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"Dyverse other small boks and skrowes": Makeshift Music Books and Workaday Miscellanies in Tudor England

Thu, March 26, 10:15 to 11:45am, Hauptgebäude, Unter den Linden 6, Floor: Second Floor, 3059


High-specification pre-Reformation music manuscripts, rich in paratext and containing high-status repertories, have rightly claimed the attention of scholars. Typically, the surviving exemplars were compiled for the larger institutions, often collegiate churches: such as the Eton choirbook (Eton College) or the Forrest-Heyther partbooks (Cardinal College, Oxford). Refined manuscripts facilitated the selection, ritualisation and memorialisation of their contents, but formed just one part of a broader ecology in which heterogeneity, contingency and paratextual paucity predominated. Changing post-Reformation performance contexts encouraged the creation and survival of scruffy and miscellaneous manuscripts (e.g., BL Add. 15166, 32377 and 30480-4). These more modest manuscripts receive less attention, but are arguably more important witnesses of the dynamics of circulation, teaching, appropriation and adaptation. These sources are a focus of the project, Tudor Partbooks.