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Music : MS Add.2764(2)


<p style='text-align: justify;'>Add.2764(2) is a collection of fragments of pages from a single lute manuscript that was cut up and half pages were reused in the seventeenth century as strengthening material in the bindings of other books now in Cambridge University Library. The first fragments were discovered in 1915, more in 1942 and then the remainder during a further search by Robert Spencer. He assembled them all in order as far as possible and they were bound together in 1972 and rebound in 1979. The number of folios in the original lute book is not now known, but fragments survive of 12 folios and at least 21 lute solos, two duet or consort parts and a song accompaniment, including settings of a few popular ballads and psalms as well as music by Francis Cutting (2), and two Elizabethan court lutenists John Dowland (5) and John Johnson (2). All but two (Dowland's <i>Captain Candish's galliard</i> and Cutting's <i>A Toy</i>) are incomplete although other versions are known for all of the music except for one lute solo (fol. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(19);return false;'>9r</a>) and an unidentified psalm setting (fol. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(25);return false;'>12r</a>). The music was copied by a single hand in French tablature for a 6-course renaissance lute, probably c.1585-90. There is no clue to who the owner was or of the provenance of this tantalising fragmentary lute book including music of some of England's greatest lute composers that seems to belong to the mainstream of Elizabethan lute music.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>John H. Robinson, Lute Society</p>

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