Manuscript. Unattributed fantasia for 3, 4 or 5 instruments, one of which plays repeated notes (rising and falling through the hexachord) in imitation of the chiming of a clock. The original copy is now Mus. 864(B); English, late 16th century, copyist unidentified. This is followed by a late 17th-century score of the piece (Mus. 864(C); copyist unidentified), and preceded by an annotated wrapper of thick card (Mus. 864(A)) that formerly enclosed the other two items.
Mus. 864(B): upright format, 295 x 193 mm. Bifolio; foliation is modern, and was adjusted in March 1989. The five instrumental parts are notated separately on the central pages of the bifolio (ff. 1v-2r); they are preceded and followed by stanzas of verse, and accompanied (f. 2r) by a drawing of a clock-face flanked by the motto 'Sic Hora / Sic Vita'. The stanzas at the end explain that two of the instrumental parts are optional. The outer pages are blank. Formerly folded twice horizontally and once vertically. Pasted into a folder of modern card, and mounted impermanently on a cord within an early 20th-century portfolio of stiff card and vellum. No early bookplate. To see an image of the bifolio, click here.
Mus. 864(C): upright format, 325 x 210 mm. Bifolio; the foliation is modern. Music copied on the central pages only; ff. 1r and 2v are unused ruled staves. Pasted into a folder of modern card, and mounted impermanently on a cord within an early 20th-century portfolio of stiff card and vellum. No early bookplate.
Mus. 864(A): upright format, 260 x 165 mm. Bifolio of thick paper, formerly enclosing Mus. 864(B-C). The upper wrapper has been annotated by Malchair: 'A Musical Conceate Concerning a Dial or Time. The paper with the Dial on it is the Original of the two, in which the time is not divided by baars as in the other, and therefore more difficult to read.' Pasted into a folder of modern card, and mounted impermanently on a cord within an early 20th-century portfolio of stiff card and vellum. No early bookplate.
Provenance unknown. Formerly shelved within the Portfolios at position I.2.ε; the reference ' I.2.ε' is written in red crayon on the upper wrapper of Mus. 684(a). In Havergal Summary, the contents of that portfolio are said to include 'a musical dial'.
Microfilm: manuscript music, reel 29.
Bibliography:John Milsom, 'The Passing of Time', Early Music, 25 (1997), pp. 583-8; includes facsimile of Mus. 864(B).