Manuscript. English consort music and Italian madrigals, copied in score by Stephen Bing; English, 1630s or later. A component of the so-called 'Great Set', which also includes three partbook sets Mus. 397-400, Mus. 401-2 and Mus. 403-8, and an organ-book Mus. 436. For a full bibliographical description of the 'Great Set' with parallel inventories of its component volumes, see the Bibliography below (items 1 or 2).
Mus. 2 was envisaged as a five-layer anthology, comprising works for 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 voices. The two-voice layer was never copied, and the manuscript now opens with 94 unused pages on which Bing ruled staves and bar-lines but provided no music. The three- and four-voice layers (items 1-45 and 46-85 respectively) appear to be complete; virtually no space was left for their expansion. The five- and six-voice layers, conversely, include many pages ruled with unused staves on which further pieces could be added. Thus the five-voice layer (items 86-185) includes three spans of unused pages (at ff. 153r-162v,195r-200v and 205v-213v), and the six-voice layer (items 186-233) is followed by 39 pages of unused ruled staves (ff. 284v- end). The incomplete nature of the manuscript is further suggested by the fact that Bing supplied neither titles not composer attributions for any of the pieces he copied; nor did he add foliation or piece-numbers, or prepare an index of contents.
In the late 17th century, Mus. 2 (and indeed the whole of the 'Great Set') was acquired by Henry Adrich. He left his mark on Mus. 2 by annotating the opening pieces in the five-voice layer (items 86-106), for which he provided text-incipits, composers' names and a numbering system, all added in ink; these annotations are reproduced in the inventory below (when displayed in the 'form found in manuscript'). In the 19th and 20th centuries, further identifications were added in pencil by readers, cataloguers and librarians; these markings are not shown in the inventory below.
Table of titles and composers in modern form. Display form found in manuscript.
Upright format, 427 x 280 mm. 303 folios, foliated in modern pencil. For detailed information about paper-stock, watermarks, collation and rastration, see items 1 and 2 in the Bibliography below. Unused ruled staves on ff. 1r-49v, 73r-v, 107v, 153r-162v,195r-200v, 205v-213v, and 284v- end. Mid 20th-century binding of brown fabric over boards; this replaces an earlier binding described in Malchair 1787 (f. 37r) as being of 'rugh Calf', of which no trace remains. No early bookplate.
Provenance: from the Hatton collection (see Bibliography below); then part of the Aldrich bequest, listed by Hind in Dowding at position P3: 'A large folio of Instr Musick in Score by Marenzio, Benedetto Palavicino &c. M.S.'; the word 'Instr' was subsequently deleted. In Mus. 2 itself, the shelfmark 'P.3' is written on the front flyleaf in Hind's hand.
Microfilm: manuscript music, reel 1.