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Mus. 379-81

Manuscript. Complete set of three partbooks containing courtly dance ayres by John Jenkins, Charles Coleman, Simon Ives, Nicholas Lanier, William Drew and others; English, probably mid 1630s. Mus. 379: 'Cantus'; Mus. 380: 'Altus'; Mus. 381: 'Bassus'. For an overview of the repertory found in these partbooks, see the discussion by Holman (cited in the Bibliography below). For a partner set, compiled by the same copyists and containing comparable four-voice ayres, see Mus. 367-70.

Mus. 379-81 was owned and partly copied by John Browne (1608-91), Clerk to the Parliaments, many of whose manuscripts are now located within the Christ Church music collections. He was assisted by two unidentified scribes, designated as 'Browne A' and 'Browne C' in Ashbee 1977. The distribution of labour was as follows:

  • John Browne copied items 29-32, 36-7 and 67-9, and added titles or composer attributions to several pieces copied by his assistants.
  • Copyist 'Browne A' copied items 1-28 and 33-5.
  • Copyist 'Browne C' copied items 38-66.
Some of the ayres in Mus. 379-81 are reduced-voice versions of pieces originally conceived in four- or five-voice texture; others appear to be genuinely three-voice works that survive elsewhere with an inessential fourth voice. The inventory below makes no attempt to account for these variations of texture, details of which are available either in the Viola da Gamba Society's Thematic Index of Music for Viols (accessible online) or in the literature cited in the Bibliography below. Some of the ayres are placed together as if to constitute consort suites, but the groupings have probably been 'assembled rather than planned' (Holman, p. 259). Comments on individual pieces:
  • Item 2 is attributed to Charles Coleman in London, British Library, MS Add. 31423, ff. 174 and 196.
  • Items 22-3 are discussed in Pinto 2008, p. 9 (with transcriptions of their incipits as Exx. 7-8 at pp. 23-4).
  • Items 67-9: copying of these pieces, which may be by Browne himself, was not completed.
  • Items 1-66: Browne compiled a summary list of these ayres arranged by key on front endleaf [ii] of Mus. 381.
Table of titles and composers in modern form. Display form found in manuscript.
The first column gives the modern numbering of the pieces; the second shows numbering used by the copyist(s).
 Mus. 379Mus. 380Mus. 381
1 1 John Jenkins Alman (three-part airs for Tr/T/B, VdGS 5) f. 1r f. 1r f. 1r
2 2 Charles Coleman? Jig (VdGS anon. 924) f. 1v f. 1v f. 1v
3 3 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in g minor no. 313) f. 2r f. 2r f. 2r
4 4 William Lawes, arr. Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS: Lawes 342; Coleman airs in g minor no. 314) f. 2v f. 2v f. 2v
5 5 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in g minor no. 315) f. 3r f. 3r f. 3r
6 6 John Jenkins Alman (three-part airs for Tr/T/B, VdGS 3) f. 3v f. 3v f. 3v
7 7 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in G major no. 258) f. 4r f. 4r f. 4r
8 8   Alman (VdGS anon. 925) f. 4v f. 4v f. 4v
9 9 Alfonso Ferrabosco (ii) Alman a5 (VdGS 4; here a3) f. 5r f. 5r f. 5r
10 10 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in C major no. 1) f. 5v f. 5v f. 5v
11 11 John Jenkins Alman (three-part airs for Tr/T/B, VdGS 4) f. 6r f. 6r f. 6r
12 12 John Jenkins Alman (three-part airs for Tr/T/B, VdGS 6) f. 6v f. 6v f. 6v
13 13 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in G major no. 260) f. 7r f. 7r f. 7r
14 14 John Jenkins Alman (three-part airs for Tr/T/B, VdGS 1) f. 7v f. 7v f. 7v
15 15 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in g minor no. 312) f. 8r f. 8r f. 8r
16 16 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in F major no. 211) f. 8v f. 8v f. 8v
17 17 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in F major no. 212) f. 9r f. 9r f. 9r
18 18 William Cranford Alman a3 f. 9v f. 9v f. 9v
19 19 John Jenkins Corant (three-part airs for Tr/T/B, VdGS 2) f. 10r f. 10r f. 10r
20 20 John Coprario Alman a3 (Charteris 133) f. 10v f. 10v f. 10v
21 21 Robert Johnson (ii) Alman a3 (VdGS 6) f. 11r f. 11r f. 11r
22 22   (unidentified chanson a3; VdGS anon. 926) f. 11v f. 11v f. 11v
23 23   (unidentified chanson a3; VdGS anon. 927) f. 12r f. 12r f. 12r
24 24 Simon Ives Pavan (VdGS 1) f. 12v f. 12v f. 12v
25 25 Simon Ives The wag (VdGS 25) f. 13r f. 13r f. 13r
26 26 Simon Ives The choice corant (VdGS 3) f. 13v f. 13v f. 13v
27 27 Simon Ives Saraband (VdGS Ives p. 4) f. 14r f. 14r f. 14r
28 28 William Lawes Alman/Saraband (VdGS 311-12) f. 14v f. 14v f. 14v
29 29 Nicholas Lanier Symphonia (VdGS 1) f. 15r f. 15r f. 15r
30 30 Nicholas Lanier Symphonia (VdGS 2) f. 15r f. 15r f. 15r
31 31 Thomas Ford Alman f. 15v f. 15v f. 15v
32 32 Thomas Holmes Pavan (VdGS 4) f. 16r f. 16r f. 16r
33 33 Maurice Webster Echo for two trebles (VdGS 11) f. 16v f. 16v f. 16v
34 34 Maurice Webster Echo for two trebles (VdGS 12) f. 17r f. 17r f. 17r
35 35 Maurice Webster Echo for two trebles (VdGS 13) f. 17v f. 17v f. 17v
36 36 John Cobb Alman (VdGS 1) f. 18r f. 18r f. 18r
37 37 John Cobb Alman (VdGS 2) f. 18v f. 18v f. 18v
38 38 John Cobb Corant (VdGS 3) f. 19r f. 19r f. 19r
39 39 John Cobb Corant (VdGS 4) f. 19r f. 19r f. 19r
40 40 Cormac MacDermot Sir John Packington's Pavan (VdGS 1) f. 19v f. 19v f. 19v
41 41 William Drew Alman (VdGS 11) f. 19v f. 19v f. 19v
42 42 William Drew Alman (VdGS 12) f. 20r f. 20r f. 20r
43 43 William Drew Alman (VdGS 13) f. 20r f. 20r f. 20r
44 44 William Drew Coranto (VdGS 14) f. 20v f. 20v f. 20v
45 45 William Drew Alman (VdGS 15) f. 20v f. 20v f. 20v
46 46 William Drew Alman (VdGS 16) f. 21r f. 21r f. 21r
47 47 William Drew Alman (VdGS 17) f. 21r f. 21r f. 21r
48 48 William Drew Alman (VdGS 18) f. 21v f. 21v f. 21v
49 49 William Drew Saraband (VdGS 19) f. 21v f. 21v f. 21v
50 50 William Drew Alman (VdGS 20) f. 22r f. 22r f. 22r
51 51 William Drew Saraband (VdGS 21) f. 22r f. 22r f. 22r
52 52 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in C major no. 2) f. 22v f. 22v f. 22v
53 53 Charles Coleman Corant (VdGS airs in C major no. 3) f. 22v f. 22v f. 22v
54 54 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in C major no. 4) f. 23r f. 23r f. 23r
55 55 Charles Coleman Corant (VdGS airs in C major no. 5) f. 23r f. 23r f. 23r
56 56 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in C major no. 6) f. 23v f. 23v f. 23v
57 57 Charles Coleman Corant (VdGS airs in C major no. 7) f. 23v f. 23v f. 23v
58 58 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in F major no. 220) f. 24r f. 24r f. 24r
59 59 Charles Coleman Northern saraband (VdGS airs in F major no. 218) f. 24v f. 24r f. 24v
60 60 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in F major no. 217) f. 24v f. 25r f. 24v
61 61 Charles Coleman Corant (VdGS airs in F major no. 221) f. 25r f. 25r f. 25r
62 62 Charles Coleman Corant (VdGS airs in F major no. 219) f. 25r ff. 24v-25r f. 25r
63 63 Charles Coleman Alman (VdGS airs in C major no. 8) f. 25v f. 25v f. 25v
64 64 Charles Coleman Corant (VdGS airs in C major no. 9) f. 25v f. 25v f. 25v
65 65 Charles Coleman Corant (VdGS airs in C major no. 10) f. 26r f. 26r f. 26r
66 66 Charles Coleman Corant (VdGS airs in C major no. 11) f. 26r f. 26r f. 26r
67 67 John Browne? Pavan f. 26v   f. 26v
68   John Browne? Alman     f. 27r
69 69 John Browne? Corant     f. 27r

Oblong format, c. 210 x 160 mm. Structure:

  • Mus. 379: iii+30+iii leaves; textblock foliated in modern pencil. Collation: A8, B6, C8, D8. Unused ruled staves from f. 27r to end.
  • Mus. 380: i+32+ii leaves; textblock foliated in modern pencil. Collation: A8, B8, C8, D8. Unused ruled staves from f. 26v to end.
  • Mus. 381: ii+32+i leaves; textblock foliated in modern pencil. Collation: A8, B8, C8, D8. Unused ruled staves from f. 27v to end. A summary list of ayres 1-66, arranged by key, was added by John Browne on the recto of front endleaf [ii].
Mid 17th-century bindings of white vellum; outside upper covers annotated 'Cantus', 'Altus' and 'Bassus' by John Browne. Bookplate 2 in all three partbooks. 19th-century shelfmarks: I.4.91-3.

Provenance: from the Aldrich bequest, listed in Archives 1717, position I29, as 'Airs of Jenkins in 7. Parts'. This entry refers simultaneously to Mus. 379-81 and the closely related set Mus. 367-70, both of which have the shelfmark 'I 29' written on their spines. In Dowding the reference to '7' parts was subsequently changed to '4', suggesting that Mus. 367-70 remained at this position while Mus. 379-81 was moved elsewhere.

Microfilm: manuscript music, reel 13.

Select bibliography:

  • Andrew Ashbee, 'Instrumental Music from the Library of John Browne (1608-1691), Clerk of the Pariaments', Music & Letters, 58 (1977), 43-59. Find in a Library
  • Peter Holman, Four and Twenty Fiddlers: The Violin at the English Court 1540-1690 (Oxford, 2/1995), at pp. 251-9. Find in a Library
  • David Pinto, 'New Lamps for Old: The Versions of the Royall Consort', in William Lawes (1602-1645): Essays on His Life, Times and Work, ed. Andrew Ashbee (Aldershot, 1998), 251-81. Find in a Library
  • The Viola da Gamba Society Index of Manuscripts Containing Consort Music, compiled by Andrew Ashbee, Robert Thompson and Jonathan Wainwright, vol. 2 (Aldershot etc., 2008), 1-3 and 241-4. Find in a Library
  • David Pinto, 'Pious Pleasures in Early Stuart London', Royal Musical Association Research Chronicle, 41 (2008), 1-24. Find in a Library