RECON II: Reconstructing Incomplete Tudor Music

Students, performers, musicologists and music-lovers spent a long weekend in Cambridge reconstructing Tudor polyphonic music (13 -15 November 2015). Here's how we got on...


  1. The Tudor Partbooks project is attempting to reconstruct the music of the Elizabethan partbooks of John Baldwin (GB-Och:Mus979-83), which are unfortunately missing the tenor book. (The remaining partbooks have been digitized by Christ Church Library). We're turning the reconstruction of the lost tenor parts into a collaborative process involving scholars, performers and students. In November we met for the second of our reconstruction workshops (the first was in Oxford in March)

  2. Day 1: Friday 13 November

  3. John Milsom kicked off the workshop by leading us through a reconstruction of Derick Gerarde's Sive vigilem. Much of Gerarde's polyphonic writing is often predictable so how to proceed with the reconstruction is can be satisfyingly clear.
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  7. Day 2: Saturday 14 November

  8. David Skinner began this morning by introducing us to See Lord and Behold, a contrafactum of Thomas Tallis's Gaude Gloriosa. Unfortunately the sole surviving part of the contrafactum - the second countertenor - reveals that Tallis made some changes to the partwriting so the polyphony requires reconstructing in several passages.
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  10. For the history behind Tallis's See Lord and Behold, see David Skinner's paper at the Tallis Study Day: 

  11. Keeping with the Tallis theme, we returned to music from the Baldwin partbooks as Stephen Rice led us in reconstructing parts of Tallis's Magnificat.