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*** This entry is to be read in conjunction with the Online Catalogue's main entry for Mus. 1187. ***

The following inventory of James Talbot's collection of papers makes no attempt to describe its contents in detail, and should be regarded only as a basic finding-list. For details of the history, aims and scope of Talbot's project, see the publications listed in the Select Bibliography. A new edition of Talbot's papers is in preparation by Dr Darryl Martin, who can be contacted at the following address:

James Talbot's papers in Mus. 1187 were probably acquired by Henry Aldrich, although details of the transaction can be inferred only from incomplete evidence. In his own lifetime, Talbot may have committed the papers to his mother, Alicia Talbot, who in 1694 had married Thomas Knipe, one of the masters at Westminster School; an annotation by Talbot to f. [1r] of the materials now in Mus. 1187 Folder C reads as follows: 'For Mrs Alicia Knipe at the Reverend Mr Thomas Knipes House in Stableyard near Deans yard Westminster'. Talbot also referred to his music papers in his will, dated 1708, but without mention of their whereabouts at that time: 'I recommend the Disposal of those Remarks wch I have written & collected upon the Antient & Modern Music, to the said Dr [Heneage] Dering, to be communicated by him to some learned Person who is skill'd in both, & who will promise to finish & publish that work' (cited in Unwin 1982, p. [33] 25; see Select Bibliography below, item 9). It may have been Dering, a canon of York Minster and archdeacon of the East Riding, who effected the transfer of the papers to Aldrich; or this may have been done by Thomas Knipe, who probably knew and would certainly have known about Aldrich. (Knipe himself had studied at Christ Church, and in the early 1660s was usher at Westminster School, during the years when Aldrich held a king's scholarship there.)

Three pieces of evidence support the view that Talbot's papers reached Christ Church while Aldrich was still alive. (1) Within the Aldrich bequest there are various other music manuscripts copied by or for Talbot, unrelated to the papers in Mus. 1187. (For a checklist of these, see the entry for Mus. 1152.) It would therefore seem likely that Aldrich acquired a batch of manuscript material from Talbot, including the papers now in Mus. 1187. (2) Within Archives 1717 - which allegedly lists material donated to Christ Church by Aldrich - there is a reference (at position I9) to 'A manuscript entitled Epithalamium'. This can be matched with the material copied by Talbot now in Mus. 1187 Folder 6. (3) Also listed in Archives 1717 (at position D15) are 'Several Tracts relating to the Grounds of Musick MSS'. This probably included the material now in Mus. 1187 Folder C, which bears the 18th-century shelfmark '15'.

FOLDER 1 (formerly known as 'Mus. 1187 (2)'): 'Organ'. Single gathering of 9 nested bifolios (= 18 folios), unstitched and without pagination.

[FOLDER 2: not by Talbot.]

FOLDER 3 (known as 'Folder A' until November 2005): 'Harmonica' [Notes for a treatise on vocal and instrumental music]. Single gathering of 27 nested bifolios (= 54 folios), unstitched and without pagination.

FOLDER 4: [Music of the ancients]. Two adjacent bifolios (= 4 folios), unstitched and without pagination.

FOLDER 5: 'Excerpta Mene[s]trier' [on the music of the ancients]. 5 bifolios, the first of which acts as a wrapper to the other four (which are adjacent rather than nested); 10 folios in total, unstitched and without pagination.

FOLDER 6: 'Epithalamium' [on the music of the ancients]. Single gathering of 14 nested bifolios (= 28 ff.), unstitched; Talbot himself has numbered the bifolios '1-14'.

FOLDER 7: 'On the Argument & Performance of the Antient Music'. Ten adjacent bifolios, numbered by Talbot as '1-3' and '5-11'; 20 folios in total.

FOLDER 8 (formerly part of 'Mus. 1187 (8)'): [Summary description of instruments]. Single gathering of 8 nested bifolios (= 16 folios), unstitched, of which ff. [2-16] are paginated '1-30' in modern pencil.

FOLDER 9 (formerly part of 'Mus. 1187 (10)'): [spine:] 'Pitch &c of Instr[uments]'. Five bifolios, paginated '1-22' in modern pencil, omitting pp. 5-6 (= the letter from Talbot to Shore, now in folder D, item (8)); unstitched. The five bifolios are paginated as follows: bifolio 1 = pp. 1/2/21/22; bifolio 2 = pp. 3/4/7/8; bifolio 3 = pp. 9/10/15/16; bifolio 4 = pp. 11-14; bifolio 5 = pp. 17-20.

FOLDER 10 (formerly known as 'Mus. 1187 (11)'): 'The Pipe'. Single gathering of nine bifolios (= 18 folios), stitched. Of these, ff. [2-7] have been numbered '1-6' by Talbot himself; the remainder of the fascicle (ff. [7v-18v]) are unused blank pages.

FOLDER 10a. 'The Pipe'. Five adjacent bifolios (= 10 folios), unstitched, and numbered '1-5' by Talbot.

FOLDER 11 (formerly known as 'Mus. 1187 (9)'): [Summary descriptions of instruments]. Single gathering of 12 nested bifolios (= 24 folios), unstitched; paginated '1-48' in modern pencil. 18th-century annotations on p.1: 'D.24' and 'No. 11'.

FOLDER 12. 'The Subject of Performance of the Modern Music compar'd with the Antient' (heading taken from f. [9v]). Four adjacent bifolios, followed by a single leaf; 9 folios in total, unstitched and without pagination.

FOLDER 13 (formerly part of 'Mus. 1187 (3)'): 'Organ'. Single gathering of 6 nested bifolios (= 12 folios), unstitched and without pagination.

FOLDER 14 (formerly known as 'Mus. 1187 (5)'): [Details of instruments]. Single gathering of 12 nested bifolios (= 24 folios), unstitched; paginated '1-48' in modern pencil. The outermost bifolio (pp. 1-2/47-8) is a general listing of instruments in various languages, and has been used as a wrapper for the remaining contents.

FOLDER 15: 'Exotic Music'. Single bifolio (= 2 folios).

[FOLDER 'new A': not by Talbot.]

FOLDER B: The contents of this folder appear to have been assembled by Christ Church librarians in the mid 18th century, and are miscellaneous in provenance. The following items definitely or probably belonged to Talbot. (1) Two single leaves copied apparently by John Banister, one of which gives 'A Scale for the Flute', the other 'A Scale for the Violin' (with comments by Talbot on the verso). / (2) (formerly part of 'Mus. 1187 (3)'): A bifolio, annotated by Talbot on f. [1r], and with information about organ pipes on f. [2r] in an unidentified hand. / (3) A bifolio enclosing a single sheet, concerning the dulcimer; written largely by an unidentified hand, but with additions by Talbot; the name 'Mr Lee' is written on f. [1r]. / (4) A single sheet giving the 'Ordinary Tuning on Base Viol'. / (5) A bifolio, headed 'Modus Recte Intonandi Clavecimbalum vel Spinettam', in Latin; copyist unidentified. / (6) A single sheet, headed 'Accord ordinaire de L'Angelique', in French; copyist unidentified; music notation on verso, also in an unidentified hand. / (7) A single sheet showing intervals notated in the bass clef, possibly in Talbot's hand.

FOLDER C: [A miscellany of working notes, headed 'Musica']. 8 bifolios and 5 single sheets; 21 folios in total, unstitched and without pagination

FOLDER D: Eight miscellaneous items. (1) (formerly known as 'Mus. 1187 (4)'): 'String'd Instruments': stitched fascicle of 20 nested bifolios (= 40 folios), of which ff. [3r-19v] have been paginated '1-32' by Talbot. 18th-century annotation on f. [1r]: 'D.24'. / (2) (formerly known as 'Mus. 1187 (7)'): 'Wind Instrum[en]ts': gathering of six nested bifolios (= 12 folios), formerly pinned at the gutter edge; of these, ff. [2r-11v] have been paginated '1-20' by Talbot. 18th-century annotation on f. [1r]: 'D.24'. / (3) (formerly known as 'Mus. 1187 (6)'): [General list of instruments]: 2 nested bifolios (= 4 folios), paginated '1-8' in modern pencil. / (4) (formerly known as 'Mus. 1187 (1)'): 'Harpsechord': two nested bifolios (= 4 folios), unstitched and without pagination. / (5) (formerly part of 'Mus. 1187 (10)'): [Notes on the organ]: single sheet folded once vertically and once horizontally to form a quatern. / (6) (formerly part of 'Mus. 1187 (3)'): [List of organ stops, with diagram]: single sheet, folded once. / (7) (formerly known as 'Mus. 1187 (10*)': 'Tablature of Hautbois for Mr La riche': single sheet, folded once. / (8) (formerly part of 'Mus. 1187 (10)'): Letter from Talbot to 'Mr John Shore', with 'Tablature of the Cornet'; single sheet, folded once. This originally formed pp. 5-6 of the material now in Folder 9.

FOLDER E: Thirteen miscellaneous sheets, mostly written by Talbot, sometimes on scrap paper previously used for other purposes; unstitched and without pagination.

FOLDER E1: 'Of the Argument & Performance of the Modern Music'. 3 bifolios and 2 single sheets, adjacent rather than nested; 8 folios in total, unstitched and without pagination.

Select Bibliography

Readers of items 1-6 in the Select Bibliography below should note that these studies refer to Talbot's papers in their pre-microfilm order, and use the letters 'X', 'Y' and 'Z' to cite specific portions of the collection. This material is now distributed as follows:
  • 'X': now Folder D(1) (formerly 'Mus. 1187 (4)') and D(2) (formerly 'Mus. 1187 (7)').
  • 'Y': now Folder 9 (formerly 'Mus. 1187 (10)').
  • 'Z': now Folder 14 (formerly 'Mus. 1187 (5)'), Folder 8 (formerly 'Mus. 1187 (8)') and Folder 11 (formerly 'Mus. 1187 (9)').
Items 7 and 8 in the Select Bibliography refer to the reorganized state of the collection as described by Charles Mould in item 8, and as represented by the standard microfilm. For details of the latter, see the Online Catalogue's main entry for Mus. 1187.

1. Anthony Baines, 'James Talbot's MS: I. Wind Instruments', The Galpin Society Journal, 1 (1948), 9-26.

2. Robert Donington, 'James Talbot's Manuscript: II. Bowed Strings', The Galpin Society Journal, 3 (1950), 27-45.

3. William A. Cocks, 'James Talbot's Manuscript: III. Bagpipes', The Galpin Society Journal, 5 (1952), 44-7.

4.Michael Prynne, 'James Talbot's Manuscript: IV. Plucked Strings - The Lute Family', The Galpin Society Journal, 14 (1961), 52-68.

5. Donald Gill, 'James Talbot's Manuscript: V. Plucked Strings - The Wire-strung Fretted Instruments and the Guitar', The Galpin Society Journal, 15 (1962), 60-69.

6. Joan Rimmer, 'James Talbot's Manuscript: VI. Harps', The Galpin Society Journal, 16 (1963), 63-72.

7. Peter F. Williams, 'The First English Organ Treatise', The Organ, 44 (No. 173: July 1964), 17-32.

8. Charles Mould, 'James Talbot's Manuscript: VII. Harpsichord', The Galpin Society Journal, 21 (1968), 40-51.

9. Robert Unwin, 'Patronage and Preferment. A Study of James Talbot, Cambridge Fellow and Rector of Spofforth, 1664-1708', Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, Literary and Historical Section, 19 (1982), 3-29 (or [11]-[[37]).

10. Robert Unwin, 'James Talbot and His Music Manuscript', The University of Leeds Reporter, no. 236 (1 March 1985), 6-7. A photocopy of this item is kept at Christ Church at shelfmark Arch. Sup. H.2.15.

11. Robert Unwin, ' "An English Writer on Music": James Talbot 1664-1708', The Galpin Society Journal, 40 (1987), 53-72.

To view a general listing of the contents of Mus. 1187, arranged by folder, follow this link.