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Music for bass viols and other instruments

 Single Item
MS. Mus. Sch. d. 249 (Former reference: Music School B. 4. 9 (Quarto A. 2-29, 31-32, 36))

  • Request

Music kept in the Music School as separate parts until it was bound in the Bodleian c 1890, when parts once kept folded within each other were stitched as quires. No. 19 was '91'. Paper and conventions of items 2-10, 12-17 and 24-30 are similar to the copy of his sonatas (MS. Mus. Sch. d. 252) and other music copied by or for James Sherard. For the argument that much of the anonymous music is by Godfrey Finger, see A.W. Marshall, Chelys, 1969, pp. 16 onwards, and The Consort no. 26, 1970, pp. 423 onwards.

1-10: Solo and consort pieces for viola da gamba with other instruments. Copied by several hands, including James Sherard's (3-4, 6-10):

1. 'Mr. King' [sc. William]. Overture, G major, 2 violins, tenor and bass [viols], basso cont. Fols. 5v-6 contain 1st violin of an Overture in G minor. Fols. 1-10.

2. [Sonata] in B minor, violin, viola [da gamba], figured bass. Fols. 11-16.

3. Suite of 8 pieces, 2 violins, figured bass. Fols. 17-22.

4. [G. Schenck]. Movements from op. 2 no. 4 arranged for 2 viole da gamba. 3 parts (gambas and bass) and partial score. The verso of the second part contains a calculation in tablature. Fols. 23-30.

5. Sonata in C, 2 violins, violone, [bassus] continuus. Fols. 31-38.

6. [Prelude] in C, viola da gamba, bass. Fols. 39-41.

7. Sonatina in A, viola da gamba, bass. Fols. 42-44.

8. Sonata in A minor, violin, viola da gamba. Fols. 45-48.

9. Lesson in A, violetta, viola da gamba, cembalo. Fols. 49-54.

10. [Sonata] in D minor, viola da gamba, bass. Fols. 55-57.

11. 'Sinfonia A 3 del Sig. Pietro Marchitelli', 2 violins, viola da gamba, continuo. In the same hand as MS. Mus. Sch. d. 228, item 22. Fols. 58-65.

12-17: Pieces belonging to the same series as 1-10. 14-17 were copied by James Sherard:

12. [Sonata] in D, 2 viole da gamba. Fols. 66-69.

13. 'Sonate å 3 violino et viola de gamba con Continuo' in A minor. Endorsed by Sherard (?) (fol. 72). Fols. 70-75.

14. [Sonata] in C, violin, viola da gamba, figured bass. Fols. 76-81.

15. [Suite] in A, violin, cembalo. (An arrangement for 2 gambas is on fols. 149-152). Fols. 82-85.

16. 4 'Sonatas a viola di gamba et violino' and cembalo: in F [by H. Butler]; in G minor [by A. Kühnel]; in D and in C [by William Young]. Fols. 86-95.

17. 'Pastoralle' in A, 3 viole da gamba, cembalo. Fols. 96-103.

18-23: Viola da gamba solos with figured bass in score, copied by one hand:

18. Giovanni Schenck. In A minor. A version of op. 2, no. 2. Fols. 104-109.

19. G. Schenck. In A minor, op. 2 no. 4. '91' in the series of MS. Mus. Sch. c. 28 etc. Endorsed 'Viola di Gamba Soli' [by Sherard]. Fols. 110-119.

20. Martin Radack. In B flat. Fols. 120-123.

21. David Adam Bauderinger. In B flat. Fols. 124-127.

22. Diederich Buxtehude. In D [BuxWV 268]. Fols. 128-129v.

23. In D minor. Fols. 130-133.

24-29: Pieces belonging to the same series as 1-10 and 12-17 above, copied by James Sherard:

24. 'Mr. Finger'. Sonata in D minor, solo viola da gamba, cembalo. Fols. 134-137.

25-29: Music for 2 viole da gamba:

25. Ciacconna in G. Fols. 138-141.

26. Suite in A. Fols. 142-144.

27. [Carolus Hacquart]. Suite in E minor. Fols. 145-148.

28. Suite. Fols. 149-152.

29. Sonatina in B flat, viola da gamba solo. Scordatura. Fols. 153-156.

30-47: Violino 2do and Basso c[ontinuo] from a set of four part-books containing 11 pieces printed in Giovanni Legrenzi's Sonate, op. 4, and other Italian music:

30. La Brembata, op. 4, no. 1. Fols. 157v, 173v.

31. La Baila. Fols. 158, 174.

32. La Frangipana. Fols. 158v-159, 174v-175.

33. La Spilimberga. Fols. 159v-160, 175v-176.

34. La Benaglia, op. 4, no. 3. Fols. 160v-161, 176v-177.

35. La Montalbana. Fols. 161v-162, 177v-178.

36. La Sourognana. Fols. 162v-163, 178v-179.

37. La Porcia. Fols. 163v-164, 179v-180.

38. La Torriana. Fols. 164v-165, 180v-181.

39. La Palida. Fols. 165v-166, 181v-182.

40. La Ioda. Fols. 166v-167, 182v-183.

41. La Fini, op. 4, no. 5. Fols. 167v-168, 183v-184.

42. La Calcagni, op. 4, no. 7. Fols. 168, 184.

43. La Biffi, op. 4, no. 8. Fols. 168v, 184v.

44. Corrente 1-6, from op. 4. Fols. 168v-169v, 184v-185v.

45. Ant[oni]o Fran[ces]co Tanaglia [Tenaglia]. À 2, violin e leuto. Fols. 170v, 186v.

46. Sinfonia à 3. Fols. 171, 187.

47. La Rospa. Fols. 171v-172, 187v-188.

48. 'Tenor of Thomas Morley to five parts', i.e. The First Booke of Balletts, 1595. Complete. Copied c 1600. Fols. 189-201.

49. 'Nella Monacat. in S. Michele Arcangelo di Tivoli della Sigra. Olimpia Pluna [Flavia?] 29 Septembre 1700 ...'. Organ score of 'Veni sponsa Christi', 'Canto solo con v.v. e Ripieni'. Fols. 202-209.


  • Creation: early 18th cent.


1 box

Language of Materials

  • Italian
  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Mus. Sch. d. 249, fols. 1-2].

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MS. Mus. Sch. d. 249 (Former reference: Music School B. 4. 9 (Quarto A. 2-29, 31-32, 36))

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 17351


Music for bass viols and other instruments, early 18th cent.

Biographical / Historical

James Sherard [Sharwood] (1666-1738) was an apothecary, botanist and amateur musician. See Grove Music Online for further details.

Other Finding Aids

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

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, no. 26540.

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. Probably all but item 48 of the present manuscript belonged once to James Sherard.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the Bodleian in 1885.


  • Margaret Crum, 'James Sherard and the Oxford Music School Collection', conference paper (Oxford, 1986) [unpublished].
  • Robert G. Rawson, From Olomouc to London: the early music of Gottfried Finger (c 1655-1730)PhD dissertation, Royal Holloway, University of London, 2002 [RI], p. 369.
  • Arthur W. Marshall, 'The viola da gamba music of Godfrey Finger', Chelys 1 (1969), pp. 16-26.

Physical Facet

Now re-bound in 7 separate parts, stored in a box.

Music for bass viols and other instruments
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