Another circle canon

February 9, 2018

A few days ago I posted some videos showing the scores of music notated on a circular stave. Here’s another, and it’s even better. Salve Radix was set by Richard Sampson to celebrate the birth of Mary Tudor to Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon. The piece is for four voices, 2 in the countertenor and 2 in the bass, with each pair singing in canon at an interval of a fifth. (It says “canon at the fourth” in the video, but to me it looks like a fifth. Mind, I am a chimpanzee in such matters and happy to be corrected.)

I’m not sure why these are notated in a circular pattern; once around and it’s done. Perhaps it’s just because it’s pretty on the page. But the intricacy of the musical construction is still delightful to behold. My thanks to Jordan Alexander Key for making the video.

2 Responses to “Another circle canon”

  1. godescalc Says:

    One of the countertenors is written an octave off what’s actually sung (I think it’s the second, higher voice, written an octave lower). The second countertenor is following the first at an interval of a 4th higher up; but it’s written as being a 5th lower.

    But yes, a very nice piece of music; thanks for posting it.

  2. cburrell Says:

    That helps to explain my confusion. Thank you!


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