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Mus. 437

Manuscript. A fragmentary keyboard book in two repertorial layers; (1) secular works for domestic use; (2) organ accompaniments for anthems and service music; English, 1640s-80s. Layer 2 is associated with the chapel of St John's College, Oxford.

  • Layer 1: idiomatic keyboard music for secular use, copied by 2 unidentified scribes probably in the 1640s. The contents of this layer are numbered as 1-19 in the inventory below; anonymous pieces are cited by numbers assigned to them in Virginia Brookes, British Keyboard Music to c.1660 (Oxford, 1996).
  • Layer 2: organ accompaniments for anthems and service music, copied probably by a single unidentified scribe (with variations of scribal habit) in the 1660s and later, using pages left partly or wholly blank during the copying of Layer 1. The contents of this layer are numbered as 100-139 in the inventory below. Many of the works in Layer 2 are also found in a related organ-book: Oxford, St John's College, MS 315. This fact, together with the inclusion of works by musicians known to have been linked to St John's (Robert Lugge, William Ellis, Barnabas Isaac), strongly suggests that Layer 2 was either compiled for use at St John's, or includes music from its repertory. Layer 2 must have been copied after 1660, since it includes Henry Lawes's 'Zadok the priest' (item 106), which was composed for the coronation of Charles II.
In the late 17th century Mus. 437 was foliated in ink, almost certainly by the scribe of Layer 2. At least 26 leaves of the manuscript were then removed, possibly with the aim of eliminating as much as possible of Layer 1; their absence is indicated by gaps in the foliation system. All the surviving leaves include Layer 2 repertory; but none contains exclusively Layer 1 repertory. It was in approximately this state that the contents of Layer 2 were listed in an index (f. 1r), again probably compiled by the Layer 2 music scribe. The surviving leaves were subsequently refoliated in pencil, probably in the early 20th century when the volume was rebound. Both foliation systems are cited in the inventory: modern (first column), then original (second column, marked 'olim'). For information about the missing leaves, see the physical description following the inventory. Items 1-134 are copied at the front of the volume, items 135-9 at the rear with the volume inverted. (Item 134, which is copied on the last surviving page, inexplicably reverts to the uninverted layout.)

Comments on individual pieces:

  • Layer 1: item 15 lacks its opening owing to the removal of the preceding leaf.
  • Layer 2, item 100: the list of anthems includes references to a few pieces that are no longer present in Mus. 437 itself. For further details, see Bunker Clark (in Bibliography below), p. 128.
  • Layer 2, items 102, 107 and 138: according to Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxoniensis (Oxford, 1891), 'Barnabas Isaake' was 'organarius' of St John's College and 'Privilegiatus 14 July, 1682'.
  • Layer 2, items 105, 111, 116-17 and 119: at least some of these fragments arise from the removal of adjacent leaves.
  • Layer 2, item 119 (Preces and Responses): some of the music derives from the settings by Tallis and Byrd. The versions copied here are related to those in Edward Lowe's A short direction for the performance of cathedrall service (Oxford, 1661).
  • Layer 2: item 125 is a second copy of item 104; item 136 is a second copy of item 110; and item 138 is a transposed second copy (?with organ introduction) of item 107.
  • Layer 2: item 136 lacks its ending, and item 137 its opening, owing to the removal of leaf olim f. 75. Item 135, however, appears to be intact, notwithstanding the removal of f. olim 63.
Table of titles and composers in modern form. Display form found in manuscript.
1   (Rudiments of music theory and notation) f. 1v -
2   Mal Sims (Brookes 737) f. 2r olim 3r
3   The Spanish Pavan (Brookes 863) f. 3r olim 4r
4 Simon Ives See the building (VdGS Air 119; Brookes 1811) f. 4r olim 5r
5   Masque: The fairest nymphs (Brookes 760) f. 5r olim 6r
6 Richard Portman Saraband (Brookes 1763; RRMBE 81 no. 26) f. 6r olim 7r
7   Masque: Grays Inn (Brookes 762) ff. 7r-v olim 10r - f. 10v
8   On a summer's day (Brookes 833) f. 8r olim 14r
9   'Humbers carrere' (Brookes 1806) f. 8v olim 14v
10   The Spaniard (Brookes 1004a) f. 9r olim 17r
11   (Incipit only, abandoned) f. 9v olim 17v
12   Paul's Wharf (Brookes 844) f. 10r olim 18r
13 John Dowland, arr. anon. If my complaints could passions move (Brookes 639; incomplete) f. 10v olim 18v
14 Orlando Gibbons Masque: Welcome home [MB 20 no. 42] f. 10v olim 18v
15 John Dowland, arr. anon. Pavan: Lachrymae (Brookes 857b; ending only) f. 11r olim 22r
16 Robert Johnson (ii) Alman: Lady Hatton (Brookes 1834) f. 11v olim 22v
17   'Almayne cottiers' (Brookes 315) f. 12r olim 35r
18   (Unidentified; Brookes 1817a) f. 12v olim 35v
19   (Unidentified; Brookes 1076) f. 12v olim 35v
100   (Lists of services and anthems copied in Layer 2) f. 1r -
101 Richard Farrant Lord, for thy tender mercy's sake f. 2v olim 3v
102 Barnabas Isaac ?Single chant f. 2v olim 3v
103 Thomas Tallis Dorian Service: S f. 3r olim 4r
104 William Ellis O Lord our governor f. 3v olim 4v
105   (Unidentified fragment) f. 4r olim 5r
106 Henry Lawes Zadok the priest f. 4v olim 5v
107 Barnabas Isaac Venite f. 4v olim 5v
108 Robert Lugge I am the resurrection f. 5v olim 6v
109 Richard Farrant Call to remembrance f. 6v olim 7v
110 Richard Farrant Hide not thou thy face from us f. 7v olim 10v
111   (Unidentified fragment) f. 8r olim 14r
112 William Ellis Sanctus f. 8v olim 14v
113   Windsor tune (single chant, notated in 4-voice score) f. 9r olim 17r
114 Adrian Batten Lord, we beseech thee give ear f. 9v olim 17v
115   (Unidentified fragment) f. 10r olim 18r
116   (Unidentified fragment) f. 10v olim 18v
117   (Unidentified work, ?setting a metrical text) f. 11r olim 22r
118   (Unidentified fragment) f. 11v olim 22v
119   Preces and responses (several settings, including deleted passages and fragments) ff. 12r-13r olim 35r - f. 36r
120 Thomas Weelkes Seventh Service: T/J ff. 13v-16r olim 36v - f. 39r
121 Robert Matton Venite f. 16r olim 39r
122 Thomas Tallis Dorian Service: T ff. 16v-18r olim 39v - f. 41r
123 Adrian Batten O praise the Lord, all ye heathen [I] f. 18r olim 41r
124 Thomas Tallis Dorian Service: B/K/C/M/N ff. 18v-22r olim 41v - f. 45r
125 William Ellis O Lord our governor f. 22v olim 45v
126 Adrian Batten Hide not thou thy face from us f. 23r olim 46r
127 William Byrd Short Service: T/B/K/C/M/N ff. 23v-30r olim 46v - f. 53r
128 Robert Matton ?Venite f. 29r olim 52r
129 William King O be joyful in God f. 30r olim 53r
130 Adrian Batten Short Service for means: T/J/K/C/M/N ff. 30v-36r olim 53v - f. 59r
131 Robert Lugge Service in D: T/J/K/C/M/N ff. 36v-41v olim 59v - f. 65v
132 Thomas Tomkins First Service: T/B/M/N/K/C ff. 41v-48v olim 65v - f. 72v
133 William King The Lord is king, be the people ff. 48v-49r olim 72v - f. 73r
134 Adrian Batten Haste thee, O God, to deliver me [I] (incomplete at end) f. 52v olim 77v
135 Robert Lugge Let my complaint ff. 52r-51r olim 77r - f. 76r
136 Richard Farrant Hide not thou thy face from us (lacks ending) f. 51r olim 76r
137 Adrian Batten When the Lord turned again (lacks opening) f. 50v olim 74v
138 Barnabas Isaac Venite f. 50v olim 74v
139 Henry Lawes My song shall be of mercy and judgement ff. 50r-49r olim 74r - f. 73r

Upright format, 315 x 205 mm. 52 surviving leaves; the following leaves are now missing: olim ff. 1-2, 8-9, 11-13, 15-16, 19-21, 23-34, 63, 75, and all after 77. Collation not researched because of the missing leaves and other disturbances to the quiring. Mid-late 17th-century binding of brown leather over boards, gold-tooled with fillets enclosing a central ornament, and with acorns at the corners of the panel of fillets. The volume was rebacked and the binding generally repaired in the early 20th century. No early bookplate. 19th-century shelfmark: I.5.47.

Provenance: not identifiable in any of the 18th-century catalogues of the Christ Church music collections, but presumable from either the Aldrich or Goodson bequest. Goodson provenance seems more likely, on grounds of the absence of any early bookplate or shelfmark.

Microfilm: manuscript music, reel 18.

Select bibliography:

  • J. Bunker Clark, Transposition in Seventeenth Century English Organ Accompaniments and the Transposing Organ (Detroit, 1974), pp. 58-9 and 124-8. Find in a Library
  • Candace Bailey, Seventeenth-Century British Keyboard Sources (Warren, MI, 2003), pp. 92-3. Find in a Library