Towards Tact and Tactus in German Baroque Treatises

In music history during the period encompassing the years beginning from the late 15-th to the middle of the 18-th centuries a fundamental significance in music theory and practice had been designated to the definition of Tact and Tactus. Such a broad historical scope of our paper inevitably involves the inclusion of much material, and the authors were forced to concentrate mainly on materials of the 17-th and beginning of the 18-th centuries. In the discussion of the meaning of the terms Tact, Tactus and also the verb tangere we applyed not only to treatises on music, as compared with other scholars, but to different kind of language dictionaries of that period, such as: A. de Fulda, P. Dasypodio, I. Serrano, Chr Wase, A. Ornitoparchus, J. Dowland, T. de Santa-Maria, Chr. Demantius, H. Faber, A. Gumpelzhaimer, J. Quirsfeld, A. Wilfflingseder, G. Falck, J. R. Ahle, J. G. Walther and many others. In result it has been certainly defined that the general meaning of Tact and Tactus (along with the verb tangere) was ‘to beat the meter’, and the last had to be done with great precision.

Key words
tact, tactus, tactibus, tactistæ, compas, Tango, tangere, Schlag, Anrühren, Valor, Geltung, to beat, steady/regular/equal, Augenblick, Niederschlag, Auffheben, die Seele der Music, the soul of music.