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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000046.txt from 2004/10

From: (Ormondtoby Montoya)
Subj: RE: [kl] Mozart holograph --- I've seen the real thing now ---
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2004 23:35:58 -0400

One of the interesting "page personality" details was when two composers
rewrote multiple measures. (I wish I could remember which composers,
but there was just too much to absorb in a few minutes.)

I think it was Bach who drew squiggly lines through a number of
measures, but you could still see what he had written. Then he wrote
new measures on a separate piece of paper. Thus I could see what Bach
(if that's who it was?) didn't like and what he did about it. As far
as I could tell, he replaced a simple melody with much the same melody
but with more (and shorter) passing notes and arpeggios.

Whereas another composer had used a wide implement of some sort that
could black out an entire system of 4 or 5 staves and the space between
them --- all with one careful sweep. Jon Newsom mentioned that nobody
knows what was blacked out this way. I wasn't able to ask whether this
is because x-rays, etc, can't do the job or whether nobody has invested
the effort.

"Mozart Forgeries" spent a few pages on the difficulty of duplicating
the staves as they drew them in those days. This was another detail
that *jumped off the pages* as I looked at them. The lines were simply
too straight and too crisp and the ink's density was too uniform ---
even in areas where the rag paper's surface was not absolutely smooth
--- to satisfy my layperson's concept of how they must have done things
in those days.

When one of the librarians was talking about rag paper, she said that
after papermakers had learned to remove acid from paper, the inkmakers
had not thought to avoid acid in their iron gall ink. Therefore (she
said) some manuscripts have holes in them today where the ink from
noteheads has eaten through the paper.

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