My Ladye Nevells Booke of Virginal Music (Byrd, William)

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 Complete Score
#05179 - 11.78MB, 277 pp. -  3.2/10 2 4 6 8 10 (5) - V/V/V - 4544x

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Arturo (2007/4/10)

 I. My Lady Nevells Grownde
#85843 - 0.36MB, 8 pp. -  6.0/10 2 4 6 8 10 (4) - V/V/V - 2927x

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Perlnerd666 (2010/11/25)

 XXXIII. Lord Willobie's Welcome Home
#85844 - 0.13MB, 3 pp. -  6.0/10 2 4 6 8 10 (3) - V/V/V - 1521x

PDF scanned by Unknown
Perlnerd666 (2010/11/25)


Blanche Winogron (1911-2002), Introduction
Hilda Andrews (1900–1983), Historical and Analytical notes
Richard Runciman Terry (1865–1938), Preface

Publisher Info.:

New York: Dover Publications, 1969.


Public Domain [tag/del]

Misc. Notes:

#05179: introduction, preface, and notes removed.
#85843 and 4: This file is from the MIT archive project.


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 XXXIII. Lord Willobie's Welcome Home
#104690 - 0.05MB, 3 pp. -  10.0/10 2 4 6 8 10 (2) - !N/!N/!N - 800x

PDF typeset by Riccardo Piagentini
Riccardo Piagentini (2011/6/7)

PMLP12482-Byrd - Lord Willobie's Welcome Home.pdf

Riccardo Piagentini

Publisher Info.:

Riccardo Piagentini


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 [tag/del]


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General Information

Work Title Booke of Virginal Music
Alternative Title
Composer Byrd, William
Movements/Sections 42 pieces
1. My Ladye Nevels Grownde
2. Qui Passe: for my ladye Nevell
3. The Marche before the Battell
4. The Battell
a. The Souldiers Sommons
b. The Marche of Footemen
c. The Marche of Horsmen
d. The Trumpetts
e. The Irishe Marche
f. The Bagpipe and the Drone
g. The Flute and the Droome
h. The Marche to the Fighte
i. The Retreat
5. The Galliarde for the Victorie
6. The Barelye Breake
7. A Galliards Gygge
8. The Huntes Upp
9. Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La
10. The Firste Pavian
11. The Galliarde to the Firste Pavian
12. The Seconde Pavian
13. The Galliarde to the Seconde Pavian
14. The Third Pavian
15. The Galliarde to the Third Pavian
16. The Fourth Pavian
17. The Galliarde to the Fourth Pavian
18. The Fifte Pavian
19. The Galliarde to the Fifte Pavian
20. Pavana the Sixte: Kinbrugh Goodd
21. The Galliarde to the Sixte Pavian
22. The Seventh Pavian
23. The Eighte Pavian
24. The Passinge Mesures: the Nynthe Pavian
25. The Galliarde to the Nynthe Pavian
26. A Voluntarie: for My Ladye Nevell
27. Will Yow Walke the Woods soe Wylde
28. The Maidens Songe
29. A Lesson of Voluntarie
30. The Second Grownde
31. Have With Yow to Walsingame
32. All in a Garden Grine
33. Lord Willobies Welcome Home
34. The Carmans Whistle
35. Hughe Ashtons Grownde
36. A Fancie
37. Sellingers Rownde
38. Munsers Almaine
39. The Tennthe Pavian: Mr. W. Peter
40. The Galliarde to the Tennthe Pavian
41. A Fancie
42. A Voluntarie
Year/Date of Composition 1591
Piece Style Renaissance
Instrumentation Virginal (harpsichord) or organ (manuals)
External Links Wikipedia article

Misc. Comments

My Ladye Nevells Booke is a compilation of the finest keyboard pieces by the English composer William Byrd, and, together with the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, one of the most important collections of keyboard music of the renaissance. It consists of 42 pieces for keyboard by William Byrd, probably the greatest English composer at that time. Although the music was copied by John Baldwin, one of the most famous musical scribes and calligraphers of the day, the pieces seem to have been selected, organized and even edited and corrected by Byrd himself.

A heavy, oblong folio volume, it retains its original elaborately tooled morocco binding, stamped with the title, on top of an nineteenth century repair. The illuminated coat-of-arms of the Nevill family is on the title page, with the initials "H.N." in the lower left-hand corner. There are 192 folios each consisting of four six-line staves with large, diamond-shaped notes. At the end is a table of contents.

History of the MS

The origins of the manuscript are obscure. Not even the exact identity of the dedicatee is clear, but Lady Nevell was presumably a pupil or patron of Byrd. There have been several contenders for the title among the widespread Nevill family, but recent research points to the most likely as being Elizabeth, wife of Sir Henry Nevill of Billingbear, Berkshire (c.1518-1593), whose arms on the title page have now been identified. Sir Henry and his family were not Catholics, but his son Henry's association with Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex is evidence that the family may have been in favour of religious tolerance.

The date of the manuscript however leaves no doubt, as it was signed as completed by the scribe John Baldwin in Windsor: 'Finished & ended the eleventh of September in the yeare of our Lord God 1591 & in the 33 yeare of the raigne of our sofferaine ladie Elizabeth by the grace of God queene of Englande etc, by me Jo. Baldwine of Windsore. Laus deo'. Baldwin was a fervent admirer of Byrd, as at the end of the fourth galliard he noted: 'Mr. W. Birde. homo memorabilis'. Baldwin also wrote a poem praising Byrd, 'whose greater skill and knowledge doth excelle all at this tyme'.

Elizabeth Nevill must have been closely associated with Byrd, whether as pupil or patron is not known, but the book was most probably a gift to her. She lived principally at Hambleden in Buckinghamshire, nearby to where Byrd and his brothers had a home. At some time it was presented to Queen Elizabeth by Sir Henry Nevill, and then passed through various hands until it was given back in 1668 to an unknown Nevill descendant. The book was preserved by the Nevill family until the end of the eighteenth century, when it passed through several collectors' hands until it returned to the possession of William Nevill, 1st Marquess of Abergavenny. In 2006 it was accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance tax, and now reposes in the British Library.

With the exception of the two pieces dedicated to Lady Nevell, the compositions were evidently neither created specifically for the book, nor for the dedicatee, but are representative of some of Byrd's work of the ten to fifteen previous years. The tenth pavane is dedicated to the Catholic John, Lord Petre, while the sixth was for Kinborough Good, daughter of Dr James Good. The manuscript is notable for the lack of any liturgical works, and the pieces may reflect the musical tastes of Elizabeth Nevill herself. Dance music is represented only by the ten magnificent but somewhat sombre pavans and galliards, and there are none of Byrd's more lively almans, corantos and voltas found in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.

The (navy or naval) Battell was supposedly written after the Armada victory of 1588, but more probably alludes to one of the Irish rebellions of the time. It is the first known programmed suite of descriptive music, and shows Byrd in a rare lighthearted vein. The variation forms, sometimes harmonic, sometimes contrapuntal, are on folk-song and dance tunes, and on the hexachord (ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la), possibly an invention of Byrd's. The masterful fantasias and voluntaries (the terms could be used interchangeably), at least one of which is an arrangement of a fantasia for consort, are not likely to have been composed before the late 1580s, but in any case a full generation before the Italian keyboard masters published their toccatas.

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