We are pleased to announce that now available online are the Tabley House Lute Book and Song Book, two seventeenth century music manuscripts. These two fascinating items are particularly interesting for anyone working on mid-seventeenth century English music.
English MS 1407, the Tabley House Lute Book is a collection of solo lute pieces with a small number of pieces for guitar. The manuscript was perhaps copied in Cheshire c. 1660-70 and includes French and English pieces by E.Gautier, D. Gautier, Dufaut, Mecure, Pinel, Vincent, Confais, Warner and Hubert amongst other anonymous common tunes.
English MS 1408, the Tabley House Song Book is a collection of songs with accompaniment for bass. The songs are bound with a printed copy of Ayres and dialogues, for one, two and three voyces by Henry Lawes and with Select musicall ayres and dialogues, both published by John Playford in 1653. As with the Lute Book, the Song Book manuscript was perhaps copied in Cheshire c. 1660-70. There are pieces ascribed to Edward Coleman, Henry Lawes, Locke, Rovetta, John Wilson, as well as Henry Purcell. Also in the Song Book is the only known composition by Thomas Purcell (brother of Henry).