Posts Tagged 'research'

Solved! The Elusive Case of Mr Ludford and His Music Manuscripts

The musical mystery of Nicholas Ludford, the composer of five centuries ago, has just been solved. As The Cardinall’s Musick bring out his complete works, Rob Ainsley tells the story of the case.

A few years ago, at New College, Oxford, builders found a piece of paper used long ago to cover a crack in the wall. It was a fragment of a four hundred-year-old musical manuscript. Such a fate, sadly, was common for most of England’s great religious music after Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the late 1530s. Priceless music books were torn up and used as account rolls, as book binding, even to wrap fish.

Only two choirbooks from Henry’s reign survived intact. The so-called Caius and Lambeth Choirbooks (respectively now in Cambridge and London) have been a tantalising puzzle for music researchers for several decades. The size and weight of paving slabs, they contained wonderful vocal music in gloriously illuminated manuscripts, both written in the same hand. Most of the music was by two composers but the bare surnames were the only information given. Who were ‘Ludford’ and ‘Fayrfax’? How had the books survived? And what did the music sound like?

They would have remained just another footnote in musical history had it not been for David Skinner, an Oxford academic and co-director, with Andrew Carwood, of the early music group The Cardinall’s Musick. We now know the story of the books and more on the life of the composers. Best of all, we can hear the music from the Caius and Lambeth choirbooks on disc.

Continue reading ‘Solved! The Elusive Case of Mr Ludford and His Music Manuscripts’

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 74,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Month at a Glance

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