Anglo-Continental Relations in Music Manuscripts
Of the music books which were produced in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as is commonly recognized, the majority must have been destroyed, and pre-Reformation England is cited often as a case where great amounts of material have been lost. Of the music manuscripts which originated on the Continent and probably or certainly came to England in the sixteenth century, roughly half are devoted primarily to secular pieces. Of the five chansonniers of the period which are preserved wholly or partially in England, then, two can be shown fairly definitely to have arrived in the sixteenth century, while the early transmission of the others remains unknown. A pair of new paper flyleaves appears at the beginning of the manuscript, and a similar pair at the end; the single parchment leaf following the front set is probably original, and was certainly part of the book before it received its present binding.