Arts & Culture | Music Manuscripts | Renaissance | Classical
One of the best-known Renaissance music manuscripts, the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, was compiled by the musician Francis Tregian (1574–1619) during his imprisonment in London for recusancy from 1609 until his death. The manuscript contains an unusually wide-ranging collection of nearly 300 keyboard pieces by English composers (many of them also known for their Catholic sympathies), including Tallis, Byrd and Bull. Continental musicians such as Sweelinck are also represented and there are arrangements of madrigals by Italian composers.
Earlier manuscripts of keyboard music include the Buxheimer Orgelbuch, an important source of over 250 German organ works compiled in about 1470; the Lublin Tablature, compiled by the Polish organist Jan z Lublina (fl. c. 1540) between 1537 and 1548 and containing dances, preludes, works on plainchant and arrangements of vocal pieces by composers from all over Europe; and the Mulliner Book, a collection of pieces mainly for organ compiled in the mid-sixteenth century by the English composer Thomas Mulliner (fl. 1563).
An important source of Italian lute music from the early sixteenth century is the Capirola Lutebook. This manuscript, which includes a preface on the technique of lute playing, contains ricercares, dances and arrangements of chansons, motets and other vocal works by Vincenzo Capirola (1474–after 1548), a nobleman and lutenist. It was prepared by one of Capirola’s pupils in about 1517.
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