Manuscript. Guardbook containing seven Oxford Act songs (odes) by Henry Aldrich, Matthew Locke and Sampson Estwick, several of them in autograph composing scores. English, late 17th century. Material for each of the seven pieces represented here occupies a discrete fascicle or section within the manuscript, and probably had a separate existence before being bound into its current position. The collection was probably assembled into its current state only in the late 18th century, when the volume was bound as part of an uncompleted binding project intended to protect previously unbound items from the Aldrich and Goodson bequests. (For a list of other volumes in related bindings, see the entry for Mus. 3.)
Upright format, 387 x 247 mm. Late 18th-century binding of white parchment over boards, undecorated except for two parallel fillets at edges; spine in contrasting brown leather; at the centre of the outside upper cover, a black leather inset, tooled in gold: 'ACT SONGS / BY DR. ALDRICH / & SAMPSON ESTWICK'; on the spine, a red leather inset, tooled in gold: 'ACT SONGS'; also tooled number '2', matching this volume's partner Mus. 618 (= '1'). Bookplate 2 on inside upper cover. 19th-century shelfmark: I.8.20. Foliation is in modern pencil. Small adjustments to the foliation were made in August 1998, and will not be present on microfilms made before that date.
Provenance: all the items assembled here probably derive from the Goodson bequest, together with the material now bound into the partner volume Mus. 619. Presumably originally part of an unbound collection of scores of Oxford Act songs, many of them autograph, now distributed between Mus. 618 and 619. An entry in Clement 1747 refers to the tract now bound as Mus. 618 (ff. 18-25) (q.v.).
Microfilm: manuscript music, reel 26.
BibliographyTony A. Trowles, The Musical Ode in Britain c.1670-1800 (unpublished D.Phil. dissertation, University of Oxford, 1992).