Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

John Dowland, John Danyel, Daniel Bacheler; the Issue of Attribution in Golden Age English Lute Music

The period between (approximately) 1540 and 1650 is often characterised as the “Golden Age of English Lute Music” (eg Bream 1993); in the words of Smith  (2002 p 245) a “brief Plorescence” occurring at the same time as the rise and fall of the English madrigal and corresponding in time with the English Renaissance.There are few English printed sources of solo lute music from this time. Instead the bulk of the music is found in manuscript form. There are 50 or so surviving  manuscripts containing 2 U 3,000 separate pieces of music (Marriott 1978,  Tayler 2005), a repertoire far more extensive than any other contemporaneous solo instrumental repertoire (CraigUMcFeely 2000). That the lack of printed sources may have been related to the monopoly on music printing held by Tallis  and Byrd is suggested by Nolde (1984) and by Oswell (2009). Nolde also points  out that that though “less than ten per cent of the pieces in the English lute  repertoire are found in printed books..... nearly all of the vocal music of the period appears in printed collections” (1984 p15). Tayler (2005, p7) is emphatic in blaming Byrd: “Since Byrd was in control of music printing...

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