Past Events

Tudor Partbooks at the VdGS - Save the date

  • Venue: Nottingham University Music Department, Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD
  • Start: Sun, 18 Jun 2017 10:30:00 BST
  • End: Sun, 18 Jun 2017 16:45:00 BST

The Sadler and Baldwin Partbooks Workshop
A workshop on reconstructed polyphony: co-hosted by Philip Weller (Nottingham University) and Magnus Williamson (Newcastle University). Succinct papers giving background information on the wider project, and considering the technical side of these important partbook sets, will be combined with an extended workshop component dealing practically with the playing and singing of examples produced within the framework of the Tudor Partbooks Project. In autumn 2017 the AHRC-funded project Tudor Partbooks reaches its conclusion. Publications arising from this project will include facsimile editions of the Sadler Partbooks, Bodleian Mus. e. 1-5 (digitally reconstructed) and the Baldwin Partbooks, Christ Church Mus. 979-983 (with reconstructed Tenor book). This workshop will focus on two tasks: live-trialling some of the completed reconstructions; and finding solutions to some knotty contrapuntal conundrums. We will also briefly consider the historical performance background – old-fashioned, liturgically obsolete Latin church music was sometimes played recreationally by Elizabethan musicians outside church, typically on instruments, or, according to one copyist, as 'sol-fa songs' (BL, Add. 31390). So please bring along your viols and/or voices. We will be playing from restored images of the Sadler partbooks, seen in their putative original state The for the first time since the 1580s. We will also be playing newly reconstructed pieces from the Baldwin partbooks. Questions for a Gamba Society forum then arise: does the format of the Tenor “fakesimile” please the eye? And does the restored music please the ear and the bow-arm? Finally, we will focus on a couple of pieces where the viol player's insight would be particularly beneficial. One of them, a Fancy by John Baldwin, is arguably the worst piece of music ever written in the sixteenth century: or have the TP researchers missed a trick that's obvious to an experienced viol player?

Important information:
This meeting is being hosted by the Viola da Gamba Society ( but is open to non-members in return for a small donation. As we need sufficient numbers for this workshop to function, please let the Meetings Organiser, Rhiannon Evans (, 01865 245248), know as soon as possible if you wish to attend, stating which size(s) of instrument you can bring, or voice type if you would prefer to sing. 

Tea and coffee provided (donations appreciated!) Some of the cafes on the campus will be open for the purchase of lunch if needed. Parking is available in several car parks on campus.


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