Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music


Nicholas Sandon, The Henrican Partbooks Belonging to Peterhouse, Cambridge (Cambridge, University Library, Peterhouse Manuscripts 471-474): A Study, with Restorations of the Incomplete Compositions Contained In Them (PhD, University of Exeter, 1983)

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Chapters 1 and 2 (26.5 MB) |
Chapters 3 through 7 and musical
appendix (23 MB)

These 8 chapters represent Volume 1 of the original thesis. Volume 2 contained
musical editions which have now been published by Antico Edition and therefore
not included.


This first volume of this dissertation examines Cambridge, University Library,
Peterhouse mss 471–474, four partbooks from a set of five copied late in the
reign of Henry VIII, which contain seventy-two pieces of Latin church music. The
first chapter discusses the presence at Peterhouse of this set, investigates its
relationship to the Caroline partbooks belonging to the college and suggests
means by which this collection of manuscripts could have come to Peterhouse. The
second chapter is a palaeographical study of mss 471–474 and seeks to discover
the processes by which they were copied; they are found to have been the work of
a single scribe. The third chapter brings together biographical information from
published and unpublished sources on the composers represented in the books.
After referring to conflicting ways in which scholars have interpreted the
existence of these books, the fourth chapter provides a new interpretation by
relating the palaeographical and biographical evidence to the circumstances of
English religious history in the last decade of Henry’s reign: it is suggested
that most of the repertory in the books was copied from manuscripts belonging to
Magdalen College, Oxford, probably in 1540–41, and that the books were intended
for use at the New Foundation cathedral at Canterbury; an identity is suggested
for the scribe. If the general thrust of the argument is accepted, the
conservatism of much of the music in Ph must be considered typical of church
music in England at this time. The fifth chapter justifies the practice of
restoring voices missing from compositions of this period and describes some of
the problems and solutions involved; working notes including analysis and
stylistic comment are provided for the fifty restored compositions originally
presented in the second volume. The sixth chapter introduces and presents the
Latin texts with English translations. The seventh and last chapter consists of
a critical commentary. The two original appendices contained short essays on
more peripheral topics that arose during the research; these appendices are not
included in the present revision because articles based on them have appeared
elsewhere. A musical appendix presents the cantus firmi and other material
associated with the incomplete compositions.

Table of Contents

  • Title Page
  • Dedication
  • Table of Contents
  • Editions, originally included in the dissertation, now published by Antico
  • Introduction to the original version
  • Introduction to the revised version
  • Summary
  • Abbreviations
  • Bibliograhpy
  • Supplementary Bibliography
  • Chapter One: The musical manuscripts at Peterhouse
    • 1: Introduction
    • 2: A summary of previous content
    • 3: The Henrican and Caroline sets and their presence at
    • 4. A preliminary description and inventory of the Henrican set
    • 5. Inventory


  • Chapter Two: A palaeographical study of Ph
    • 1: Collation
    • 2: Interpolations and foliation
    • 3: The indexes
    • 4: At what stage were the books first bound?
    • 5: Layout and staves
    • 6: The music hand and notation
    • 7: The text hands
    • 8: The scribe’s method of working
    • 9: Mistakes and their correction
    • 10: The scribe’s attitude to his exemplars
    • 11: The watermarks
    • 12: Groupings in Ph
    • 13: The relationship of Ph to other English sources
  • Chapter Three: The composers represented in Ph
  • Chapter Four: The provenance, destination and interpretation of Ph
    • 1: The problem of interpretation
    • 2: The provenance of the music
    • 3: The destination of the partbooks
    • 4: The implications of the collection
  • Chapter Five: Restoring the incomplete compositions
    • 1: Introduction
    • 2: Notes on the restoration of individual compositions
  • Chapter Six: Latin texts and English translations
    • 1: Introduction
    • 2: Texts and translations
  • Chapter Seven: Critical Commentary
    • 1: Introduction
    • 2: List of concordant sources
    • 3: Commentary
  • Musical Appendix: Cantus firmus and other material used in the incomplete