anthoine" as given on the title page of the Livre. I don't know whether Anthoine or Antoine is preferred, or which one people would most likely search for.

I assume a facsimile of Anthoine Carre's guitar book is in print, and I recommend you buy a copy. Everything you need to play the music is here in these web pages, but having access to the original greatly enhances the experience. Even if you never actually play from the facsimile, merely looking it over and cross-checking a few bars here and there with the modern tablature goes a long way in removing the "middle man" (me) from between you and Anthoine Carre.

CARRE'S TABLATURE: Anthoine Carre used French tablature. Specifically, it is right-side-up, uses 5 lines for the 5 strings, and uses swirly letters to indicate frets. It is generally very legible. An occasional problem is that sometimes the "d" is rotated almost 180 degrees counter-clockwise, making it look like an "e". A funny quirk is sometimes using "i" for fret 8, and sometimes "j" - and sometimes both in the same piece!

CARRE'S STRINGING: I assume Anthoine Carre strung his guitar with high-low pairs on the 4th and 5th courses. There are many instances of the high octave of those courses being needed to keep a musical line intact.

Good results can be obtained by playing this music on a modern guitar, and simply adding the octave above 4th- and 5th-string notes. Write in your added notes. I have done this for one of the pieces, AC23mod, to show how easy it is. Also, see my web pages which give two versions of a Passacaille by H. F. Gallot - one with, and one without, added octaves.

For a step up in authenticity, take a look at my web page which explains how you can very simply convert a modern guitar into a Baroque guitar - what I call a "quasi-Baroque" guitar.

ORNAMENTATION: Carre notated several different ornaments in his tablature: "x" for a trill, "," for a mordent, and "#" for vibrato. (I only remember seeing one vibrato!) These symbols were placed behind the note (i.e., fret letter) they acted on. In my modern tablature, I use symbols which suggest twiddles from above or below, and they are placed in front of the fret number. He also used a curved line above a chord for a chute, and a "|" between fret letters to indicate to play the top note after the bottom note.

" = trill (multiple twiddles from above.)

` = grace note from above. (Not used in Carre's music.)

, = mordent (main note to lower neighbor and back up.)

# = vibrato.

( = chute. Hammer on one of the notes of a strummed chord.

| = play the bottom note and then the top note.

When you catch yourself going for the wrong trill note, write the correct fret number to left of the trill symbol.

I don't know how justified it is, but on some short notes I play an inverted mordent (main note to upper neighbor and back down) instead of a trill. That's all I can squeeze in, and it sounds fine to me.

SLURS: are described by their starting and ending points. You'll have to draw them in by hand - not too onerous a chore. If only a starting point for the slur is given, the slur includes all the following uninterrupted notes on the same string, even if the run of notes crosses a bar line.

STRUMS: Carre makes regular use of strums - a characteristic element of Baroque guitar music. I have managed to work ^ and v arrowheads into the tablature, but I suggest re-drawing the ^ arrowhead neatly at the top, and the v arrowhead at the bottom, of its stem. Then white out the printed ^ and v.

In general, open strings were not shown in the strummed chords. Sometimes Carre tells you explicitly not to play certain strings in a strummed chord, but he is not consistent about this. I suggest that you write in the open strings that you find work well in the strum and, further, mark the undesired strings with "no strum" dots. I'm a believer in solving a problem once for all times.

RHYTHM VALUES: Carre's original rhythm values have been retained. Remember that in the original tablature, a rhythm symbol is printed only when a new rhythm begins. When I need to describe a sequence of rhythm values, I write the implied rhythm values in ( ). For example, in this example . . .

           __        __  
        |. |  |      |   

. . . I would describe the rhythms as follows:

Bar 1 - dotted-4er 8th 4er.
Bar 2 - (4er 4er) 8th (8th).

NOTES INEGALES: Consider playing 8th notes inegales in this French Baroque music. Let your ear be your guide.

IGNORED NOTATION: Carre shows lots of curved lines beginning below chords and sweeping up and to the right for 2 or more beats. I'm not sure what they indicate (let the notes ring?) and I think it's safe to ignore them.

COPYRIGHT: this work may be copied freely by anybody. Help yourself.

THANKS: to the Library of Congress for keeping this copy of Anthoine Carre's guitar book, and not blinking an eye at my request to copy it.


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Helpful keywords not in the main text: antoine carre. Henry Francois de Gallot.

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