I am engaving a complete edition of the Haydn String Quartets from the 1803 Pleyel "Bonaparte" edition, to provide players with access to this particular edition, which does not suffer much from 19c bowdlerisation at the hands of editors.

Op. 17 No. 1, cello part, in the Trio has the directive 'T.S.' as shown here. I have never encountered this before. Does anybody know what this may mean?

enter image description here

I do not believe this could be 'Tasto Solo' as it is well agreed by scholars that the quartets by this time did not use continuo, certainly not in Austria or Vienna, and there are no figured bass markings in this edition [Although there does exist a score of this opus with a figured continuo basso, but this can be ignored for many reasons.]


2 Answers 2


It's hard to imagine what else it could be other than tasto solo, considering that the edition with figures, published by Hummel, omits figures at this same point. Without access to the manuscript source, it's difficult to say more, but it seems likely that T. S. was added by whoever provided the figures for the Hummel edition, and that the other editions were based on the Hummel edition (perhaps indirectly), and simply failed to omit T. S. when they omitted the figures.

This hypothesis also makes sense musically, since it was common to indicate tasto solo on a pedal point as it is here.

The Hummel edition has T. S. in a couple of other spots, for example measure 11 (if I counted correctly) of the first movement. Does the edition you're working from have it in those places as well?

  • 2
    How did you find that edition? When I look at IMSLP, I find only the Dover edition.
    – Aaron
    Aug 18, 2021 at 14:10
  • 4
    @Aaron if I recall correctly, from the page for the opus, imslp.org/wiki/String_Quartets%2C_Op.17_(Haydn%2C_Joseph), I first clicked the "parts" tab, which has v1 and vc only. Then I clicked the link for the individual quartet, imslp.org/wiki/…, which has those as well as several other editions on its "parts" tab. Those tabs are not the best UI design; they're easy to overlook or forget about.
    – phoog
    Aug 18, 2021 at 14:19
  • @phoog Indeed, and it is also easy to overlook or forget that IMSLP might have scans of the parts for an edition but lack a scan of the score. (An issue with the extent of IMSLP's database, rather than the UI to it.)
    – Rosie F
    Aug 19, 2021 at 7:57
  • @RosieF I wouldn't be surprised if those earlier editions had no scores. I suspect that they were only available as sets of parts.
    – phoog
    Aug 19, 2021 at 19:06

on my 1772 edition (schott) the TS does not exist Pic attachedenter image description here

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