Thomas Ravenscroft is best-known as a composer of rounds owing to his three published collections: Pammelia and Deuteromelia (both 1609), and Melismata (1611), in addition to his harmonizations of the Whole Booke of Psalmes (1621) and his original sacred works. A theorist as well as a composer and editor, Ravenscroft wrote two treatises on music theory: the well-known A Briefe Discourse (1614), and 'A Treatise of Practicall Musicke' (c.1607), which remains in manuscript. This is the first book to bring together both theoretical works by this important Jacobean musician and to provide critical studies and transcriptions of these treatises. A Briefe Discourse furthermore introduces an anthology of music by Ravenscroft, John Bennet, and Ravenscroft's mentor, Edward Pearce, illustrating some of the precepts in the treatise. The critical discussion provided by Duffin will help explain Ravenscroft's complicated consideration of mensuration, in particular.
Contents: General introduction: Ravenscroft’s biography; Ravenscroft’s circle. Introduction to the Treatises: Treatise of Practicall Musicke (British Library Additional MS 19758); A Briefe Discourse; Relationship between the treatises; The legacy of the treatises; Harmonicall Examples. ’Treatise of Practicall Musicke’ (British Library Additional MS 19758); Notes. A Briefe Discourse; Notes. Harmonicall Examples: Hunting; Hawking; Dauncing; Drinking; Enamoring. Notes; Bibliography; Index.
The purpose of this series is to provide critical editions of music theory in Britain (primarily England, but Scotland, Ireland and Wales also) from 1500 to 1700. By 'theory' is meant all sorts of writing about music, from textbooks aimed at the beginner to treatises written for a more sophisticated audience. These foundational texts have immense value in revealing attitudes, ways of thinking and even vocabulary crucial for understanding and analysing music. They reveal beliefs about the power of music, its function in society and its role in education, and they furnish valuable information about performance practice and about the context of performance. They are a window into musical culture every bit as important as the music itself.
The editions in this series present the text in its original form. That is, they retain original spelling, capitalization and punctuation, as well as certain salient features of the type, for example, the choice of font. A textual commentary in each volume offers an explication of difficult or unfamiliar terminology as well as suggested corrections of printing errors; the introduction situates the work and its author in a larger historical context.
Jessie Ann Owens is assisted on the series by Series Assistant Editor, Minji Kim.