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Mus. 725-7

Manuscript. Set of three partbooks containing works for three lyra viols by William Lawes, Robert Taylor and Simon Ives, notated in tablature; English, 2nd quarter of the 17th century (and probably before 1635: see Cunningham in Bibliography below, p. 112). Items 1-8 in the inventory below are complete. Items 9-18, copied at the rear of Mus. 727 with the volume inverted, are represented by a single lyra viol part, the first of which is annotated 'the other parts ar in the 2 violl bookes' (f. 22v). No trace remains of the other two parts, and the copyist's non-sequential numbering of these pieces in Mus. 727 remains unexplained.

Several candidates have been suggested as the copyist of Mus. 725-7, including William Lawes, Simon Ives and John Tomkins. For a summary of the issues, see the writings by Christopher Field and John Cunningham cited in the Bibliography below.

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).

 Mus. 725Mus. 726Mus. 727
1   William Lawes Fantasia for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 567) ff. 1r-v f. 0v ff. 0v-1r
2   William Lawes Saraband for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 569) f. 2r f. 1r f. 1r
3   William Lawes Pavan for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 563) f. 2v f. 1v f. 1v
4   William Lawes Alman for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 564) f. 3r f. 2r f. 2r
5   William Lawes Fantasia for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 573) ff. 3v-4r ff. 2v-3r ff. 2v-3r
6   William Lawes Humour for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 568) f. 4v f. 3v f. 3v
7   Robert Taylor Alman for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 25) f. 7r f. 6r f. 6r
8   Robert Taylor Alman for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 26) f. 7v f. 6v f. 6v
9 2 Simon Ives Mistress Mary Browne's choice, for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 141)     f. 22v
10 4 Simon Ives Corant for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 142)     f. 22v
11 7 Simon Ives Mistress Collier's choice, for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 143)     f. 22r
12 8 Simon Ives The choice, for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 144)     f. 22r
13 10 Simon Ives Mistress Anne Forest's choice, for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 145)     f. 21v
14 12 Simon Ives Alman for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 146)     f. 21v
15 16 Simon Ives The man in the moon, for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 147)     f. 21r
16 32 Simon Ives Sir Will Owen's choice, for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 148)     f. 21r
17 36 Simon Ives Alman for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 149)     f. 20v
18 37 Simon Ives All you forsaken lovers, for 3 lyra viols (VdGS 150)     f. 20r

Upright format, 285 x 190 mm. Structure:

  • Mus. 725: i+23+i leaves, partly foliated in modern pencil. Collation: A6 (ff. 1-6), B6 (7-[12]), C6 ([13-18], D6 (of which one leaf has been excised; ff. [19-23]). Unused tablature-staves on ff. 5r-6v and all pages from 8r to the end.
  • Mus. 726: i+24+i leaves, partly foliated in modern pencil in the sequence '0, 1-7'. Collation: A6 (ff. 0, 1-5), B6 (6-[11]), C6 ([12-17]), D6 ([18-23]. Unused tablature-staves on ff. 0r, 4r-5v and all pages from 7r to the end.
  • Mus. 727: i+23+i leaves, foliated in modern pencil in the sequence '0, 1-22'. Collation: A6 (ff. 0, 1-5), B6 (6-11), C6 (12-17), D6 (of which D5 has been excised; ff. 18-22]. Unused tablature-staves on ff. 0r, 4r-5v and 7r-19v.
All three partbooks retain their original 17th-century wrappers of thick grey paper, the upper covers of which are annotated 'for 3 liero violls' together with the part-numbers ('first', 'Second', 'Third'); a later hand has added the name 'Will: Lawes' to the upper wrapper of Mus. 725. Each partbook is now stab-sewn into an early 20th-century wrapper of thin card, and mounted on cords within an early 20th century folder of thick card quarter bound in vellum. Bookplate 2 in Mus. 725 only. 19th-century shelfmarks: K.3.32-4.

Provenance: almost certainly from the Aldrich bequest. The shelfmark 'K.28' is written in ink on the original upper wrapper of Mus. 725, with the '8' then crudely changed to '7'. (The other two partbooks bear only the number '27', again written in ink.) This connects Mus. 725-7 with the item described simply as 'Fancies' at position K28 in Archives 1717 and Dowding. In Malchair (f. 26r) there is an explicit reference to Mus. 725-7 in the company of items that were formerly shelved at positions K22-6; according to Malchair, these partbooks contained 'Sarabandes. Allemandes for three Lyro Violes / W Lawes'. An Aldrich provenance for Mus. 725-7 is further implied by the presence of Bookplate 2 in Mus. 725.

Microfilm: manuscript music, reel 28.

Select bibliography:

  • Christopher Field, 'Jenkins and the Cosmography of Harmony', in John Jenkins and his Time: Studies in English Consort Music, ed. Andrew Ashbee and Peter Holman (Oxford, 1996), pp. 12-13, esp. fn. 31. Find in a Library
  • Christopher Field, 'Formality and Rhetoric in English Fantasia-Suites', in William Lawes (1602-1645): Essays on His Life, Times and Work, ed. Andrew Ashbee (Aldershot, 1998), pp. 206-7 and 244 (fn. 54). Find in a Library
  • John Cunningham, The Consort Music of William Lawes 1602-1645 (Woodbridge, 2010), Chapter 3: 'The Music for Lyra-Viol'. Find in a Library