Diruta's major work is a treatise in two parts on organ playing, counterpoint, and composition, entitled Il transilvano (The Transylvanian); it is in the form of a dialog with Istvan de Josíka, a diplomat from Transylvania whom Diruta met during one of Josíka's missions to Italy. It is one of the first practical discussions of organ technique which differentiates organ technique from keyboard technique on other instruments. His fingerings largely follow the usual ones of his times: for example, his fingering for a C major scale never includes the thumb, and crosses the middle finger over the ring finger: his work is one of the earliest attempts in Italy to establish consistency in keyboard fingering.
As a contrapuntist, Diruta anticipates Fux in describing the different "species" of counterpoint: note against note, two notes against one, suspensions, four notes against one, and so forth. Unlike Fux, he defines a less-rigorous kind of counterpoint that was adequate for improvisation; for example it neither requires contrary motion nor prohibits successive perfect consonances. It describes contemporary keyboard practice well, as can be observed from the contemporary toccatas and fantasias of composers such as Merulo.
Diruta included many of his own compositions in Il transilvano, and they are mostly didactic in nature, showing different kinds of figuration, and presenting different kinds of performance problems. They are among the earliest examples of the etude.
Read more about this topic: Girolamo Diruta
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