Music by members of the Choral Foundation of Durham Cathedral in the 17th century
Durham Cathedral is known to possess one of the largest and most intact collections
of 17th-century liturgical music manuscripts in the world. That so much material
survived the trauma of the Commonwealth is fortuitous indeed.
The history of the pre-Civil War manuscripts has already been researched, and
those after the Restoration have been investigated to a degree. The present
research is concerned with a detailed study of the music composed by the many
Durham musicians of the 17th century contained in the manuscripts, and their
related sources. In total over 80 works by 20 composers are represented in varying
degrees of completeness. These range from complete autograph texts through to
solitary tenor parts. The study is concerned solely with the scene at Durham.
To enlarge on earlier research, a detailed study of the manuscripts from the
second half of the century is presented. These show the stability of the repertoire
and the introduction of much new material towards the end of the century. A newlycompiled
catalogue of the related manuscripts at Peterhouse, Cambridge is
presented as an appendix.
A representation of every piece of Durham-composed music is given. Extracts only
are presented of fragmentary items, and also for reasons of space and time where a
whole piece of music does not reveal anything significant. Reconstructions are
presented of works with one or two parts missing, or where a large amount of
material can be recovered from an extant organ part. Transcriptions are presented in
cases where a complete text survives.
The study is divided into two volumes. Volume one describes the music and its
sources, and volume two contains musical transcriptions.