Gaspar Sanz had a tablature system for the baroque guitar which features a mapping between alphabetical letters and chords. From the linked page:
Sanz's tablature is remarkable in that it is topologically correct, representing the first string in the lower line and the fifth string in the highest printed line. In this epoch, guitars only had five strings. It also features the "italian alphabet", a shorthand system that assigns a chord to each letter, so that melodic chord progressions can be written and read very neatly (with rhythm information) as a simple sequence of letters, a concept related to the recent Nashville system. For example, there is a "Zarabanda francesa" (french sarabande) which includes the sequence CIFI+H2+G2K2IFCM2N2CAIC, which means:
- CIFI: D major chord, A major, E major, A major
- +H2+G2K2: E minor, B major, E minor, F# major, B minor
- IFCM2N2: A major, E major, A major, E major (variation), A major (variation)
- CAIC: D major, G major, A major, D major
There are 2 things which confuse me in the above:
- How is this system topological? I don't see a schematic representation of the strings. It looks like the paragraph is mixing Sanz's tablature and an "italian alphabet" system.
- How is the alphabetical notation mapped to chords? e.g.,
Cseems to be mostly D major but once it's A major. Also, where is the rhythmic information?