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Mus. 598

Manuscript. A collection of songs and keyboard pieces, apparently used as pedagogy for inexperienced musicians under the supervision of Richard Goodson Sr; English, c. 1685. The inside upper and lower covers are annotated 'John Rawlings His Book' (deleted on the inside upper cover); this may point to the book's original owner or user. The vocal works use a variety of clefs, high and low; this fact, together with the nature of the words of some of the contents (including items 7, 10, 16 and 26), implies that the book was at least partly used by adult men rather than by children or women. Largely copied by Goodson Sr, but with additions by unidentified copyists as follows:

  • Goodson Sr: items 1-10, 12-13, and 16-29.
  • Other unidentified hands: items 11, 14 and 15.
This is one of the many music manuscripts at Christ Church copied by Richard Goodson Sr.

Notes on individual items:

  • Item 3 is the celebrated 'Angler's song' to words by Isaac Walton, as published in The compleat angler. Christ Church has three early editions of this book, at shelfmarks e.8.1, e.8.2 and e.8.4.
  • For another copy of item 9, see Mus. 1003, ff. 23v-4. This concordance is not noted in the literature on Blow's keyboard music.
  • Items 13 and 26 are popular tunes; see Claude M. Simpson, The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music (New Brunswick, 1966), pp. 298-9 (for item 13) and 112-15 (for item 26).
  • Works by Lully: 'LWV' refers to Herbert Schneider, Chronologisch-thematisches Verzeichnis sämtlicher Werke von Jean-Baptiste Lully (LWV) (Tutzing, 1981). (The contents of Mus. 598 are not cited in LWV itself.)
  • Item 29: a cognate of 'Mr Readings ground' in The division violin . . . The second edition (London, 1685; RISM 1686/10, no. 1). According to Peter Holman (Grove Music Online, s.v. 'Reading, Valentine'), the string player Valentine Reading (fl. 1680s) is the most likely composer. For another version of this work, scored for scordatura violin and continuo, see Mus. 940, item 17.
Items 1-10 are copied at what is now designated as the front of the volume, items 11-29 at the rear with the volume inverted. In the inventory below, numbers in the second column correspond to pencil numeration of selected items, added by an unidentified hand probably in the 19th century; these numbers are clearly visible in the standard microfilm of Mus. 598.

A list is now available of other keyboard manuscripts at Christ Church.

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).

1 21 Jeremy Savile Fa la la (keyboard reduction; no words) f. 1r
2   Jeremy Savile Here's a health unto his majesty (keyboard reduction; no words) ff. 1v-2r
3 23 Henry Lawes Man's life is but vain (treble and bass in score; no words) f. 2v
4 24   Hear the right, O Lord, consider (voice and unfigured bass) ff. 3v-4v
5     Keyboard work, partly deleted; page half excised f. 4*v
6 25   Let every man take a bell (catch for three treble voices) f. 5v
7     Drink makes us immortal (catch for three treble voices) f. 6r
8 26-7   Psalms 43 ('York Tune') and 100, notated in score; no words ff. 7v-8r
9 28 [John Blow] Saraband in d minor (MB 73 no. 36) ff. 8v-9r
10   Henry Aldrich Good indeed the herb's good weed (catch for four bass voices, notated in score) ff. 10v-11r
11     Solmization syllables and trial notations f. 36v
12   Henry Cooke Turn thou us, O good Lord (treble voice-part only) ff. 36r-35r
13 2   A health to Betty (popular tune; no words) f. 34v
14   William Ottey Have mercy upon me, O God (treble voice-part only) ff. 34r-33r
15 4 Michael Wise Behold how good and joyful ('Contratenor' voice-part only) ff. 32v-31v
16 5 Pietro Reggio Madam, why does love torment you? (treble voice-part only) ff. 31r-30v
17     Instrumental fragment in C major f. 30r
18 6   Keyboard piece in C major ff. 28r-27v
19     Keyboard piece in C major ff. 27r-26v
20     Keyboard piece in C major, incomplete: treble only ff. 26r-25v
21   Jean-Baptiste Lully Menuet pour les Galants, les Galantes (from 'Ballet de Flore', LWV 40/11; in keyboard score) f. 25r
22 10 Jean-Baptiste Lully Que devant vous tout s'abaisse (from 'Atys', LWV 53/48; in unfinished keyboard score, treble only) f. 24v
23 11 Giacomo Carissimi Lucifer (treble voice-part only; incomplete at end) ff. 24r-22r
24 12 Jean-Baptiste Lully Entrée, six Héros (from 'Ballet de Flore', LWV 40/28; in keyboard score) ff. 22r-21v
25   Jean-Baptiste Lully Entrée des Aegipans et Menades (from 'Bellerophon', LWV 57/8; in keyboard score) ff. 21r-20v
26 14   To horse, brave boys of Newmarket (to the tune of 'Cock up thy beaver'; words by D'Urfey) ff. 19r-18v
27 15 Henry Purcell Here the deities approve (from 'Welcome to all the pleasures'; Z.339(3); keyboard reduction ff. 18r-17r
28   Jean-Baptiste Lully Gavotte (from 'Cadmus et Hermione', LWV 49/10; in keyboard score) ff. 16r-15v
29   ?Valentine Reading Ground in C major (keyboard score) ff. 15r-13r

Oblong format, 205 x 155 mm. 37 surviving leaves, with stubs of further excised leaves. Collation not researched. Foliated '1-4, 4*, 5-36' in modern pencil; revisions to the foliation system were made in 1989, and will not be present in microfilms made before that date. The following leaves are fragmentary: f. 4* (half-leaf torn away vertically), and f. 22 (half-leaf torn away vertically). Unused ruled staves on ff. 3r, 4*r, 5r, 6v-7r, 9v-10r, 11v-12v, 16v, 19v-20r and 28v-29v. Early 18th-century binding of brown leather over boards, blind-tooled with fillets and small ornaments. No early bookplate. 19th-century shelfmark: I.7.90.

Provenance: from the Goodson bequest (on grounds of the presence of Goodson Sr's handwriting); not listed in any of the 18th-century catalogues of the Christ Church music collections.

Microfilm: The music collection of Christ Church, Oxford, reel 25.
View microfilm details.


  • Andrew Woolley, 'English Keyboard Sources and their Contexts, c. 1660-1720' (Ph.D. thesis, University of Leeds, 2008), 263. Find in a Library