ANONYMOUS PIECES from English sources

The great majority of extant English (and Scottish) instrumental lute music is preserved in manuscript sources (as opposed to lute songs, which are often found in printed sources). This is in contrast to the European continent where the printing of music (initiated by Petrucci in 1501) was more widely practised (though of course there are numerous continental MS sources also). There are 50 or so surviving UK manuscripts containing nearly 3,000 separate pieces of music (Marriott 1978, Tayler 2005), a repertoire far more extensive than any other contemporaneous solo instrumental repertoire (Craig-McFeely 2000).
In this section you will find anonymous pieces from the following sources

The Ballet Lute Book
The Board Lute Book
British Library Manuscripts
(BL Add. 31392, BL Royal Appendix 58)
Cherbury Lute Book
Cosens Lute Book
Folger Dowland Manuscript

Hirsch Lute Book
Hender Robarts Lute Book
Marsh Lute Book
Margaret Board Lute Book
Matthew Holmes Manuscripts (Dd.2.11, Dd.5.78.3, Dd.9.33 and Nn.6.36)
ML Lute Book
Mynshall Lute Book
Pickering Lute Book
Varietie of Lute Lessons (one of the few printed sources from this period)
Willoughby Lute Book

These manuscripts are described in the English Lute Sources page. Other pieces from these MSS that are attributable are posted under the heading of the individual composers.

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