Mus. 417-18, Mus. 1080
Manuscript. Three partbooks from a set of four (lacking the tenor
book for the 4-voice works) containing performing parts for English
consort music, copied by Stephen Bing; sometimes called the 'Bing
Set' (Wainwright) or 'The Lesser Set' (Pinto); English, probably
mid-late 1630s. Bing appears to have abandoned his copying before
the partbooks were complete; thus, in the inventory below, items
53-61 lack one or two voice-parts. The contents of these partbooks
were later largely re-copied by John Lilly in the so-called 'Great
Set', as follows:
Upright format, 257 x 197 mm. For full details of collation and watermarks, see The Viola da Gamba Society Index (in Bibliography below), pp. 195-6. Foliated in modern pencil. Unused ruled staves on the following pages: Mus. 417, ff. 31v-32v and 57v-[61v] / Mus. 418, ff. 31v-32v and 60v / Mus. 1080, ff. 31v-32v and 51v-59r. Late 17th-century 'Aldrich binding', Type 4; edges marbled. In Mus. 418, the second flyleaf at the front has the following pencil instruction in an unidentified hand: 'This book to be bound as it is'. The spines of Mus. 417-18 are gold-tooled: 'FANT / D / 3.B.', and numbered '1' and '3'. Mus. 1080 is identically bound, but lacks gold-tooling on its spine; presumably it was intended to be volume '2'. Why it evaded decoration, and when and why it became separated from its companions, is unknown. Bookplate 2 in all three volumes. 19th-century shelfmarks: Mus. 417-18 = I.5.27-8; Mus. 1080 = I.7.80.
Provenance: from the Hatton collection (see Bibliography below); then part of the Aldrich bequest. Mus. 417-18 have not yet been positively identified in any of the 18th-century catalogues of the Christ Church music collections, but are securely of Aldrich provenance on account of the bindings. Mus. 1080 is first listed by Hind (in Archives 1717), item E20, as 'O Absalom my son &c. M.S.', a description that tallies with item 62 in the inventory above; this partbook too is securely of Aldrich provenance on account of its binding.
Microfilm (all three partbooks): manuscript music, reel 16.