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Interpreting strumming for Murcia's Saldivar Codex 1730- need some help please

Greetings all my first post but might as well jump into a good discussion.

Okay, I've run into a good little dilemma here. I recently purchased the facsimile to the 1714 Saldivar Codex. Everything is pretty easy to understand in Murcia's notation thankfully except for strumming/rasgeado when it comes to patterns, rhythm, meter, and when to make the chord changes. Is anyone here familiar with this facsimile? Taking for example the first piece, Jacaras, you have indication of chords to use via a lettering system that refers to a chord chart, fair enough, but then you have some vague indication of strum direction and no understanding of what pattern and rhythm they are supposed to be played in. I'd post a scanned screen shot but unfortunately the facsimile is still under copyright.

If anyone is familiar with this and could point me in the right direction to where I might find some answers (which I hopefully don't have to shell out extra $ for since I bought the Volume I: The Manuscript, Complete Facsimile Edition with Preface and Commentary. By Michael Lorimer. ), I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance for any information.

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Well, looks like I was able to half answer this by going through Sanz's method which at least taught me some basic rhythms of these dances/pieces and chord progressions. I guess my next step is determining what the "compas" is; finding a good source for baroque guitar rasgeado technique (guessing some flamenco background will help some); and learning how to get some good patterns for syncopation. I take it that strummed passages are pretty much improvised by the player for baroque guitar?
Hello, Emil(io), nice to meet you on this forum too! As far as baroque rasgueado is concerned, Rob MacKillop has a very instructive video on that topic.
Good luck1
Hi Harry (yes found this forum too)and thanks for the reply.

I've seen his strumming video on the tarentella (is there another?) which is excellent to say the least. The only new/different pattern for me is the one where he digs his middle finger into the soundboard and rapidly strums back and forth. Needless to say, that technique isn't possible on modern, flamenco guitars, or 19th century guitars (trust me I tried but I'll get to experiment with it next month on the right kind of guitar). I guess I'll have to do some experimenting with different patterns and landing on a up or down stroke as dictated by the forms. Is this a good way to go about it? I'd really like to get a sense of where the accents are for the forms as it seems very nearly identical to 12 beat (hemiola) compas structures in flamenco and would give me a better idea of what is overkill and what isn't with different rasgeado patterns.
Check Rasgueados are for everyone by Nitin Arora. (Available for free download somewhere on the net). It is not Baroque-guitar oriented, but it has quite a number of ideas.
On page 2 of Forum I had a question about the rasgueado section in Corbetta's Chaconne, and I got very useful information and comments from Monica Hall, another member of this forum, and an expert in this field. Her replies to me might also be of interest to you. I also notice that you are acquainted with flamenco.This last year I have tried to pick up some flamenco technique, I can master the 4 finger rasgeo, but I must say I cannot master an even continuous rasgeo yet. But I also want to incorporate this into baroque guitar music, and hopefully I will get my Voboam soon....
Hi Harry,

Yes, I studied quite a bit of flamenco actually so rasgueado patterns aren't much of an issue for me. Some patterns I do a little differently such as continuous triplets ( I go p m p instead of p e i or p a i) but it comes down to what clicks with you and that you get the right sort of accent and sound. I'll have to do a fair amount of adjusting though I'd imagine when trying them with no nails and such a low action with strings so close to the sound board. I've noticed that the Jacaras "feel" seems to be very similar to a bulerias compas (1&a, 2&a, 3&, 4&, 5&) albeit slower but still starting at 12 o'clock on the compas clock.

I'll take a look at your other thread as I'm sure that will shed considerable insight from an expert into my "research". Thank you both for the responses.
Very Interesting, Emil! I'll try that pattern out. When you use 4 fingers continuous rasgeo, do you go e-a-m-i or e-a-m-i -i (upstroke)? Or perhaps you get an even cont. rasg. with p-m-p triplets?
With the four fingered ones, I end with the i upstroke. You can use the rasgueado as a quintuplet or allow that upstroke to start the next beat (so then a new finger is always starting the beat). The triplet p-m-p is definitely faster and far more effortless for me though. That one I can figuratively keep going for days and easy to keep even, but the 4 finger one I'll gas out on =). There is an older one that not many folks do these days in flamenco which is a sextuplet ami down then ami up. This pattern is fairly easy to develop relaxed continuity and high speed with. It does tend to sound less clear and articulated though.
Very interesting! I'll try these patterns out and see which one "clicks" with me!
I don't know whether you realized this already, but the note values placed on the stave indicate both the duration of the notes and the directon of the strum. The only thing missing are the barlines. In the Jacaras all the note values are crotchets (in English) or quarter notes. The piece begins with two pickup beats, both upstrokes. The first phrase is uu/duu/dud/ddu/d//. So you just need to put in the bar lines. A few of the pieces have more complex rhythms but most of them are not too difficult to bar.

Hope that' s some help. The manuscript actually dates from the 1730s not 1714 which is the date of Murcia's printed bool "Resumen de acompanar".
Thank you very much, Monica. That's the interpretation I guessed after going through some of Sanz' material, but it's great to get confirmation from an expert on it. Now to just improvise some creative rhythm. I'm guessing that all down strokes are where the accents lie in the music as well and could possibly syncopate against (compas?)? Yeah the manuscript is 1730, must have had Resumen on my brain at the time (thank you for pointing that out).

Any tips for being able to read the upside down notation? I'm finding that is one of the largest obstacles since my brain just doesn't want to work that way (have to sit and figure out each one unlike being able to read bars ahead when it's right side up). I have actually started to transcribe select pieces from there into the 1st course being on the top, which at the same time I spell out the alphabeto chords and reference them.

Thank you again for the reply,

I think Murcia mostly gives the basic up and down pattern but it is usually possible to work out the rest of it by comparing the strummed bits with the plucked bits. There are a few problems - when are there not!

I'm afraid I can't help much with upside down tablature. I actually learnt to read Italian tablature first so reading French tab has always been more of a problem for me - matching letters to frets. I guess it is just a matter of persevering. It's very good mental exercise - like doing crossword puzzles and Sudoko.



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