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Some questions about playing from Robert de Visée’s Tablature.

The introduction to his guitar books is a little hard as I don’t speak French. Am I right when I think «tremblement» is trill and «martellement» a mordent? Does «miolement» mean vibrato?

A short vertical line under a letter or a group of letters seems to mean that you shall strike the note or chord with the thumb. (Google translate) How important is it to do this? It does create a different tone colour compared to using the strumming technique described in J. Tyler’s «A guide to playing the baroque guitar»

In the Passacaille I have attached, there is a chord that is marked with a vertical line the first place it is written, but the same chord appears several other places — should I use the thumb stroke for all of them ( I have marked this places with red)

One place there is a similar sign under two letters with a string between them. How do I play this? (Marked with green)

Does anybody know if there is an English translation of de Visée’s introduction?


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You're right about the embelishement translations.

The small vertical line under a letter is just a basic notation for striking the note with your thumb, but if it's under a chord de Visée tells you to strike the whole chord with your thumb (lit. 'strike them from the thumb'). Feel free to do the same or something else...

The green highlight in your example I'd just pluck thumb-middle finger or index, as well as the preceding two-note chords, I don't think they are meant to be struck with only the thumb.

Lykke til!

Thank you Peter!


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