Other Composers in English Sources

Augustine Bassano (d.1604)
Member of an Italian family of musicians, instrument makers and composers, active in England. Five brothers including Augustine were all wind players and formed a consort of recorders. Some of their music is found as intabulations in lute sources. The pieces below were intabulated for bandora in Dd.2.11 and three other pieces in the same source, in tabulated for lute may be by Augustine’s brother Lodovico (Lasocki et al., 2001).

La Vecchia Pavane (Version 1) [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 08
La Vecchia Pavane (Version 2) [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 06
Two versions of this pavane are found in the Holmes manuscript
Dd.2.11 in different keys. I have arranged both preserving the key relationship. They were both in tabulated for a 7-course bandora and my arrangements have required thinning and revoicing some chords. The piece is unusual in ending a tone higher that it begins.

Baruch Bulman (fl. c1600) is known only for this fine pavan from the Euing Lute Book and may be the author of some choral works (Evans and Humphries, 1997).

Pavan [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 07

Michael Cavendish (c1565-1628) was a member of the British nobility who published a volume of lute songs and madrigals (1598) and may be the composer of a few solo pieces found in lute MSS, including this Galliard:

Galliard [PDF] [MXL] [MIDI] Grade 06
Cosens f.42

William Hollis
I can find no information about this musician whose name appears as the composer of a single pavan in the Cosens Lute Book. The title of the piece, written by the scribe in flowing Chancery script, looks like ‘John Blundcuills Last Farewell’ but, comparing the ‘c’ with the two letters ‘e’ in ‘Farewell’ and the ‘u’ with the ‘v’ in the word ‘ pavan’ that appears throughout the manuscript I think the name is more likely to be ‘Blundevill’ This is supported by Soenmez (1993) who suggests that ‘ Blundcuill' it is cognate with the name ‘Blundeville’ that was fairly well-known in mediaeval and renaissance England. I notice also that Anthony Rooley (1975) evidently reached the same conclusion in compiling his 2010 CD of music from the Cosens Lute Book so I will adopt his usage and refer to the rather fine pavan as:

John Blundeville’s Last Farewell [PDF] [MXL] [MIDI] Grade 07
The identity of John Blundeville is also unknown, though it seems likely that he was a musician, so that this piece can be regarded as a lament by one musician for another. There is evidence of one John Blundevile (or possibly two, perhaps father and son) as a musician in the 17th century records of several cathedrals
(Ashbee & Lasocki,1998). However their likely dates are too late for the Hollis piece which must have been composed before 1610. So perhaps this John Blundeville is an ancestor of those that are recorded in cathedral records.

Ambrose Lupo (? - 1591)
Ambrose Lupo was probably born in Milan and died in London in 1591. He was a member of a large musical family active in Italy and later in England. He served in the English court as a string player from 1540 until his death. In 1590 he was described as ‘one of the eldest’ of the group. He is thought to be the author of a number of the pieces ascribed to ‘Ambrose’ in English lute sources (Craig-McFeely 2000, Holman 2001A ).

Pavan [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Lupo Grade 07

(first name and biographical details unknown).

Fansye [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Newman Grade 06
The piece is one of two in the
Mulliner Book named as being by ‘Newman’ but not otherwise identified. The Fansye is written out as an organ piece, starting in two parts and mostly alternating between two and three parts, with a brief moment at bar 14 where it has four parts. This thinness of texture, the distribution of the parts and the limited note range in the piece made me think that the original may have been a fantasy for six course lute and led me to arrange it for guitar.

Subsequently, when I joined the Lute Society I discovered John Robinson's compilation of
The Complete Lute Music ascribed to Master Newman in Lute News 38 (Robinson 1996). The first piece in the supplement is a Fancy from the Marsh Lute Book by Newman - and it is this same piece. Robinson includes a longer, more elaborate, anonymous version of the same fantasy, also from Marsh and a similar fantasia from Italian manuscripts. He comments that the keyboard source in the Mulliner Book is in fact earlier than the lute sources and speculates (inconclusively) about the identity of Master Newman, based on evidence from 16th century court records

Edward Pierce (or Pearce) (c1560 - 1612)
Edward Pierce was an English church musician and composer attached to Canterbury Cathedral and later the Chapel Royal. He was known as a composer for the lute and other instruments. However little of his music survives, this galliard being one of only three lute pieces. (Dart, Scott, & Bowers, 2001)

Galliard [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 06

Thomas Smyth
I have been unable to find anything about Thomas Smyth who is represented in the lute literature only by five piece in the Cosens Lute Book:

[PDF] [MXL] [MIDI] Grade 05
Cosens f.34v

Galliard 1 [PDF] [MXL] [MIDI] Grade 04
Cosens f.35a

Galliard 2 [PDF] [MXL] [MIDI] Grade 07
Cosens f.35b

Galliard 3 [PDF] [MXL] [MIDI] Grade 07
Cosens f.47

Galliard 4 [PDF] [MXL] [MIDI] Grade 06
Cosens f.50r

As with many lute manuscript attributions the naming of Thomas Smyth as the originator of all these pieces is somewhat speculative. Galliard 3 has the name Thos. Smyth attached; the Pavan and Galliards 1 and 2 are labelled TS but the inscription following Galliard 4 is less clear, but I’m accepting the attribution given by John Robinson in Lute News 45 (Robinson 1998).

Philip van Wilder (c1500 - 1553)
Flemish lutenist and composer resident in England after 1525, when he entered the service of King Henry VIII. He became lute teacher to the future Queen Mary in 1529 and the King's lutenist in 1538. He was Keeper of the Instruments at Westminster when Henry died in 1547. A the end of his life he was in the service of Edward VI, dying in the same year as the king. He is probably the subject of Holbein’s portrait “Man with a Lute”.

Van Wilder is one of the composers covered in Music for Elizabethan Lutes (Ward 1992). Ward gives grand staff transcriptions of the two pieces I have arranged and discusses the attribution of these works, pointing out that a good deal is known about van Wilder’s life and that he was known as a composer in his own time, but it is very unclear whether any extant music can be definitely attributed to him. However there are reasonable grounds for thinking van Wilder is the composer of these two works. More of Wilder’s musical life is covered in Ward and Bernstein (2001).

Arthur's Dump [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 07
This piece, titled only as "Dump" in the Marsh Lute Book, survives also in a shorter version entitled “Arthur’s Dump”. It is a long series of variations on a simple ground; I have completed two bars that are missing from the manuscript (in view of the nature of the piece, not a difficult task).

Fantasie [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 07
This seems to me a fine example of the renaissance lute fantasy and well suited to playing on the guitar. It is found in the Matthew Holmes manuscript CUL Dd.5.78.

Thomas Vautor
Thought to be a musician in the employ of the Duke of Buckingham (Robinson 1998); he published a book of songs in 1619

Allemande [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 05
Cosens f.47v

John Whitfield
A lutenist thought to have been active between 1588 and 1620. Only three of his works are known, two in the Pickering Lute Book (Daphne and Corridon and The English Hunt’s Up) and one in the Matthew Holmes manuscript Dd.2.11 (with the rather odd title Mr. Strangs Gregory hitts).

Daphne and Corridon [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 08
Pickering Lute Book f.35v

The English Hunt's Up [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 05
Pickering Lute Book f.32b

Mr. Strangs Gregory Hitts [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 07
CUL Dd.2.11 f.10c


© 2021 Eric Crouch: Make use of use anything you find here, but please mention this site if you do. Contact Me