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Two note ligatures
Three notes and more exercises
Preliminary remarksFirst, let's notice that note values have been affected by a sort of inflation, as can be seen from the breve's name (our modern square note), which once upon a time was the... shortest one! As a matter of fact we'll have to take into account longs and even maximas. When they don't make up the most part of the piece, it's - to my taste - an odd habit to divide note values by 2, 4, or 8! This would lead, for instance, to transcribe semiminims (quarter notes) on the manuscript into eighth notes. I'm not sure I would play these two versions in exactly the same way, not to mention their outer appearance...
Two-note ligaturesFirst, no minim or shorter note will be found in any ligature.
Three notes and moreThey shall be analysed in two steps:
at head and bottom is a B ;
or at head and top is an L ;
at head is a B  (in any vertical position) ;
any note shape in the middle is a B  (same remark) ;
at top and tail is a B ;
at bottom and tail is a B.
at bottom and tail is an L.
Applying the basic rules and then using the diagram is equivalent to the rules given by Apel already quoted, on his pages 91 and 92.
rules to be applied first: 5 = L
diagram: 1 = B (head)
diagram: middle, any shape: 2, 3, 4 = B
diagram: 6 = L (bottom tail: the stroke belonged to note 5)
final result: B B B B L L
Let's go!Now you're ready to translate ligatures like the one shown at the top of the page into a sequence of letters or isolated notes (which is equivalent). By the way, you'll never see two neighbouring notes at the same pitch in a ligature: such a pattern is impossible, and therefore the ligature must be broken into two parts or into isolated notes.