Detail View: Manuscripts:

Identifier: 
MS1
Title: 
The Arundel Choirbook
Description: 
The 'Arundel' or 'Lambeth ' Choirbook, together with a similar, closely related, volume, the 'Caius' Choirbook (Gonville and Caius College Cambridge MS. 667) dates from around 1525. They are the only manuscripts of their type to survive from the reign of Henry VIII and are the chief repositories of the music of Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521) and Nicholas Ludford (c.1490-1557). Both the Arundel and the Caius Choirbooks appear to have originated at Arundel College (the Collegiate Chapel of the Holy Trinity, Arundel, Sussex), during the Mastership of Edward Higgons (Master from 1520 until his death in 1538). They are written in the same hand, as is the base part of an antiphon by Nicholas Ludford found in the archives of Arundel Castle (MS. A 340; colour illustration in Richard Marks and others, 'Gothic Art for England 1400-1547' (V& A Museum, 2003), p. 125). The Caius Choirbook was a presention manuscript from Edward Higgons to St. Stephen's, Westminster. The Arundel Choirbook is thought to have been retained at Arundel as a working manuscript used by the choir in the College Chapel. The latter is now the Fitzalan Chapel, Arundel Castle. As in the normal 'choirbook' layout for polyphonic music, the voice-parts are copied separately on each opening of the book. The singers of all the parts read from different areas of each opening, but could all see their music at the same time. Eg. ff. 56v-57r, part of an antiphon by Fayrfax, is laid out so that for all five parts the singers could turn the page at the same time (Richard Marks and others, 'Gothic Art for England 1400-1547' (V&A Museum, 2003), p.123). The music is accompanied by initials (usually two or three to a page), introducing each part. The initials are usually in gold, set on square grounds of more than one colour. Some initials include more elaborate illumination (see Physical Description Field). Paul Fugler argued that MS. 1 was written in four distinct layers (ff. 0-32r; 32v-56r; 56v-69r; 70v-94r), which are not necessarily bound in their original order. (For analysis, see David Skinner's introduction to the facsimile edition, pp. 16-17, 22-23). Skinner notes that the second layer (ff. 32v-56r), mainly containing works of unknown authorship, may have been reserved for composers in some way associated with Arundel College. f. 0 recto. blank. ff. 0 verso-8r. Robert Fayrfax. Mass 'Tecum principium' cantus firmus: Tecum principium (Vespers antiphon, Christmas) For editions, see: Robert Fayrfax, 'Collected works', ed. E. B. Warren (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 17, 1959-66). 'Robert Fayrfax. II: Masses Tecum principium and O quam glorifica', ed. Roger Bray (London: Stainer & Bell, Early English Church Music 45, 2004). [Lambeth Palace Library Q1490.(E2)] ff. 8v-16r. Robert Fayrfax. Mass 'O quam glorifica' cantus firmus: O quam glorifica (Vespers hymn, Assumption). At the top of f. 8v. are the words 'Op. gloriosa. Doctor ffayrfax for his forme in proceadinge to bee doctor' For editions, see: Robert Fayrfax, 'Collected works', ed. E. B. Warren (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 17, 1959-66). 'Robert Fayrfax. II: Masses Tecum principium and O quam glorifica', ed. Roger Bray (London: Stainer & Bell, Early English Church Music 45, 2004). [Lambeth Palace Library Q1490.(E2)] ff. 16v-24r. Robert Fayrfax. Mass 'Albanus' cantus firmus: Alloquio dulcis (Office antiphon, St. Alban) For an edition, see Robert Fayrfax, 'Collected works', ed. E. B. Warren (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 17, 1959-66). ff. 24v-32r. Nicholas Ludford. Mass 'Benedicta et venerabilis' cantus firmus: Benedicta et venerabilis (verse of Matins respond, Assumption) For editions, see: Nicholas Ludford, 'Collected works' ed. J. Bergsagel (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 27/2, 1977). 'Nicholas Ludford. II: Five- and six-part Masses and Magnificat', (London: Stainer & Bell, Early English Church Music, 46, 2005). [Lambeth Palace Library Q1490.(E2)] ff. 32v-35r. Anonymous. 'Salve regina' Unpublished. ff. 35v-38r. Anonymous. 'Ave Dei patris filius' Unpublished. ff. 38v-41r. Anonymous. 'Magnificat' For an edition, see 'Early Tudor Magnificats', ed. P. Doe (London: Stainer & Bell, Early English Church Music, 4, 1964). [Lambeth Palace Library Q1490.(E2)] ff. 41v-44r. Anonymous. 'Magnificat' For an edition, see 'Early Tudor Magnificats', ed. P. Doe (London: Stainer & Bell, Early English Church Music, 4, 1964). [Lambeth Palace Library Q1490.(E2)] ff. 44v-45r. Anonymous. '[Vidi aquam] egredientem de templo' (Aspersions antiphon, Easter to Whitsun). Unpublished. ff. 45v-49r. Anonymous. 'Ave mundi spes Maria' Unpublished. ff. 49v-52r. Anonymous. 'Gaude flore virginali' Unpublished. ff. 52v-56r. Walter Lambe. 'O Maria plena gratia' cantus firmus: O sacrum convivium (Magnificat antiphon, Corpus Christi). Walter Lambe (fl. 1451-1504) was a singing-man at Arundel College intermittently from 1476 to 1491. For an edition, see 'The Eton Choirbook', vol 1 , ed. F. Ll. Harrison (London: Stainer & Bell, Musica Britannica 10, 1956; 2nd edition, 1967). ff. 56v-59r. Robert Fayrfax. 'Eterne laudis lilium'. The name 'ffeyrfax' is found at the top of f. 56v. The work was commissioned by Elizabeth of York, Queen to Henry VII, in 1502 (see Richard Marks and others, 'Gothic Art for England 1400-1547' (V&A Museum, 2003), p. 419. For editions, see: Robert Fayrfax, 'Collected works', ed. E. B. Warren (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 17, 1959-66). Margaret Lyon ed, 'Robert Fayrfax. Sacred Music from the Lambeth Choirbook' (Madison: A.R. Editions, 1985) xxii, 83pp., 2 plates. [Lambeth Palace Library Q2154.F2] ff. 59v-63r. Edmund Stourton, also known as Edmund Sturton, 'Ave Maria ancilla trinitatis'. The name 'Stourton' is found at the top of f. 59v. cantus firmus: Gloria tibi trinitas (Vespers antiphon, Trinity Sunday) Unpublished. ff. 63v-66r. Robert Fayrfax. Magnificat 'O bone Jesu'. The name 'fferfax' occurs at the top of f. 63v. For editions, see: Roger Bray, ed. 'Robert Fayrfax I: O bone Jesu' (London: Stainer & Bell, Early English Church Music, 43, 2002). [Lambeth Palace Library Q1490.(E2)] Robert Fayrfax, 'Collected works', ed. E. B. Warren (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 17, 1959-66). ff. 66v-69r. Robert Fayrfax. Magnificat 'Regali' For editions, see: Robert Fayrfax, 'Collected works', ed. E. B. Warren (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 17, 1959-66). Margaret Lyon ed, 'Robert Fayrfax. Sacred Music from the Lambeth Choirbook' (Madison: A.R. Editions, 1985) xxii, 83pp., 2 plates. [Lambeth Palace Library Q2154.F2] ff. 69v-70r. blank. ff. 70v-78r. Robert Fayrfax. Mass 'O bone Jesu' For editions, see: Robert Fayrfax, 'Collected works', ed. E. B. Warren (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 17, 1959-66). Roger Bray, ed. 'Robert Fayrfax. I: O bone Jesu' (London: Stainer & Bell, Early English Church Music, 43, 2002). [Lambeth Palace Library Q1490.(E2)] ff. 78v-86r. Robert Fayrfax. Mass 'Regali ex progenie' cantus firmus: Regalis ex progenie (Lauda antiphon, Nativity BVM). For editions, see: Robert Fayrfax, 'Collected works', ed. E. B. Warren (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 17, 1959-66). Margaret Lyon ed, 'Robert Fayrfax. Sacred Music from the Lambeth Choirbook' (Madison: A.R. Editions, 1985) xxii, 83pp., 2 plates. [Lambeth Palace Library Q2154.F2] ff. 86v-94r. Nicholas Ludford. Mass 'Lapidaverunt Stephanum' cantus firmus: Lapidaverunt Stephanum (Lauds antiphon, St. Stephen). For editions, see: Nicholas Ludford, 'Collected works' ed. J. Bergsagel (American Institute of Musicology, Corpus Mensurabilis Musicae 27/2, 1977). 'Nicholas Ludford. II: Five- and six-part Masses and Magnificat', (London: Stainer & Bell, Early English Church Music, 46, 2005). [Lambeth Palace Library Q1490.(E2)] f. 94v. mainly blank, apart from a tiny, but finely drawn monogram, combining the letters 'A' and 'L' with a smaller letter 'I' or 'J' (see Custodial History Field), a scribbled name, an unexplained riddle etc. Binding of light brown leather over wooden boards: five metal bosses plus corner pieces on each cover. Rebound with new leather in the 1960s, retaining the bosses and (probably) the original wooden boards. 688 x 482 mm. 95 vellum leaves (foliated 0, 1-94). Collation: 1(8)-9(8) (wants 7, 8, blank) 10(8)-12(8) (+1). The relatively unsophisticated nature of the script and illumination has suggested an origin for the manuscript local to Arundel. A full page has 13 staves of music, 5 lines to a stave. The staves are accompanied by initials (usually three to a page). The initials are usually in gold, set on square ground, often mock-heraldic backgrounds of more than one colour. Some initials include more elaborate illumination: f. 6v The Garter (various Earls of Arundel were members of the Order). f. 12v. A crumpled scroll: others are on ff. 17r, 31r, 32v, 38v. f. 26v. A hooded fox on his hind legs plays the bagpipes; a white bird rides on his brush. f. 28v. A mermaid with comb and mirror. f. 41v. An angel praying, drawn horizontal to the page; on a blue ribbon at the foot is 'AVE MARIA ...' f. 70v. A partial border, with an initial incorporating a human figure, painted white. f. 81r. A man carrying a barrel. f. 86v. AVE MARIA in white and blue, and a partial border representing a gold chain. f. 88v. A man in blue trudging to the right with a pack on his back. David Skinner (introduction to the facsimile edition, pp. 25-26) interprets some elaborations of the initial E as representing the monogram EH (for Edward Higgons). On some pages the upper left-hand margins are decorated with flowers, leaves, feathers and stars (eg. ff. 2v,4v, 6v, 8v, 10v); at f. 35v the marginal decoration includes a musician.
Date: 
Early 16th century
Language: 
Latin
Rights: 
LPL