Period Sources of Manuscript Music for Cittern, Bandora, & Orpharion

Last updated Sunday, August 13, 2017.

The following is a table of period manuscript (as opposed to printed and published) sources of music for cittern, bandora, and orpharion. Currently, clicking on a title in blue will display the contents for that manuscript in a separate window. I hope eventually to have links to the contents for all extant manuscripts.If there are any other sources you know of that I have missed or if you have a correction, please contact me, and I will be more than happy to include them.

N.B. A title in brackets denotes a lost source.


Sources for Cittern:

MS Title Current Location Library Call Number Approx. Date Type of Instrument Type of Tablature Notes


Mulliner Book

Great Britain, London, British Library Add.30513 post-1558 4-course & 5-course chromatic French tab Mostly keyboard music; f.118-127 contains two pieces for gittern, and eight pieces for four-course and one piece for five-course cittern in French tuning. [Full manuscript available online through the British Library.]
Lord Middleton's Lutebook a.k.a. Willoughby Lutebook Great Britain, Nottingham, University Library mi LM 16 post-1560 4-course chromatic French tab Contains music for lute and cittern (eight pieces, French & Italian tuning), and one keyboard piece. Cittern is chromatic, despite the use of French tuning.
MS leaves in Aristotle's De moribus, quae etica (Paris, 1576) France, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France F.C. Rés. 1109 post-1576 4-course French tab Contains music for lute, eight pieces for cittern, and five guitar pieces.
(Grove. 2005)
Dallis Lutebook Ireland, Dublin, Trinity College D.3.30/I post-1583 4-course diatonic French tab Contains music for lute; one untitled piece (and tuning table/fragment) for cittern in French tuning.
Walsingham consort partbook United States of America, Oakland, Mills College - c.1585 4-course French tab Consort partbook; Italian tuning.

Sammenhammer MS - "Schone Psalm und Geistliche Lieder auf der Cither"
Poland, Torun, Ksiaznica Miejska im. M. Kopernika J.40.342-102682 c.1590 4-course French tuning; chromatic fretting Italian tab This MS was listed as lost in older editions of Grove. Although for French tuning, the tablature indicates a chromatic fretting.
Mathew Holmes's cittern book Great Britain, Cambridge, University Library Dd.4.23 c.1595 4-course & 6-course chromatic French tab; Italian tab Italian tuning, mostly solo pieces for 4-course, plus 3 pieces for 6-course from P. Virchi's Il Primo Libro di Tabolatura di Citthara. Concordance list compilied by Rainer aus dem Spring.
Mathew Holmes's cittern partbook Great Britain, Cambridge, University Library Dd.14.24 pre-1597 4-course chromatic French tab One of 4 exisiting partbooks copied by Mathew Holmes; includes 5 solo cittern pieces, the remainder for consort. Italian tuning
- ? Rothschild I, 411 (OVID) late 16th c.? 4-course diatonic French tab Manuscript formerly (currently?) of the collection of Baron von Rothschild. A manuscript collection of song texts, songs in mensural notation, and cittern pieces (mostly allemandes), including a few 5th apart duets.
- United States of America, Chicago, Newberry Library Case M Vm1734.5/G37 late 16th c. 6-course French tab Tuning identical to that used in Kargel's Toppel Cythar. Cited in the 2001 edition of Grove as being of German provinence; other indications (including the original notes on the MS) suggest a Silesian provinence.
["Tablatur Buch auff der Cythar. Johannes Giorgius Hertzogk u Sachssen"] [Germany, Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitäts-Bibliothek, Musikabteilung] [Mus.J.3 7] c.1592-1605 6-course French tab (destroyed, 1944).
Updated information from the 2001 edition of Grove. Previous edition of Grove listed the call number as Mus.2.307.
- Czech Republic, Brno, Státní Oblastní Archiv Ms. G. 10,1400 late 16th c. 6-course French tab

Listed in the 2001 edition of Grove as cited in Wolf, 1919, p. 146 as in the library of Fürst in Dietrichstein, Mikulov. MS also contains lute music.

Complete inventory in: Sources Manuscrits en Tablature, vol. III/2, edited by Christian Meyer (Baden-Baden & Bouxwiller: Editions Valentin Koerner, 1999) pp. 11-14.

According to the inventory, the MS contains three pieces for citterns tuned e'-d'-g-d-B-G (!) and f'#-c#-a-e-A-G (!). [These tunings are otherwise unknown and have not been verified.]


"Tablature Buch auff dem Instrument, Christianus Hertzogk zu Sachssen"
Germany, Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitäts-Bibliothek, Musikabteilung J.307m late 16th c. 6-course French tab Not listed in previous editions of Grove.
Matthew Otley's cittern book Cambridge, Massachusettes, USA, Houghton Library of the Harvard College Library
(formerly: United States of America, Cambridge, Massachusetts, library of John Ward)
MS Mus 181 begun c.1600; added to post-1650 4-course chromatic French tab Italian tuning. Owned in the 17th century by Matthew Otley. 39f. (73p.) Contains compositions by John Dowland, Anthony Holborne, William Lawes, Robert Prime, Thomas Robinson, Robert Springnell, Thomas Sturgin and Captain Winne.
Notes by Arthur Ness: "Purchased at Sotheby's sale of 27 June 1977. Formerly in the possession of Lord Braye at Stanford Hall, Rugby (1887), and later acquired for the Bibliotheca Phillippica of Sir Thomas Phillipps (d. 1872). Also see Boetticher, p. 325, and Ward, pp. 142-58 (list of contents with tablature incipits)."

Thomas Robinson's New Citharen Lessons, 1609 - manuscript additions
Great Britain, London, British Library K.2.d.2 post-1609 4-course chromatic French tab Italian tuning; two manuscript additions: "Qui passa" and and untitled piece
Nauclerus MS Germany, Berlin, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek Mus. 40141 c. 1607-20 4-course French tab Contains music for lute and four pieces for cittern.
- Italy, Naples, Conservatorio di Musica S Pietro a Majella, Biblioteca 7664 1607-23 6-course diatonic Italian tab

Contains music for lute and six (or seven?) pieces for "cetra".
Not listed in the older editions of Grove.

The entire ms. is inventoried in: Dinko Fabris, "Prime Aggiunte Italiane al Volume RISM B/VII - Intavolature mss. per Liuto e Chitarra" in Fontes Artis Musicae vol. 29/3, July/Sept. 1982, pp. 114-115. An article specifically on the cittern pieces in it is: Dinko Fabris, "Composizioni per 'Cetra' in uno Sconosciuto Manoscritto per Liuto del Primo Seicento" in Rivista Italiana di Musicologia, vol. XVI/2, 1981, pp. 185-205.

"Hexachord" tuning (e'-d'-g-b-c'-a)

R. Spencer's private collection, Woodford Green, Essex (England) - c.1620 6-course diatonic Italian tab -

"Berchtersches Chronik"
(formerly "Berchtersches Tagebuch")
Kloster Disentis, Stiftarchiv, Switzerland CH-D circa 1623 4-course diatonic French tab

Not listed in Grove. A small collection of sacred and secular pieces as part of a larger diary or commonplace book belonging to Jacob Berchter.

A full facsimile edition of the Chronik is available. Please see the Modern Editions and Facsimiles page. For a downloadable facsimile of just the cittern portion, see the Music Files page.


Thomas Robinson's New Citharen Lessons, 1609 - manuscript additions
Japan, Tokyo, Nanki Music Library BM-4540-ne c.1629? 4-course chromatic French tab Italian tuning; manuscript additions. Contents dated by writing on title page verso: "George Baker his hand and book 1629." Contains twenty-two additional pieces.
- Great Britain, London, British Library Add. 4388 post-1653? 4-course chromatic French tab Ms. of misc. music and treatises: contains tuning charts and 2 works for cittern, Italian tuning. See Ward, p.171-2
Boteler cittern book Cambridge, Massachusettes, USA, Houghton Library of the Harvard College Library
(formerly: United States of America, Cambridge, Massachusetts, library of John Ward)
MS Mus 179 (formerly: D.D.TW.1174 olim D.D.TW.7/2) mid-17th c. 4-course chromatic French tab Italian tuning. Compiled by Sir William Boteler (d. 1656). 49f. (50p.) Pagination includes table of contents on wrapper.
Additional notes by Arthur Ness: "Ward purchased this manuscript at Christie's auction of 2 April 1982. Formerly Bedford, County Record Comittee, Library of the Bedfordshire Archeological Society, Ms. D.D.TW.1174. Also see Wolfgang Boetticher, Handschriftlich überlieferte Lauten- und Gitarrentabulaturen des 15. bis 18. Jahrhunderts, RISM B/VII (Munich, 1978), pp. 15-16, and John M. Ward, 'Sprightly & Cheerful Musick: Notes on the cittern, gittern and guitar in 16th- and 17th-century England', Lute Society Journal, 21 (1979-81), pp. 173-81 (list of titles and some tablature incipits)."
Robert Edwards' Commonplace Book Great Britain, Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland Ms. 9450, formerly Panmure 11 mid-17th c. 4-course diatonic French tab

French tuning; Ms. contains works for voice, var. instruments, keyboard, and twenty-three cittern pieces.

Online PDF edition available. See the Music Files page.

John Ridout's commonplace book Cambridge, Massachusettes, USA, Houghton Library of the Harvard College Library
(formerly: United States of America, Cambridge, Massachusetts, library of John Ward)
MS Mus 182 mid-17th c. 4-course chromatic French tab Italian tuning. Commonplace book owned/compiled by John Ridout, (1608-after 1665). 166f. (311p.) Includes medical and kitchen recipes, moral observations, etc. Ff.65-80 contain cittern tablature.
Notes by Arthur Ness: "Purchased at Sotheby's sale of 15 June 1971; formerly in the Bibliotheca Phillippica. Boetticher, non est; Ward, pp. 183-95 (list of titles with complete tablatures). In the hands of Ridout ("A[utograph].MS") and others."
Millar/McAlman Ms. Great Britain, Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland Ms. 9477 mid-17th c. 4-course chromatic French tab

Contains vocal music and six cittern pieces. French tuning; pieces to be played finger-style(?).

Online PDF edition available. See the Music Files page.

manuscript additions to copy of J.T. Freigius, Paedagogus, 1582 Great Britain, Cambridge, St. John's College G.13.28 mid-17th c. 4-course chromatic French tab Italian tuning; six pieces copied from Playford 1652, except for "rock ye cradle" and "dulcina" (both prev. unknown)

"Método de cítara," Mexican cittern manuscript by Sebastían de Aguirre
private collection of Gabriel Saldívar Saldivar Codex 2 mid-17th c.? 4-course diatonic Italian tab The MS is mentioned briefly in Stevenson, Robert, Music in Mexico: A Historical Survey, 1952. More complete details are provided in Gabriel Saldívar's work, Bibliografía Mexicana de Musicología y Musicografía, 1991. From the few facsimiles in the latter volume, it appears that the music is for an Italian-tuned, but diatonically fretted cittern.
According to the liner notes from the recording Aguirre, the illustrations in the MS call for a 4-course, triple(!)-strung cittern with a tuning in A—a fourth higher than the standard tuning in E.
MS is not listed in the 2001 edition of Grove.

Elias Walther's music book
Germany: Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek Mscr. Dresd. App. 1548 c. 1660 4-course chromatic French tab

This manuscript of music was compiled by "Elias Walther, Arnstadia Thuringus" (i.e. of Thuringia).

The music is for a cittern (or gittern? or cithrinchen?) of 4 courses tuned nominally d'-g-b-e' (intervallically the same as Praetorius's second tuning for the Klein Englische Zitterlein).

Stefano Allegrini's manuscript [private collection?] - 1720 8c. diatonic(?) Italian tab. Manuscript discovered in 1975 in a chest of drawers at a monastery at Marcassu, in Balagna; associated with the Corsican cetera. While the manuscript contains the date 1720, the repertoire might be much older. The Corsican monk Stefano Allegrini compiled the manuscript to record old Corsican melodies for posterity. (Delgrossi)
Collection of the Moravian Music Foundation, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA. BMB 4 c. 1750 6c. chromatic French tab

Manuscirpt is a collection of four-voice chorales and simple secular instrumental pieces for a 6-course instrument (cittern / lautenzister?) tuned (low to high) Gcegbe'. The manuscript is associated with the Moravians who came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century and may possibly belonged to the prinicipal of the girls' school (J.A. Huebner).

Online PDF facsimile available. See the Music Files page.


"Evangel Choral Buch"

Poland: Krakow, Biblioteka Jagiellonska
(f ormerly: Germany, Berlin, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek)

PL Kj Mus. Ms. 40145 1765 13 course "German cister" -

Contents are entirely psalms and devotional items. There is an inventory in: "Berliner Lautentabulaturen in Krakau" edited by Dieter Kirsch and Lenz Meirott (Mainz: Schott, 1992) pp. 79-101 and a music sample in Wolf - "Handbuch II" 1919, pp. 143-144.

(Listing removed from the 2001 edition of Grove because it did not pertain to Renaissance cittern.)

Unica manuscript copy of Ramillete florido, 1743. [private collection?] - early 18th c. 4-course Italian tab inverted

Spanish tablature with playing instructions, sold at Sotheby's, London, 1973. Listed (without title) in the 2001 edition of Grove as being item no.592 in catalogue 956, Maggs Bros. Ltd, London, 1974.

Manuscript is for a "cítara" with a tuning (low to high) of b a d' e'.

- Belgium, Brussels, Conservatoire Royal de Musique 5622 18th c. - - Not listed in the 2001 edition of Grove.

 

Sources for Bandora:

MS Title Current Location Library Call Number Approx. Date Type of Instrument Type of Tablature Notes
Marsh lute book Dublin, Ireland, Marsh's library Z.3.2.13 mid/late 16th century 7-course(?) bandora French tab. For details and concordances, see Nordstrom 1992. For a complete inventory of the manuscript, see John M. Ward, "The Fourth Dublin Lute Book ." LSJ XI (1969), p. 28-46.
Dallis lute book Dublin, Ireland, Trinity College Library D.3.30 post-1583 7-course(?) bandora French tab. Works for "pandora." For details and concordances, see Nordstrom 1992. For a complete inventory of the manuscript, see John M. Ward, "The Lute Books of Trinity College, Dublin: I: MS D.3.30/I. The So-Called Dallis Lute Book." LSJ IX (1967), p. 19-20 and Ward, "Additions to the Inventory of TCD Ms. D.3.30/1," LSJ XII (1970), p. 43-44.
Mathew Holmes's lute book Great Britain, Cambridge, University Library Dd.2.11 c. or pre-1590 7-course(?) bandora French tab. "Over half of the total solo works and almost all of Holborne [sic] works for bandora come from this collection." (Nordstrom 1992). For details and concordances, see Nordstrom 1992.
Königsberg manuscript Vilnius, Lithuania, Central Library of the Lithuanian Academey of Science
(formerly Preussisches Staatsarchiv, Königsberg, Msc. A 116. fol.)
285-MF-LXXIX c. 1592-1620 7-course(?) bandora French tab.

For details and concordances, see Nordstrom 1992.

A modern facsmile reprint with an introduction, inventory and index by Arthur Ness and John Ward is available from Editions Orphée. (Note: The "Monsieurs Allemande" on fol. 1 is misidentified as being for bandora but is actually for bass lute.)

- Great Britain, British Library Add.31392 c.1595 7-course(?) bandora French tab. Contains 5 pieces. For details and concordances, see Nordstrom 1992.
Browne (formerly Braye) bandora and lyra viol book private collection of Robert Spencer - c. 1600? 7-course(?) bandora French tab. Contains thirty-three consort lessons and seven solos. For details and concordances, see Nordstrom 1992.
Mathew Holmes's lute book Great Britain, Cambridge, University Library Dd.9.33 c. 1600 7-course(?) bandora French tab. Mostly simple settings of pieces and ballads. For complete and concordances, see Nordstrom 1992.
- Great Britain, British Library Add. 15117 c.1614 7-course(?) bandora French tab. Contains one bandora song. For details and concordances, see Nordstrom 1992.

 

Sources for Orpharion:

MS Title Current Location Library Call Number Approx. Date Type of Instrument Type of Tablature Notes
Mathew Holmes's lute (part?)book Great Britain, Cambridge, University Library Dd.3.18 c.1595 orpharion(s) French tab. Folios 54-55 and 56 contain parts for four different ensembles likely comprised of three viols and three orpharions, as evidenced by the titles "Paven orphar" (f. 54) and "W & V" (most likely "W(iers) & V(iols)," f. 55) and matching parts in Dd.5.21 ("T. orphar" and "for iij wier") and in Dd.5.20 ("for iij v and 3 orph"). None of the parts are complete; Nordstrom notes that the third (missing) orpharion part "might be in the missing bandora book and would certainly double the bass and perhaps fill out the rather sparse harmonies." (Nordstrom 1972)

 

Misattributed Sources:

MS Title Current Location Library Call Number Approx. Date Type of Instrument Type of Tablature Notes
Anthony Higgin's Commonplace Book Great Britain, Ripon Cathedral, Chapter Library Ms. 36 (XVIII G22) early 17th c. gittern (previously thought to be cittern) French tab (Although listed in the older edition of the Grove article, Ward notes that the music is probably for gittern, not cittern. MS is not listed in the 2001 edition of Grove.)
- ? - late 16th c. - - English commonplace book, sold at Sotheby's, London, 1972.
What this MS is remains somewhat of a mystery. It is not mentioned in the 2001 edition of Grove.
According to Tyler, Harwood claimed he had mistaken it for a cittern manuscript. (Tyler)

Bibliographical Sources:

  • Delgrossi, Damien. "Cetera corsica in Malta." Personal e-mail. 29 February, 2008.
  • Harwood, Ian and James Tyler. "Cittern." New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments.
  • Ness, Arthur. "Ward's MSS given to Harvard." Personal e-mail to the author. 24 February, 2001. (Information also available as "Shelfmarks of some cittern and lute manuscripts at Harvard and at Mills College." LSJ XLI, 2001.)
  • Nordstrom, Lyle. “The Cambridge Consort Books.” JLSA V (1972), p.70-103.
  • Nordstrom, Lyle. Detroit Studies in Music Bibliography, No. 66: The Bandora: Its Music and Sources. Harmonie Park Press (1992). ISBN 0-89990-060-7
  • Tyler, James. Personal e-mail. 3 June, 2009.
  • Waldbauer, Ivan. The Cittern in the Sixteenth Century and its Music in France and the Low Countries. Dissertation. Harvard University (1964).
  • Ward, John. "Sprightly and Cheerful Musick: notes on the cittern, gittern and guitar in 16th- and 17th-century England." LSJ 21 (1979-81).

Source Citation: Hartig, Andrew. "Period Sources of Manuscript Music for Cittern." Renovata Cythara: The Renaissance Cittern Site. Ed. Andrew Hartig. 13 August 2017. 23 September 2017. <http://www.cittern.theaterofmusic.com/manuscript/index.html>.


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