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Tablature notations that developed in the sixteenth century in the field of secular European instrumental music had an impact also on the dissemination of purely vocal and vocal-instrumental church music. In this function, the so-called new German organ tablature notation (also known as Ammerbach’s notation) became the most prominent, enabling organists to produce intabulations from the vocal and vocal-instrumental parts of sacred compositions. On the choir of the Lutheran church in Levoča, as parts of the Leutschau/Lőcse/Levoča Music Collection, six tablature books written in Ammerbach’s notation have been preserved. They are associated with Johann Plotz, Ján Šimbracký, and Samuel Marckfelner, local organists active in Zips during the seventeenth century. The tablature books contain a repertoire which shows that the scribes had a good knowledge of contemporaneous Protestant church music performed in Central Europe, as well as works by Renaissance masters active in Catholic environment during the second half of the sixteenth century. The books contain intabulations of the works by local seventeenth-century musicians, as well as several pieces by Jacob Regnart, Matthäus von Löwenstern, Fabianus Ripanus, etc. The tablatures are often the only usable source for the reconstruction of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century polyphonic compositions transmitted incompletely.

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