English keyboard music reached an unsurpassed level of sophistication in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries as organists such as William Byrd and his students took a genre associated with domestic, amateur performance and treated it as seriously as vocal music. This book draws together important research on the music, its sources and the instruments on which it was played. There are two chapters on instruments: John Koster on the use of harpsichord during the period, and Dominic Gwynn on the construction of Tudor-style organs based on the surviving evidence we have for them. This leads to a section devoted to organ performance practice in a liturgical context, in which John Harper discusses what the use of organs pitched in F may imply about their use in alternation with vocal polyphony, and Magnus Williamson explores improvisational practice in the Tudor period. The next section is on sources and repertoire, beginning with Frauke Jürgensen and Rachelle Taylor’s chapter on Clarifica me Pater settings, which grows naturally out of the consideration of improvisation in the previous chapter. The next two contributions focus on two of the most important individual manuscript sources: Tihomir Popović challenges assumptions about My Ladye Nevells Booke by reflecting on what the manuscript can tell us about aristocratic culture, and David J. Smith provides a detailed study of the famous Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. The discussion then broadens out into Pieter Dirksen’s consideration of a wider selection of sources relating to John Bull, which in turn connects closely to David Leadbetter’s work on Gibbons, lute sources and questions of style.

part I|26 pages


chapter 2|10 pages

An annotated bibliography of selected writings about early English keyboard music

Updating Tudor Music from 2008 and William Byrd from 2012
ByRichard Turbet

part II|39 pages


chapter 3|20 pages

The harpsichords of the virginalists

ByJohn Koster

chapter 4|17 pages

The lost musical world of the Tudor organ

ByDominic Gwynn

part III|56 pages

Keyboard music and liturgy

chapter 6|24 pages

Playing the organ, Tudor-style

Some thoughts on improvisation, composition and memorisation
ByMagnus Williamson

part IV|117 pages

Sources and repertoire

chapter 7|21 pages

Seven settings of Clarifica me Pater by Tallis, Byrd and Tomkins

Friendly emulation or friendly competition?
ByFrauke Jürgensen, Rachelle Taylor

chapter 8|17 pages

Hunting, heraldry, and humanists

Reflections of aristocratic culture in My Ladye Nevells Booke 1
ByTihomir Popović

chapter 9|21 pages

Seven solutions for seven problems

The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book
ByDavid J. Smith

chapter 10|23 pages

Towards a canon of the keyboard music of John Bull

ByPieter Dirksen