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Mus. 1236

Manuscript. Keyboard book containing works of English and French origin, copied in Oxford by William Ellis, probably in the 1650s and early 1660s. For general information about Ellis and his musical circle, see Bellingham (in Bibliography below); for specific information about Ellis's copying activities and his scribal characteristics, see Robert Thompson, 'A Further Look at the Consort Music Manuscripts in Archbishop Marsh's Library, Dublin', Chelys, 24 (1995), pp. 3-18 (at pp. 10-11, where Ellis is to be equated with Copyist 'Q'). For information about repertorial layers in Mus. 1236, see the studies by Bailey (in Bibliography). Ellis was also responsible for copying parts of Mus. 468-72.

An outline inventory of Mus. 1236, with information about concordances for works of French origin, is available in Bruce Gustafson, French Harpsichord Music of the 17th Century: a Thematic Catalog of the Sources with Commentary (Ann Arbor, 1979), vol. 2, pp. 123-32. A more recent inventory of Mus. 1236, with a more comprehensive list of references to modern editions of the pieces contained in Mus. 1236 (or their cognates), is included in Virginia Brookes, British Keyboard Music to c.1660 (Oxford, 1996); this latter book's thematic index is cited in the inventory below as 'Brookes'. See also the following:

  • For pieces attributed to La Barre (items 1, 7, 9-10, 32-5 and 48), see Harpsichord Music Associated with the Name La Barre, ed. Bruce Gustafson and R. Peter Wolf, The Art of the Keyboard, 4 (New York, 1999).
  • For pieces attributed to John Roberts (items 23-4), see John Roberts: The Collected Works, ed. Candace Bailey, The Art of the Keyboard, 8 (New York, 2003).
The contents of Mus. 1236 were entered at both ends of the volume. In the layer copied at what is now designated as the front (items 1-49), Ellis himself began a pagination system in ink, but abandoned it at p. 33. The remainder of this 'front' layer was subsequently foliated in modern pencil, beginning with 'f. 33' (= Ellis's 'p. 33'). The layer at the reverse end (items 50-89), which is copied with the volume inverted, has its own separate foliation system, again in modern pencil. Because the standard microfilm of Mus. 1236 shows all these numberings, they are retained in the inventory below; the 'front' end is catalogued first, using Ellis's pagination for 'pp. 1-32' and modern foliation starting at 'f. 33r'; for contents copied at the 'rear', the prefix 'R' has been added to the foliation system. Other catalogues, including RISM, have rejected the pagination/foliation system written into Mus. 1236 itself, and instead refer to its 122 constituent leaves as 'ff. 1-122'; for details of the collation of the leaves, see below.

Table of titles and composers in modern form. Display form found in manuscript.

1 La Barre (after Orlando Gibbons?), here attrib. Jonas Tresor Courant with variation (La Barre ed. no. 6b; lacks opening) p. 3
2 Jonas Tresor Courant (Brookes 2321) p. 4
3 Jonas Tresor Courant variola (Brookes 2324) p. 5
4 Jacques Champion de Chambonnières Courant (Brookes 1486) p. 6
5 Jonas Tresor Air (Brookes 2311) p. 7
6 Jonas Tresor Courant (Brookes 2322) p. 8
7 La Barre? Saraband (La Barre ed. no. 12a) pp. 8 - 9
8   The forest (Brookes 559) p. 9
9 La Barre Courant with variation (La Barre ed. no. 6a) p. 10
10 La barre Courant with variation (La Barre ed. no. 14) pp. 11 - 12
11   Alman (Brookes 342) p. 12
12   The nightingale (Brookes 816) p. 13
13 Albertus Bryne Toletole (Brookes 1159) p. 14
14   Courant (Brookes 295) p. 14
15 Henry Loosemore Courant (Brookes 1915) p. 15
16 Jean Mercure Alman (Brookes 1951) pp. 16 - 17
17 Jean Mercure Courant (Brookes 1956) p. 18
18 Jean Mercure Saraband (Brookes 1960) p. 19
19 Jean Mercure Alman (Brookes 1952) pp. 20 - 21
20 Jean Mercure Courant (Brookes 1957) p. 22
21 Jean Mercure Saraband (Brookes 1961) pp. 22 - 23
22   Air (Brookes 301) p. 24
23 John Roberts (i) Courant (Bailey ed. no. 15) p. 25
24 John Roberts (i) Courant (Bailey ed. no. 12a) pp. 26 - 27
25   Masque (Brookes 755) pp. 28 - 29
26 Stephen Nau Courant (Brookes 1985) p. 30
27 Mark Coleman Courant (Brookes 1503) p. 31
28   Alman (Brookes 343) p. 32
29 John Ferrabosco Alman (Brookes 1678) f. 33r
30 John Ferrabosco Courant (Brookes 1679) f. 33v
31 John Ferrabosco Saraband (Brookes 1680) f. 34r
32 La Barre Courant (La Barre ed. no. 3c) f. 34v
33 La Barre? Courant (La Barre ed. no. 13) f. 35r
34 La Barre Courant (La Barre ed. no. 1) f. 35v
35 La Barre Saraband (La Barre ed. no. 2a) f. 36r
36 Benjamin Rogers Courant (Brookes 2151) f. 36v
37 William Ellis Alman (Brookes 1592) f. 37r
38 Benjamin Rogers Courant: La Suedoise (Brookes 2153) ff. 38v - 39r
39 Benjamin Rogers Saraband (Brookes 2157) f. 39r
40 Benjamin Rogers Alman (Brookes 2145) ff. 39v - 40r
41 Benjamin Rogers Courant (Brookes 2152) ff. 40v - 41r
42 Benjamin Rogers Saraband (Brookes 2158) f. 41r
43 Benjamin Rogers Gigue (Brookes 2155) ff. 41v - 42r
44 François Dufaut Courant (Brookes 1583) ff. 42v - 43r
45 Jean Mercure Alman (Brookes 1948) ff. 43v - 44r
46 Jean Mercure Courant (Brookes 1953) ff. 44v - 45r
47 Jean Mercure Saraband (Brookes 1958a) ff. 45r - 46r
48 La Barre Courant (La Barre ed. no. 11a) f. 46r
49 Benjamin Rogers Alman (Brookes 2148) ff. 50v - 51r
50 William Ellis Alman (Brookes 1589) f. R1r
51 William Ellis Saraband (Brookes 1601) f. R1r
52 William Ellis The Royalist (Brookes 1600) f. R1v
53   Magdana cree (= 'Mad Tom of Bedlam'; Brookes 714) f. R1v
54   Midsummer (Brookes 782) f. R2r
55   The parson of the parish (Brookes 842) f. R2r
56   Air (Brookes 267) f. R2v
57   Pembroke College (Brookes 864) f. R3r
58   The cap of maintenance (Brookes 405) f. R3v
59   Saraband (Brookes 978) ff. R3v - R4r
60   The old man (Brookes 827) f. R4r
61   A pretty fancy (Brookes 545) f. R4v
62   Picalomina's march (Brookes 868) f. R4v - R5r
63 Thomas Holmes Courant (Brookes 1797) f. R5v
64   A hedge or a haycock (Brookes 627) f. R6r
65   A health in Canary (Brookes 626) f. R6r
66   A lute lesson (Brookes 713) f. R6v
67   Courant (Brookes 461) f. R7r
68 Thomas Warwick Masque (Brookes 2335) f. R7v
69   A maid's delight (Brookes 736) f. R8r
70 William Ellis Alman (Brookes 1590) f. R8v
71   (incomplete copy of no. 14 above) f. R9r
72 William Ellis Courant (Brookes 1595) f. R9v
73 William Ellis Courant (Brookes 1596) f. R10r
74 William Ellis Alman (Brookes 1591) ff. R10v - R11r
75 William Ellis Courant (Brookes 1597) f. R11v
76 William Ellis Bow bells (Brookes 1594) ff. R12v - R13r
77 William Ellis Alman: Mariae (Brookes 1593) ff. R13v - R14r
78 William Ellis Courant (Brookes 1598) f. R14r
79 Robert Price Fain I would (Brookes 2050) f. R15r
80   The king's march (Brookes 689) f. R15r
81 Etienne Moulinié, arr. William Ellis Moulinié's saraband (Brookes 1602) ff. R15v - R16r
82   Vulcan and Venus (Brookes 1068) f. R16v
83 William Lawes Air (The golden grove; VdGS 361) f. R17r
84 William Lawes Corant (The golden grove; VdGS 363) ff. R17v - R18r
85 Etienne Moulinié, arr. William Ellis Moulinié's courant (Brookes 1599) f. R18r
86   Thomas you cannot (Brookes 1015) f. R18v
87 William Lawes Saraband (VdGS 264) f. R18v
88   The Irish hay (Brookes 658) f. R19r
89   An Irish jig (Brookes 677) f. R19r

Oblong format, 230 x 175 mm. Originally 144 leaves (18 quires each of 8 leaves), of which 122 remain in place. The collation below gives the following information: quire and current pagination or foliation / actual foliation (as used by RISM).

  • Originally A8, of which A1-3 have been excised; A4-7 = 'pp. 3-12' / actual ff. 1-5.
  • B8 = 'pp. 13-28' / actual ff. 6-13.
  • C8; C1-2 = 'pp. 29-32'; C3-8 = 'ff. 33-8' / actual ff. 14-21.
  • Originally D8, of which D2 has been excised; D1,3-8 = 'ff. 39-45' / actual ff. 22-8.
  • E8 = 'ff. 46-53' / actual ff. 29-36.
  • F8 = 'f. 54', then unfoliated / actual ff. 37-44.
  • G8 = unfoliated / actual ff. 45-52.
  • H8 = unfoliated / actual ff. 53-60.
  • I8 = unfoliated / actual ff. 61-8.
  • J8 = unfoliated / actual ff. 69-76.
  • K8 = unfoliated / actual ff. 77-84.
  • L8 = unfoliated / actual ff. 85-92.
  • M8 = unfoliated / actual ff. 93-100.
  • N8 = all excised.
  • O8, of which O2 has been excised; O1,3 are unfoliated; O4-8 = ff. R20-16 / actual ff. 101-7.
  • P8, of which P5 has been excised; P1-4,6-8 = ff. R15-9 / actual ff. 108-14.
  • Q8 = ff. R8-1 / actual ff. 115-22.
Unused ruled staves on ff. 37v-38r, 46v-50r, 51v-54v, R12r, R14v, R19v-20v, and all the unfoliated leaves in quires F-O. Mid 17th-century binding of brown leather over boards; upper and lower covers gold-tooled with fillets enclosing a central ornament, with smaller ornaments at the corners; edges stippled in red. Bookplate: Wake (on inside rear cover).

Provenance: from the library of Archbishop William Wake (1657-1737), which was donated to Christ Church at his death. Wake also owned Mus. 1113, another keyboard book associated with William Ellis. When and where Wake obtained these two manuscripts is unrecorded; nor is it known if Wake himself was a keyboard player; but the fact that he was resident in Oxford in 1673-82, during which period William Ellis died, may point to his having acquired the books at that time.

Microfilm: manuscript music, reel 45.

Select bibliography:

  • Bruce Bellingham, 'The Musical Circle of Anthony Wood in Oxford During the Commonwealth and Restoration', Journal of the Viola da gamba Society of America, 19 (1982), pp. 6-70. Find in a Library
  • Candace Bailey, 'William Ellis and the Transmission of Continental Keyboard Music in Restoration England, Journal of Musicological Research, 20 (2001), pp. 211-42. Find in a Library
  • Candace Bailey, Seventeenth-Century British Keyboard Sources (Warren, MI, 2003), 108-16. Find in a Library