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Autograph scores and parts of instrumental and vocal music by William Lawes


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MSS. Mus. Sch. d. 238-240 are methodical part-books for stringed instruments. MS. Mus. d. 229 is an organ book, intended as their companion; it was not completed. The two volumes of scores, MSS. Mus. b. 2-3, contain a less orderly collection of music, including working copies, for some of which organ parts were added in MS. Mus. Sch. d. 229.


  • Creation: 1st half of the 17th cent.


6 physical shelfmarks (0.33 linear metres)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

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

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Mus. Sch. b. 2-3, d. 229, 238-240 (Former reference: Music School B. 6. 25-26)

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 17279


William Lawes: scores and parts of instrumental and vocal music in his own hand, 1st half of the 17th cent.

Biographical / Historical

William Lawes (1602-1645) was a composer and a musician. See Grove Music Online for further details.

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 manuscripts were probably given to the Music School by Henry Lawes; see Music & Letters, xlviii, 1967, p. 28.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the Bodleian in 1885.


  • Described and listed by Murray Lefkowitz in William Lawes (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1960), passim; music transcribed from these manuscripts was printed by Lefkowitz in Musica Britannica, xxi (London: Stainer & Bell, 1963 (2nd rev. ed., 1978), where there are illustrations of the binding of MS. Mus. Sch. b. 2, and of the following pages: MS. Mus. Sch. b. 2, p. 99; MS. Mus. Sch. b. 3, pp. 35 and 63; and MS. Mus. Sch. d. 229, p. 35, on pp. xxiii-v. (Lefkowitz numbers are given in the following lists with the prefix 'L').
  • For detailed listing of contents with incipits, see the Viola da Gamba Society Thematic index of music for viols [online] and RISM.
  • John Cunningham, The consort music of William Lawes, 1602-1645 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2010), pp. 47-71, 286-308.
Autograph scores and parts of instrumental and vocal music by William Lawes
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