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Mus. 430

Manuscript. Organ-book containing organ parts for sixteen fantasia-suites for one or two violins, bass viol and organ by William Lawes; copyist unidentified; English, c. 1636-42. Copied under the supervision of John Browne (1608-91), Clerk to the Parliaments, many of whose manuscripts are now located within the Christ Church music collections; within Mus. 430, Browne himself added titles, numeration of the individual movements, time-signatures and various other annotations, all in red ink. Possibly a partner to a violin partbook now in private ownership (collection of Layton Ring), which includes violin I parts for these fantasia-suites, and was also copied by the unidentified scribe of Mus. 430. This latter partbook also derives from Browne's ownership, and presumably belonged to a set that also contained parts for violin II and bass viol, neither of which is known to survive. The contents of Mus. 430 are discussed and edited in William Lawes: Fantasia-Suites, ed. David Pinto, Musica Britannica 60 (London, 1991), which is cited in the inventory below as 'MB 60'. Mus. 430 is one of the many manuscript sources of keyboard music at Christ Church.

Table of titles and composers as shown in the manuscript. Display in modern form.
The first column gives the modern numbering of the pieces; the second shows numbering used by the copyist(s).

1 1-3 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 1, for violin, bass viol and organ (VdGS 1; MB 60 no. 1):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. [0]v-3r
2 4-6 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 2, for violin, bass viol and organ (VdGS 2; MB 60 no. 2):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 3v-6r
3 7-9 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 3, for violin, bass viol and organ (VdGS 3; MB 60 no. 3):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 6v-10r
4 10-12 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 4, for violin, bass viol and organ (VdGS 4; MB 60 no. 4):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayer ff. 11v-14r
5 13-15 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 5, for violin, bass viol and organ (VdGS 5; MB 60 no. 5):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 14v-18r
6 16-18 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 6, for violin, bass viol and organ (VdGS 6; MB 60 no. 6):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 18v-22r
7 19-21 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 7, for violin, bass viol and organ (VdGS 7; MB 60 no. 7):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 22v-25r
8 22-4 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 8, for violin, bass viol and organ (VdGS 8; MB 60 no. 8):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 25v-29r
9 25-7 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 1, for 2 violins, bass viol and organ (VdGS 1; MB 60 no. 9):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 29v-33r
10 28-30 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 2, for 2 violins, bass viol and organ (VdGS 2; MB 60 no. 10):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 33v-37r
11 31-3 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 3, for 2 violins, bass viol and organ (VdGS 3; MB 60 no. 11):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 37v-40r
12 34-6 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 4, for 2 violins, bass viol and organ (VdGS 4; MB 60 no. 12):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 40v-43r
13 37-9 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 5, for 2 violins, bass viol and organ (VdGS 5; MB 60 no. 13):] Fantazia / Almaine / [Ayre] ff. 43v-46r
14 40-2 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 6, for 2 violins, bass viol and organ (VdGS 6; MB 60 no. 14):] Fantazia / Almaine / [Ayre] ff. 46v-49r
15 43-5 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 7, for 2 violins, bass viol and organ (VdGS 7; MB 60 no. 15):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 49v-52r
16 46-8 [William Lawes] [Fantasia-suite no. 8, for 2 violins, bass viol and organ (VdGS 8; MB 60 no. 16):] Fantazia / Almaine / Ayre ff. 52v-56r

Upright format, 310 x 200 mm. Structure: I+61+1 leaves; the textblock is foliated '[0]' and '1-60' in modern pencil. Collation: A4 (ff. [0]-3), B8 (of which leaf B8 is excised; ff. 4-10), C10 (ff. 11-20), D10 (ff. 21-30), E10 (ff. 31-40), F10 (ff. 41-50), G10 (ff. 51-60). Unused ruled staves on ff. [0]r, 7v, 8v, 10v-11r and 56v-end. Annotation at the head of f. 29v (= start of item 9), possibly in the hand of the music-copyist: 'Here begins Mr Lawes his Organ Part for 2 Violins & a Bass'. Annotation by John Browne on f. 56r (= end of contents): 'Heere Endeth the Organ Parte ff[o]r twoo Violins And A Basse Violl'. Mid 17th-century binding of brown leather over boards; upper and lower covers gold-tooled with fillets and small ornaments, enclosing a central ornament in the form of a laurel wreath. Annotation by John Browne in black ink on rear endleaf: 'This for Robert Packer Esqr at Shellingford'; Robert Packer (1614-80), Member of Parliament for Wallingford, was Browne's brother-in-law. Annotation in red crayon on inside upper cover: 'i.Q.i/2'. Bookplate 2. 19th-century shelfmark: I.5.40.

Provenance: John Browne and Robert Packer (see above). Probably acquired by Christ Church as part of the Aldrich bequest, but apparently not included in any of the18th-century catalogues at Christ Church until listed by Hind in Archives 1717, where it is described at position D25 as 'Fancies in MS. Fol.'. In Mus. 430 itself, the shelfmark 'D.XXV' is written in ink on the front flyleaf, partly in Hind's hand.

Microfilm: manuscript music, reel 17.

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
  • David Pinto, For the violls : The Consort and Dance Music of William Lawes (Richmond, 1995), 160-70. 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), 2-3 and 260-2. Find in a Library
  • John Cunningham, The Consort Music of William Lawes 1602-1645 (Woodbridge, 2010), Chapter 6: 'The Fantasia-Suites' (and esp. pp. 201-3). Find in a Library