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Four part-books from a set originally consisting of six, containing a collection of vocal and instrumental music

 Single Item
MSS. Mus. Sch. d. 233-236

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Four part-books named at the time of binding as Cantus (i), Altus (ii), Sextus (iii) and Bassus (iv). Each part-book was divided into three sections for music in 6, 5, and 4 parts; the missing [Quintus] consisting only of two sections and the extant Sextus book consisting only of one section.

The music was copied in two 'layers'. Madrigals were first copied in the six- and five-part sections, and an earlier motet by Byrd was copied at the end of the six-part section, volumes reversed. Beginning at the end of the unused four-part sections, Edward Lowe later copied music for stringed instruments, including the Royal Consort of W. Lawes in 5 parts. The volumes were then rebound. At a later date the counter-tenor (Quintus) and tenor books were separated from the set, and the remaining volumes became Lowe's no. '23, 4 Bookes'. He now wrote only on one side of the paper. The set was listed in 1682, in reference to no. 29, as 'Lock's Pavan Ayer and Corant'. Only iv was foliated by Lowe. Lowe referred to the set as 'my Parchment cover bookes'. The following list is as far as possible in the order of the Bass book (iv) as used by Lowe.

1. Anonymous movement in D minor. Bass only, iv, fol. l.

2. William Lawes: 12 'flat Ayres' from the Royal Consort. Parts for two trebles (i, ii) and Bass (iv). The 'two breaking Base' parts were, according to a note in iv, fol. 1v, transcribed for Lowe in the missing tenor and counter-tenor books (the note is printed by M. Lefkowitz in William Lawes, 1960, p. 74.) The through bass part is in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 383-377 rev. i, ii, fols. 6-10: iv, fols. 2-5. See also nos. 21-22 below.

3-13: Richard Dering: Motets, copied earlier by Lowe, published in Dering's Cantica Sacra ad 2 et 3 Voces, 1662, and Cantiones Sacræ 5 vocum, 1617. Voices and order of 2- and 3-part motets differ from Cantica Sacra. Through bass parts of nos. 4-13 are in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 253-272, 238, 237:

3. Ardens est cor. i, fol. 12v: iv, fol. 8.

4. Gaudent in coelis, 2 trebles. i, fol. 13; ii, fol. 15v.

5. Justus cor sum. i, fol. 13v: iv, fol. 8v.

6. Isti sunt sancti, 2 trebles and bass. i, ii, fol. 14; iv, fol. 9.

7. Panis angelicus, 2 trebles and bass. i, ii, fol. 14v; iv, fol. 9v.

8. Lætamini cum Maria, 2 trebles and bass. i, ii, fol. 15: iv, fol. 10.

9. O domine Jesu Christe, treble and bass. i, fol. 15v; iv, fol. 10v

10. O bone Jesu, 2 trebles. i, ii, fol. 16.

11. Sancta et immaculata, 2 tenors, lacking the second part. i, fol. 16v.

12. Conceptio tua, treble and bass, lacking bass. i, fol. 17.

13. O bone Jesu, 5-part version, altus part only: ii, fol. 16.

14-17: Dance movements and 'symphonyes' by W. and H. Lawes, copied at the end of the original 5-voice section. Counter-tenor and tenor parts may be lacking. Through bass parts are in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 201-266:

14. William Lawes: Dance movements, numbered 1-20, 4 each in G minor, G, C minor, C, and D. Treble and Bass parts only [VdGS 349-352, 314-317, 221-224, 202-205, 246-247, 41, 248]: ii, fols. 40-42v: iv, fols. 25-26v.

15. Henry Lawes: 'Simphonyes' in G minor and G numbered 21-22 in iv [VdGS 3-4]. Treble and Bass parts only. ii, fol. 44; iv, fol. 27.

16. Henry Lawes: 'Simphonye [s] before the... Songe [s] in St. Johns play' [VdGS 5-7]. Parts for two trebles and bass: i, fol. 32; ii, fol. 43; iv, fol. 27.

17. William Lawes: Almaine and Coranto in G minor [VdGS 346, 167], Almaine, Coranto and Saraband in D minor [VdGS 256-258]. One treble part: ii, fol. 43v.

18-20: Richard Dering: 3 madrigals 'a 3 voci di Ricardo Diringo', tenor part only.

18. Filli se gl'occhi giro. iv, fol. 28.

19. Vaghe O chiare stelle. iv, fol. 28.

20. Giunto e pur donna. iv, fol. 28v.

21-22: William Lawes: Music from The Royal Consort, continued (see no. 2 above). Through bass is in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 360-365 rev.:

21. 5 'sharp Ayres' from suites 5 and 6 in D [VdGS 29, 31, 33, 37, 32].i, fols. 20v-21; ii, fols. 21v-22; iv, fols. 33v-35.

22. 6 'sharp Ayres' from suite 4 in D [VdGS 22, 25, 23, 24, 26, 28]. fols. 22-23: ii, fols. 23-24; iv, fols. 35v-36v.

23-28: Miscellaneous consort music by W. Lawes, J. Jenkins and (one 4-part piece) Charles Coleman, mostly incomplete. The Jenkins pieces are V. da G. Soc. nos. 13-17, 30-34, 37, 40-41, 43-44, 49, 52. Through bass parts are in Ms. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 348-327 rev.:

23. [William Lawes, for one violin], Bass only of 3 pieces in G minor numbered 17-19. Through bass in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, p. 346 rev. iv, fol. 37.

24. Pieces numbered 28-36 for one violin by William Lawes (28-30) [VdGS 340, 102, 341] and John Jenkins (31-36) [VdGS Jenkins 54: 32, 43, 49, 44, 33, 52]. Through bass in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 345-342 rev. i, fol. 32v-34; iv, fols. 37v-38v.

25. '4 Partes. 2 Trebles', [tenor missing], and bass; 11 pieces in G minor: 6 by W. Lawes VdGS 101, 339, 70, 338, 103?, ?], 4 by Jenkins [VdGS Jenkins 52: 30, 54:34, ?, 31] and 1 by Coleman [VdGS 316]. The last by Jenkins, published in Musica Britannica XXVI, no. 51. No through bass. i, fols. 34v-36: ii, fols. 24v-26: iv, fols. 40-41v.

26. William Lawes: Bass only of 4 additional movements [for the same instruments] in G [VdGS 79, 80 (transposed), 320, 323], added by another hand. Through bass, in Lowe's hand MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 348-347 rev. iv, fols. 42-43.

27. William Lawes: Bass only of pieces numbered 63-66 [VdGS 324, ?, 325-326]. Through bass in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 341-340 rev. iv, fols. 43v-44.

28. Pieces by Willam Lawes (numbered 161-166) [VdGS 283-288] and pieces by John Jenkins (numbered 167-173) [VdGS Jenkins 52:13, 54:40, 52:14-15, 54:41, 52:16-17], for treble, alto, tenor, bass; bass parts only. 171 published in Musica Britannica XXVI, no. 54 [VdGS 13-17]. Through bass in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 332-327 rev. iv, fols. 44v-46.

29. Matthew Locke: 'Second part of the broken consort' for two trebles and bass [VdGS 1-20] (Harding nos. 135 and 138). Airs numbered 1-20, 6 suites (in C minor, C, D minor, D, E, E minor, F). Through bass is in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 119-134, 194-198. i, fols. 37v-49v; ii, fols. 48v-61; iv, fols. 47v-59v.

30-32: Three-part music copied after binding, with through bass in 'Sextus' (iii). In ii, the first three suites are for Mean (mezzo-soprano clef); the fourth to the sixth for Alto; the seventh and eighth for Bass:

30. Matthew Locke: 'Flat consort for 3' [VdGS Locke 10/11:1-17] (Harding 133). Fantazia suites 1-8 (movements numbered 1-16). i, fols. 50v-62; ii, fols. 62v-74; fols. 7v-17; iv, fols. 60v-69, 75v-76.

31. Matthew Locke: Treble part only of the Fantazia from suite 9, [VdGS Locke 11:17] numbered 17. i, fols. 63v-64.

32. John Blundeville: 'Mr. Blundevile's Ayres' for 2 trebles and bass [VdGS 1-8]. i, fols. 65-67: ii, fols. 75-76: iii, fols. 18v-19; iv, fols. 77-78.

33. William Byrd: 'Christ rising again from the dead', the original owner's copy of Byrd's 6-part motet, published in Songs of sundrie natures, 1589, nos. xlvi-xlvii. i (medius), fols. 80v-81; ii (superius), fols. 90v-91; iii (sextus), fols. 34v-35 rev.; iv (bass), fols. 73v-74.

Volume reversed:

34-40: The original owner's copies of music from John Wilbye's Madrigals, 1609, and Yonge's Musica Transalpina, ii, 1597. Six parts, lacking quintus and tenor:

34. Wilbye: O wretched man. i, fol. 111v: ii, fol. 119v; iii, fol. 4; iv, fol. 104v.

35. 'Young': Love quench this heat [adapted from Benedetto Pallavicino's 'Deh scema il foco Amore']. i, fol. 111; ii, fol. 119; iii, fol. 4v: iv, fol. 104.

36. Wilbye: Ah cannot sighs. i, fol. 110v; ii, fol. 118v; iii, fol. 5: iv, fol. 103v.

37. Wilbye: Where most my thoughts. i, fol. 110; ii, fol. 118; iii, fol. 5v: iv, fol. 103.

38. Wilbye: Despightful thus. i, fol. 109v:ii, fol. 117v; iii, fol. 6; iv, fol. 102v.

39. Wilbye: Draw on. i, fol. 109; ii, fol. 117: iii, fol. 6v: fol. 102.

40. 'Young': Dainty white pearle [adapted from Antonio Bicci's 'Candide perle e voi labbra ridenti']. i, fol. 103v: ii, fol. 111v; iii, fol. 12; iv, fol. 96v.

41-43: Music for strings copied by Lowe. Through bass parts are in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, pp. 375-363 rev.:

41. William Young: 'Mr. Younge for two Lyra violls' [VdGS Young 7:1-8]. i, fols. 102v-99v; iv, fols. 101v-100v.

42. George Hudson: 'Hudson' [Airs a2 in D minor, VdGS 41-47 and in F major, VdGS 70-73]. i, fols. 98v-97v; iv, fols. 100-99v.

43. William Young: ['Mr. Younges sharpe Ayres', VdGS Young 7:1-8]. i, fols. 96-95v; iv, fols. 98-97v.

44. 'Pavan. 3 Parts. Octo. 25. 1641' [by Lowe (?), for Mr Godfrey]. Through bass in MS. Mus. Sch. e. 451, p. 213. i, fol. 93v: ii, fol. 45: iii, fol. 95v.

45-50: The original owner's copies of vocal music, see nos. 34-40. Five parts, lacking quintus and tenor:

45. 'Young': Dolorous mournful cares. i, fol. 77v; ii, fol. 87v; iv, fol. 72v.

46. 'Young': The white delightful swan. i, fol. 77; ii, fol. 87; iv, fol. 72.

47. 'Young': Cynthia thy song. i, fols. 77-6v: ii, fols. 87-6v; iv, fols. 72-1v.

48. Wilbye: Sweet honey-sucking bees. i, fol. 76; ii, fol. 86; iv, fol. 71.

49. Wilbye: Yet sweet take heed. i, fol. 75v; ii, fol. 85v; iv, fol. 70v.

50. Wilbye: Weep, weep mine eyes. i, fol. 75; ii, fol. 85; iv, fol. 70.

51-52: Treble parts only of verse anthems, probably copied by the same hand as no. 26 above.

51. [E. Lowe]: O how amiable. i, fols. 92-91v; ii, fols. 46v-47.

52. [E. Lowe (?)]: Why do the heathen. i, fol. 91; ii, fol. 47


  • Creation: Early-mid 17th cent.


4 Volumes

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Latin

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. Mus. Sch. d. 233, fols. 1-2].

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MSS. Mus. Sch. d. 233-236

Former shelfmarks:

Lowe's no. 23; Music School A. 4. 24-27

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 17349


Four part-books from a set originally consisting of six, prepared probably well before 1636 for a collection of vocal music, with more vocal and instrumental consort music added later by Edward Lowe.

Other Finding Aids

Viola da Gamba Society Thematic index of music for viols [online] (VdGS)

Robert Hake, [Catalogue of the Music School Collection], c 1850-1855. No. CII.

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. V, nos. 26513-26516.

RISM 800263539

Custodial History

This item is part of the Music School collection of printed and manuscript music, which was originally bequeathed to the University of Oxford by William Heather (c 1563-1627), and gradually added to until the end of the 18th century. The present manuscript was bought by Edward Lowe, 6 Oct 1636 (end-paper of MS. Mus. Sch. d. 233), who called them 'the parchment books'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the Bodleian in 1885.


  • Rosemary E. M. Harding, A thematic catalogue of the works of Matthew Locke (Oxford, 1971) [Harding]

Physical Facet

4 part-books, 114, 122, 38 and 108 leaves respectively. All but iii are divided into sections of 4, 6, and 3 quires, normally of 8 ruled leaves, separated by unruled leaves, to contain music in 6, 5 and 4 parts; iii consists of 4 quires of 8 + endpapers. Watermark: Coat of Arms, not in Heawood. From iv, fols. 34 and 39 were removed before fols. 35 and 40 were copied. Uniformly ruled with 9 staves to a page and margins at both edges. Bound, or more probably rebound, for Lowe in white vellum with kid strings.


Upright quarto

Four part-books from a set originally consisting of six and containing a collection of vocal music
EAD version 2019
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom