THE ML LUTE BOOK: London, British Library Add.Ms.38539. Currently dated c1610 and one piece 1630-40. In the hand of Margaret L. (initials on the cover), identified by jottings on the flyleaf as Margaret. Whether Margaret L. was the principal copyist is a moot point. Copying of the main scribes may be in two layers.
THE KRAKOW LUTE BOOK: Poland, Krakow, Biblioteka Jagiellonska Berlin.Mus.Ms.40641. Probably dating c1615-20. Small collection written by one principal scribe and two, possibly three, minor scribes. Studied only in facsimile due to difficulties in gaining access to the original source.
The original owner of ML (also known in the past as the Matthew Locke book and the Sturt lute book) purchased a blank ruled book with a binding dating from some time between c1606 and 1627, and had their initials, M.L., stamped on the front cover. This may have been Margaret L..., whose name appears in a doggerel verse inside the manuscript. Apart from this, there is no information about the original owner of the manuscript. John Sturt was lutenist to Prince Henry in 1612, played in Chapman's Middle Temple Maske (15th February, 1613), and was a London Wait from 1613 until his death shortly before 15th April, 1625. Apart from the six pieces in this manuscript, his lute compositions survive in Board, Dd.4.22,Nn.6.36, Swarland and Krakow. Altogether this provides us with only seven extant solos, and the presence of six of them in ML seems to have been one of the reasons for its having originally acquired the association with the composer. Apart from this, there is no evidence to suggest why Sturt's name had been postulated at any time as an owner or scribe of the book. The name of Matthew Lockewas suggested by the British Library because of the initials on the cover, but since he was born some time after the book was bound and sold, that association was discarded fairly quickly.
The Latin verse on the name Margaret (f.56r) refers to her accomplishments, among which we may assume was a mastery of the lute. Italic hand,used in a bastard form for the tablature in ML, was apparently the hand preferred by ladies since it required less application to learn than the secretary hand. If this is the case, it increases the likelihood of a feminine hand, though most lute hands by the early seventeenth century were italic. More significant is the number of other manuscripts of lute music from this period known to have been compiled by young ladies, and showing very similar contents and copying practices to this one--particularly Board and Pickeringe. The first layer of scribal activity in the manuscript is dated 1615, with music copied into the gaps left by the first scribe in a slightly different, and possibly later hand, and one or two pieces added at the end of the book. The latest copying seems to date from c1630-40, and is probably not related to the principal copyist's work.
Spencer identifies some fifteen scribes at work in the book, most of them contributing only fragmentary lines of text or musical tables. Two wrote mensural music, and their activity does not seem to be related to that of the writers of the lute tablature. Only five of the scribes are responsible for lute music. Some of the others may be the same scribes as are found in the lute music, but it is not possible to say whether this is the case or not.
The principal lute scribe begins to write on f.2, and continues to do so apparently without interruption until f.27. The hand is extremely regular and carefully organized in layout: where there is not enough room to write a complete piece on one opening, a new opening is started. To this compilation, a second hand has added music from f. 27 to f.32, and also filled in some of the larger gaps in the original compilation with small pieces from two to seven lines in length. Three further lute hands contribute one piece of music each on ff.32, 32v and 33v.
The scribes of particular interest are the first two, whose hands are extremely similar in many respects, although one appears to be less fluid than the other, and may have been written by an older scribe; possibly the same scribe writing some years apart. The two scribes use separate distinctive terminal double bars, and this was one of the main points made by Spencer in identifying two different hands rather than two forms of one hand.
A third hand was discussed by Spencer in connection with this source; the principal hand in Krakow, which was rediscovered in 1982 after having been lost since 1945. This lute book has only been available to the present writer in the form of photographs and microfilm, which has hampered the examination of the hands. However, reproductions are more than adequate to show shape and angulation--all that is lost is an appreciation of ink colour and any effect the quality of the paper may have had on the script. Boetticher dated the manuscript c1700, but it seems far more likely that it dates from a period c1615, since the repertory has so much in common with other English manuscripts of this date. That it originated in England is also highly likely, since the repertory seems to originate from the English court and is particularly concerned with maske music. Of the 30 folios in the manuscript, only thirteen were used, and all of these were written on by this scribe. Seven bars of an incomplete piece were written in by a second scribe on f.3, and a fragment of three bars by a third scribe on f.10, followed by a number of letters written in what may be a fourth hand. There is not enough of this hand to tell, though it would be tempting to link it with one of the minor contributors to ML. There are many concordances with Board, ML and also with Nn.6.36. Board and ML are known to date from the second decade of the seventeenth century, or possibly even later, and the majority of the music is in the French dance forms that became popular in England from c1615 onwards, the ballet and courant. There are also many concordances with Vallet 1615.
The manuscript is much smaller is both size and format than ML, but it seems probable that the main scribe in this book may also be identified as one of the lute scribes of ML. Spencer suggests that the scribe of Krakow and the principal hand of ML are the same person. At present nothing is known of the provenance of Krakow, apart from the fact that it was originally housed in the Preussischer Staatsbibliothek Musikabteilung, Berlin.
Concordances with ML are listed.
Folio Original ascription Title Composer
i [c1936 paper?]
iiv [watercolour picture]
1/1 Ball[et] Ballet (2 strains)
1/2 The Prince's Maske/The lady Eliza's maske
1v/1 3 Ballet Mrs Mary Hoffman's Almain John Sturt
1v/2-2/1 4 Ballet Second of the Prince's Maske Robert Johnson
2/2 <5> Ballet Ballet ?Robert Johnson
2v 5 Ballet Lady Banning's Almain/Ballet John Sturt
3/1 <6> Ballet The Prince's Almain Robert Johnson
3v-4 Passamez[e] Passamezzo
4v-5 fantazia Fantasia
5v/1 Courante Courant La Rosignoll
6 Volte John Sturte Volt John Sturt
6v-7/1 Ballet Ballet
7/2 Courant Courant
7v-8 Galliard Galliard Charles Bocquet/M Webster
8v-9/1 Courant Courant
9/2 Ballet Ballet
9v/1 6 Ballet Almain Robert Johnson
9v/2-10/1 7 Ballet Almain Hit it and Take it/Ballet Robert Johnson
10/2 Courant Courant
10v/1 Courant Courant
10v/2-11 Courant Courant
11v-12 Courant Jo: Sturt Courant John Sturt
12v/1 la Duchesse La Duchesse
12v/2-13/1 la Dauphine La Dauphine
13/2 la Princesse La Princesse
13v/1 Ballet des Jardiniers Ballet des Jardiniers
13v/2 [blank ruled]
30v [blank ruled, with a sepia drawing of a head]
TERMINAL BAR-LINES IN ML AND KRAKOW
For ease of reference, the principal scribe of ML will be referred to as 'Margaret' as it is reasonable to assume that this scribe was Margaret L., the secondary scribe as 'Scribe B', and the principal scribe of Krakow as 'Scribe C'.
One of the notable character-istics of Margaret's copying is the habitual terminal double-bar she employs at the end of every piece in her hand. An almost identical termination appears in Krakow. Although these are the only two scribes who use this type of double bar, it is not sufficiently idiosyncratic to rule out the possibility of another scribe developing a similar figure, or copying the form from a teacher or acquaintance. In fact Scribe B does attempt to copy the same termination on f.26. Whether this is the case or whether the scribe of Krakow is indeed one of the ML scribes must be ascertained by examining the other features in the hand. All three terminations are shown in table 28.
Scribe C writes a pure secretary hand, using the old form of the letter 'e' which is unusual in a scribe writing c1615. Margaret employs the more usual italic 'e', although the secretary form makes appearances on ff.2v (line 1), 3r (lines 8 and 9), 5v (line 1) in company with italic 'e's. It is unlikely that these can be explained away as temporary aberrations made as the result of Margaret using Krakow as an exemplar and copying the script in that manuscript, as the secretary forms do not occur in pieces which are concordances. Scribe C spaces the letters regularly and fairly wide apart and, although the same appears to be true for Margaret, the overall appearance of her hand is considerably more compact than that of Scribe C.
Margaret wrote for a 10-course lute in vieil ton, and Scribe C for a lute with nine courses, though it may possibly have had a tenth course that was not required in the pieces notated in Krakow, though that is rather unlikely. Clearly, one of the other scribes in ML used a 12-course lute, and played the music written by Margaret, as attested by the additions to her copying on f.4v, but the same cannot be said of the two (or three) minor contributors to Krakow.
While Margaret uses three graces fairly uniformly throughout her copying, there is only one appearance of + (f.1v line 6) and the # has been added fairly liberally only to the single piece on ff.11v-12, which may suggest that it was added by a different scribe. The one + sign in Krakow is very similar (as far as it is possible to tell) to the same usage in ML, but the # is clearly different. It does not appear likely, from what can be seen of the secondary scribes in Krakow, that any of the secondary scribes in the two manuscripts can be paired.
ex. 48: letter 'h', Margaret, enlarged.
The secretary 'e' which Margaret uses is also not sufficiently similar to link these two hands. This letter betrays the differing grips of the two scribes, to be seen in the lower curve of the two. The stroke of Scribe C is widest at the top part, the more vertical part of the curve. The stroke of Margaret is widest on the base of the curve, where it is nearly horizontal.
COMPARISON OF FIGURES FROM ML AND KRAKOW
Letters 'e', 'f', 'h', 'y', and 'g' and other symbols common to each hand.
Only the titles and the current hand used to write them remain to be compared. Example 49 highlights most of the inconsistencies between the two hands, as well as some similarities.
Spencer has suggested that the signature in Scribe C has the appearance of a holograph, comparing it to the signatures of John Dowland and John Johnson, both found in Folger (c1595), while appearances of the name in ML do not have the same panache. This observation seems to be accurate, although Spencer notes that the piece on f.1v of Krakow which is attributed to Sturt in ML would surely also bear his signature if Sturt were the scribe of Krakow. On the other hand, the attribution in ML may be incorrect, since it is not repeated in Nn.6.36, which is the only other known source of the piece. If the version inKrakow is not simply an earlier version, then one possibility may be that John Sturt was the scribe of Krakow, and that he may have been the teacher of Margaret, who copied his distinctive double bar, and some of the characteristics of his copying style, along with some of the music from his manuscript.
Folio Scribe Title Composer
2/1 A Mrs White's Choice/Thing John Dowland
2v/1 Mrs Mary Hoffman's Almain John Sturt
2v/2-3/1 Lord Hay's Courant
3v/1 Brett's Courant
4/1 Almain Robert Kindersley
4/2 The Witches Dance from the Maske of Queens
4v-5/1 The Queen's Dump, duet treble John Johnson
5/2 Duet Treble
5v-6/1 Sharp Pavan, duet treble Richard Alison
6/2 B Courant
6v A Duet treble
7 Lavecchia Pavan
7v/1 The Cobbler
7v/2-8/1 Lord Zouche's Maske
8/2 B Courant
8v/1 A Sir John Smith's Almain John Dowland
8v/2-9 More Palatino/En Me Revenant Daniel Bacheler
9v/1 Pavan Robert Johnson
9v/2-10/1 Mall Sims Johan Leo Hassler
10/2 The Fairy's Dance
10v-11/1 Passamezzo Pavan/Weston's Pavan
11/2 B Courant
11v-12 A John Come Kiss Me Now
12v-13/1 Battle Galliard/King of Denmark's Galliard/Mr Mildmay's
13/2 Galliard Robert Kindersley
13v-14/1 Last Will and Testament Pavan Anthony Holborne
14/2 Poor Tom of Bedlam
14v-15 Fantasia John Dowland
15v/1 To Plead My Faith Galliard Daniel Bacheler
15v/2-16/1 Galliard on a Galliard of Daniel Bachleler John Dowland
16/2 Almain Robert Johnson
16/3 Sellenger's Round/Est-ce Mars/The French Tune
16v/1 Galliard, My Lady Mildmay's Delight Robert Johnson
16v/2-17/1 The Flying Horse
17/2 The Prince's Almain Robert Johnson
17v/2 Courant Mercure d'Orléans
18/1 Volt John Sturt
18v/2-19/1 Courant de la Durette Robert Ballard
19/2 The Noble Men's Maske
19v/1 Almain John Sturt
20/2 Ballet des Folles
20/3 Volt Mercure d'Orléans
20v/1 Hit it and Take it Almain Robert Johnson
20v/2-21/1 Galliard Robert Johnson
21/2 Galliard Charles Bocquet
21v/1 Volt John Sturt
21v/2-22/1 Courant John Sturt
22/2 Courant Jacques Gauthier [prob]
22/3 B Prelude John Sturt
22v/1 A Pavan Robert Johnson
22v/2-23 Lachrimae Pavan John Dowland
23v-25/1 Battle Pavan
25/2 Courant Mercure d'Orléans/René Saman
25v/1 Courant La Bontade Robert Ballard
25v/2-26/1 A-B Galliard
26/2 B Courant de la Reine Robert Ballard
26v/1 A Courant
26v/2-27/1 Courant Le Testament Julien Perrichon
27/2 B Courant
28v-29/1 Mrs Anne Markham's Pavan Francis Cutting
29/2 Gray's Inn Maske/Mad Tom of Bedlam
29v/1 La Courant Sarabande ?Robert Ballard
29v/2-30/1 Pavan Lodovico Bassano
30/2 Gray's Inn Maske
30v/1 The Devil's Dance
30v/2 First Tune of the Lord's Maske
30v/3 Second Tune of the Lord's Maske
31v-32/1 Pavan Robert Johnson
32/2 C Gray's Inn Maske
32v D Maske tune/Almain
33v/1 E Almain, first part of duet
33v/2 Almain, second part of duet
There are two probabilities that should be considered before advancing further. The most obvious reason for the clear point of take-over between Margaret and Scribe B would be that the two scribes were using the book at the same time, and the second scribe completed work started by the first scribe, and then copied in two more pieces. Folio 26v shows the hand of Margaret at work again. Disregarding this take-over in copying between the two scribes, and treating it as if it is simply the completion of a piece previously left incomplete, then it would appear that there are two principal layers of copying in this first part of the book. The first scribe, Margaret,copied in a large repertory of music up to folio 27r and then stopped working for one reason or another. At this point--or possibly after a hiatus of some years--Scribe B came to the book and completed Margaret's unfinished Galliard on 26v, even to the point of attempting to imitate Margaret's stylish final double bar. Scribe B copied two courants into the remaining blank staves, still trying to imitate Margaret's double bar. The imitation proved a failure, and so Scribe B resorted to a simpler form of ending, which he used to add two more courants into the empty staves on f.27r, continuing to copy without interruption until 32r. At some point, during or after this period of activity, this second scribe went back through the book and filled in some of Margaret's blank staves with short dances, usually courants. That these 'fill-ins' were added after his activity on f.26r seems very likely, as Scribe B's experimentation with Margaret's double-bar occurs here only, and this sort of attention to detail is likely to be associated with a scribe's first entries into a book, particularly if he or she were attempting to blend the new additions in with the old. Considering the large number of pages left unused in this manuscript, it is slightly surprising that Scribe B should have gone to the trouble of filling in these small gaps, though the presence of spaces large enough of accommodate a short piece may have been difficult to ignore if this was the only book that the scribe owned, or if he or she had a particularly parsimonious attitude to paper. A similar situation is apparent in Herbert,11 where a second scribe has added to the principal scribe's compilation, though in this case the extra space is used because there was no space elsewhere. This is seen more dramatically in St. Petersburg, a manuscript of French origin, written in vieil ton, but with gaps filled by a second hand in transitional tunings, the repertory indicating probably as much as 20 years after the original compilation.
How reasonable would it be to suggest that the first scribe, Margaret, left the piece of music on f.26 incomplete in her original compilation, and continued on the next clean folio after leaving a space for the completion? If the second scribe is in fact Margaret writing later in life and after the onset of (perhaps) arthritis which causes difficulties in forming letters cleanly, then this could have been the case. However, it is equally possible that this is the activity of two scribes using the book at the same time.
The same treble hold signs are employed by Scribe B as by Margaret, and the writing of the name John Sturt on f.22 bears many similarities in duct to that shown in example 50. Many spellings of the titles are also the same, but all of these supposed similarities could be simply attributed to the two scribes working in the same book and influencing each other's work. As has been seen before, when comparing Margaret with Scribe C, the very precise and idiosyncratic shape of the limb of the letter 'h' is probably important. One would expect the hooked shape to become more angular with age, particularly when the scribe's hand has aged as appears to be the case with Scribe B. Most of the letters have acquired a more square body, but the limb of the 'h' is still surprisingly curved and flowing. In fact it resembles far more the shape of the letter 'h' in Scribe C than in Margaret. The # signs also have more in common with Scribe C than with Margaret. The sloped duct and spacing of Scribe C are not exactly echoed in the hand of Scribe B, but f.27 shows strong similarities seen in examples 52a-b.
Any condition causing stiffening of the joints would account for much in the alteration of a hand, and decreasing fluency may cause the hand to take a more upright angulation. The increase in the number of grace and hold signs would be expected with the passage of time and changing fashions. Both scribes use a ten-course lute, something that could change with the passage of time if the player was interested and could afford to buy a new instrument and extend their technique to accommodate the additional courses dictated by changing fashions in music. This practice seems to be most common, though, only among those whose livelihood depended on the currency of their technique and music, and is rarely seen among the amateur population.
It is difficult, to attempt to make judgements about the scribes in two manuscripts when one of those sources is only available for study as a microfilm or photocopy. Spencer is also understandably cautious about the wisdom of comparing ML with Krakow in his introduction to the facsimile of ML. For this reason the evaluation of the Krakow scribe must only be given the weight of conjecture here, though the reproductions leave no doubt about such essentials as layout, spacing, duct and the shape or slant of letters and flags.
The examination above suggests that there are two rather than three scribes at work in these two manuscripts, but not the pair which had previously been suggested. If the two scribes in ML were a single scribe this requires the possibility that Margaret left the galliard on ff.25v-26 unfinished. To judge by the accuracy and completeness of her copying this seems unlikely, and the altered angulation between the two scribes to be seen on f. 27 suggests that they are not the same person. However, the alteration in style between Margaret and Scribe B would be commensurate with difficulties brought on by disease affecting motor control or manual dexterity, and could account for most of the variations in the scripts, although the angulation of the hand makes the link with Scribe C in Krakow more likely.
There are, hypothetically, two possible cases. First that all three hands in the two sources were written by the same person, Margaret, who began copying as a student in ML c1610, and began work in a new book c1615 (Krakow). Later still (c1620) she returned to the original book and filled in some of the gaps left incomplete before. However,Margaret is quite relaxed about leaving blank spaces in ML but the same is not true of Scribe B. A more likely picture is that Krakow was written c1615 by a scribe who could be John Sturt. This scribe then came in contact with the principal scribe of ML, Margaret L, who may have copied some music from Krakow, imitating the terminal bar flourish of Scribe C. The scribe of Krakow also wrote in ML, though by this time his dexterity had begun to deteriorate: he attempted his original terminal-bar flourish, but had to compromise with a simpler form. If this is the case, then the date of c1610 proposed by Spencer for ML is probably slightly too early. It could have been bound as late as 1627, and there is nothing in the music or the ascriptions which would suggest positively that the music was written in before c1620, particularly if Margaret and Scribe B were working together. ML is clearly a pedagogical book, and therefore the repertory in Margaret's hand is likely to be from an earlier period than the copying date. A date later than 1610 would also be supported by the use of mensura gallica by all the scribes, a style of flagging that was rare in English manuscripts before c1620. Sturt's professional life seems to date from 1612, and though his music may have been in circulation earlier than that, this would seem a safe date to establish for his working life. He died in 1625, so if he had any links with these two manuscripts, they must have been copied between c1612 and 1625, which seems to tie in with the other evidence surrounding them.
It seems possible that the scribe of Krakow (possibly John Sturt) may have been the teacher of Margaret or simply an acquaintance. The relationship may never become wholly certain, but the links between the two manuscripts may ultimately shed some light on their provenance. Spencer suggests a period of ten years for the compilation of ML, though Margaret's hand shows no evidence that she may have been copying for a long period. His examination of the scribes led him to decide that they had been using the book at the same time, and the repertory suggests 1613 as the earliest date for the start of copying. The date of Krakow, c1615, is probably accurate, but in view of the probable link between the two sources, c1620 would be a more  Facsimile with introductory study: Spencer 1985B.
 SeeChapter 4.
 Spencer 1985B, xx.
 Spencer 1985B, ix-xx.
Boetticher 1978, 39.
 Spencer 1985B, xiv.
 A similar form of the letter 'h' can be seen in the hand of the Folger/Wickhambrook scribe.
8 To be seen in both Board and Folger.
 Spencer 1985B, xiv.
 6r -- 6 lines, 8r -- 2 lines, 11r -- 3 lines, 22r -- 4 lines.
11 See the discussion above. likely copying date for the vieil ton music in ML.
|The Lute Page||Julia Craig-McFeely's Thesis||Index|