Reconstructing the Baldwin Partbooks: Workshop 1

Find out what happened at the Tudor Partbook project's first workshop on reconstructing the polyphonic music of the Baldwin partbooks: Oxford, 6-8 March 2015.


  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. This began with our first workshop, which was held in Oxford from 6-8 March. Here's what we got up to:
  2. Friday afternoon

  3. Our workshop gets started:
  4. Session 1: Owen Rees leads us in reconstructing Robert Parsons's Peccantem me quotidie, with the help of singers from Contrapunctus.
  5. By looking out for chords with missing notes, cadences, and points where the melody is being imitated between the voices (thankfully a typical way to begin each phrase of text in this period!) we can begin to create a plausible new tenor voice this motet.
  6. We ended the day with a trip to Evensong at Magdalen College, where they were singing Thomas Tallis's Lamentations.

  7. Saturday

  8. Today we took a break from working on the Baldwin partbooks to explore other kinds of sixteenth-century polyphonic reconstruction.
  9. Session 2: Andrew Johnstone introduces us to reconstructing Elizabethan partsongs and consort songs that now survive only in lute tablature.