Binding: Cardboard covered with brown-yellow marbled paper. Spine and corners strengthened with brown leather. Spine additionally reinforced with purple adhesive strip. Originally a collection of loose leaves that have been bound along their edges (rather than as folded bifolios) using a combination of stitching and adhered strips of paper. Pastedowns inserted at front and back.
Support: Machine-made paper with two different watermarks: an eagle with outstretched wings above the initials LAF (pp. 1–4, 9–14), and a crescent moon forming a face in profile (pp. 5–8, 15–18). Both paper types originate in Habsburg-controlled regions of north-east Italy, and were commonly exported to the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Writing implement: Reed pen; later additions in pencil.
Ink: Brown (or oxidized black): pp. 1–2, 11–12, 15–16, p. 6 (part of col. b only); darker (or less oxidized) black: pp. 3–4; blue: pp. 5–10, 13–14, 17–18. Pagination and later annotations in pencil; some in black ink.
Layout: Pages are ruled in pencil and divided into columns by pencil lines. On pages where the dividing lines are shaded in (3–10, 13–14, 17–18), the ruling is continuous across both columns. On pages where the dividing lines are not shaded in (1–2, 11–12, 15–16), the ruling in the two columns does not match up. Narrow pencil margins were added to all pages, but some pages (1–4, 9–10, 13–14, 17–18) were inverted before the notation was entered and the margin (which falls incorrectly, i.e. at the fore-edge on the recto and the gutter edge on the verso) is therefore ignored by the scribe. Each page contains between three and five pieces, with an average of 43 lines per filled column. Because the leaves were originally unbound, pieces do not span more than a single folio, and only in two cases (pp. 5–6, 13–14) span more than one side.
Pagination: Pagination in Arabic numerals is added in pencil at the top of each page by a later hand. The same pagination has been repeated by another hand in faint pencil following the end of the notation on each page. There are traces of an older pagination (in the same hand as the newer pagination) that has been struck out or overwritten. The older pagination was added before the leaves were bound in their current state, and indicates that they originally had a larger extent. In some cases, the recto and verso have been reversed. Correspondences between older pagination (o.p.) and newer pagination (n.p.) are as follows: o.p. 1–2 = n.p. 4–3; o.p. 5–6 = n.p. 9–10; o.p. 13–14 = n.p. 13–14; o.p. 19–20 = n.p. 8–7; o.p. 23–24 = n.p. 5–6.
Binding and textblock are generally in a rather poor condition. Spine is damaged and reinforced with an adhesive strip. Strips of paper are glued in (evidently after the creation of the ms., since they obscure the notation) between pp. 4–5, 8–9, 10–11 and 12–13 to hold the textblock together. The pastedowns at front and back are inserted in a way that obscures the notation on p. 1 and p. 18. Gutters and edges are heavily worn, with small tears in several leaves. Larger tears on pp. 9–10, 13–14, and 17–18 have been repaired with transparent tape. All leaves are degraded by foxing to a greater or lesser extent.
Scribes / Handwriting styles
Reed pen; brown, black and blue inks: 1st hand/main scribe (probably Hampartsum Limonciyan); Armeno-Turkish headings in modern cursive script (šłagir); early Hampartsum notation; some annotations. (Hampartsum Limonciyan)
Pencil: 2nd hand: unknown Armenian scribe; added older and newer pagination in Arabic numerals; possibly also responsible for annotation on p. 6 (Armeno-Turkish, pencil) and emendations to notation on p. 8 (pencil).
Pencil: 3nd hand (possibly Hüseyin Saʼdeddîn Arel); transcribed original headings into Arabic script. (Hüseyin Saʼdeddîn Arel)
Pencil and thin black pen: 4th hand (Subhî Ezgi); transcribed Arabic-script headings by 2nd hand into Latin script; added signed annotations on p. 16, p. 18, and end fly leaf (see Notes); overwrote Arabic-script headings for piece nos. 1–4 and 10 in black pen. (Subhî Ezgi)
Pencil: Added pagination (same as newer pagination) in faint pencil at end of notation on each page. (Subhî Ezgi)
Collection of instrumental music in early Hampartsum notation containing 41 peşrevs and 28
sâz semâîsis, probably compiled by Hambarjum Limōnčean (1768–1839) between 1812 and 1839.
Headings are in Armeno-Turkish, with later annotations by Refik Fersan and Suphi Ezgi.
The ms. contains two pieces composed by the scribe, as indicated by the signature ‘k‘eat‘ibin’ (քեաթիպին), i.e. ‘the scribe’s’ (Tr. kātibiñ), on p. 7, and in abbreviated form (‘k‘ea’) on p. 4. These signatures are also found in two mss. by the same scribe, OA405 and
, where they are sometimes supplemented by the letter ho (Հ). It seems likely that ‘H’ refers to Hampartsum Limonciyan (Hambarjum Limōnčean, 1768–1839), the main inventor of the notation system (Olley 2018a, pp. 361–71; idem 2017a, pp. 80–90). The terminus post quem is provided by the treatise of Minas Pjşgyan (
, 1777–1851), which dates the invention of the notation system to 1812 (Bžškean 1997, pp. 73–4; Olley 2017a, pp. 88–90).
P. 18 (bottom of col. a) contains the following annotation: ‘Bu notanĭn anahtarĭnĭ, konservatuvar için yazdĭrdĭgĭm Necib Paşa notalarĭ mecmuasĭnĭn baştarafĭna [inserted above] inşallah yazacagĭm 9/2/941 Dr Suphi Ezgy’ (‘God willing, I will write the key to this notation at the beginning of the collection of Necîb Paşa’s notations which I ordered to be copied for the conservatoire. 9/2/941, Dr Suphi Ezgi’).
P. 18 (bottom of col. b) contains the following annotation: ‘Bu Defterde 64 parça peşrev ve semai yazĭlĭdĭr, Necib paşadan aldĭğĭmĭz defterlerdeki yazĭnĭn aynĭ hat oldugu ve bu defterinde Hamparsum tarafĭndan Koca Reşid paşaya verilmiş oldugunu onun Torunu B. Necmeddin Koca reşid tarafĭndan beyan edilmiş oldugundan, bu defterin Hamparsum tarafĭndan yazĭlmĭş oldugunu kabul ettik 9/2/941 Dr Suphi Ezgy’ (‘In this notebook are written 64 [sic] peşrevs and semâîs; because the handwriting is the same as the handwriting in the manuscripts that we took from Necîb Paşa, and it was confirmed by his grandson B. Necmeddîn Koca Reşîd that this manuscript was also given by Hampartsum to Koca Reşîd Paşa, we have accepted that this manuscript was written by Hampartsum. 9/2/941, Dr Suphi Ezgy’).
The end fly leaf contains the following annotation: ‘Türk musikisinde, tarihce kĭsminde, ve Necib paşanĭn kütübhanesinden yazĭdĭgĭm ve bir kopyasĭnĭ konservatuvar kütüphane[sine] verdiğim peşrev ve semailerin baştarafĭnda bu notanĭn anahtarĭ ve tafsĭlatĭ yazĭlĭdĭr 9/2/941 Dr Suphi Ezgy’ (‘The key and explanation of this notation are written in the history section of Türk Musikisi, and at the beginning of the [collection] of peşrevs and semâîs that I copied from Necîb Paşa’s library, a copy of which I also gave to the conservatoire library. 9/2/941, Dr Suphi Ezgy’).
Belediye Konservatuvarı Kütüphanesi, no. 2900
Belediye Konservatuvarı Kütüphanesi, no. 1617
Belediye Konservatuvarı Kütüphanesi, no. 356
Belediye Konservatuvarı Kütüphanesi, no. 9