collectors, even without reference to the value of the Compositions, which, but for them, would have been utterly lost to us. Each Part is printed in a separate volume, oblong 4to, without a title-page at the beginning, but with a Colophon on the last page of the Bassus, recording the date and place of publication. In one instance only has the brilliancy and clearness of the typography been surpassed. The British Museum possesses the unique Bassus Part of a collection of Songs, printed by Wynkin de Worde in 1530, which exceeds in beauty everything that has ever been produced, in the form of Music-printing from moveable types, from the time of its invention by Petrucci until now. The volume is an oblong 4to, corresponding very nearly in size with those of Petrucci; but the Staves are much broader, and the type larger, the perfection of both being such as could only be rivalled at the present day by the finest steel engraving. The volume contains nine Songs a 4, and eleven, a 3, by Fayrfax, Taverner, Cornyshe, Pygot, Ashwell, Cowper, Gwynneth, and Jones; and, at the end of the book is the first leaf of the Triplex, containing the title and index only. This, unhappily, is all that has hitherto been discovered of the work.
Petrucci's successors were as far as those of Wynkin de Worde from approaching the excellence of their leader—and even farther. The separate Parts of Palestrina's Masses, and the Madrigals of Luca Marenzio, printed at Venice in the closing years of the 16th century, though artistic in design, and in bold and legible type, are greatly inferior, in execution, to the early examples; and the Motets of Giovanni Croce published by Giacoino Vincenti (Venice 1605) are very rough indeed. The nearest approach to the style of Petrucci is to be found in the earlier works printed, in London, by John Day; the 'Cantiones Sacræ' of Tallis and Byrd, printed by Thomas Vautrollier (London, 1575); and the earlier works published by Thomas Est, under the patent of William Byrd, such as Byrd's 'Psalmes, Sonets, and Songes of Sadnes and Pietie' (1588) and his 'Songs of sundrie natures' (1589). But Est's later productions, including the second book of Yonge's 'Musica Transalpina' (1597), and the works of the later Madrigalists, are far from equalling these, and little, if at all, superior to the later Italian Part-Books.
The finest Part-Books of the second class, presented in Cantus lateralis, are the magnificent MS. volumes in the Archives of the Sistine Chapel; huge folios, transcribed in notes of such gigantic size that the whole Choir can read from a single copy, and adorned with illuminated borders and initial letters of exquisite beauty. In these, the upper half of the left-hand page is occupied by the Cantus, and the lower half, by the Tenor; the upper half of the right-hand page by the Altus, and the lower half by the Bassus. When a Quintus is needed, half of it is written on the left-hand page, below the Tenor, and the remainder (reliquium) below the Bassus, on the right-hand page. When six Parts are needed, the Quintus is written below the Tenor, and the Sextus, below the Bassus. Books of this kind seem to have been less frequently used in England than in Italy; unless, indeed, the MSS. were destroyed during the Great Rebellion.
The finest printed examples of this class are, the large folio edition of Palestrina's First Book of Masses (Roma, apud heredes Aloysii Dorici, 1572) and the still finer edition of 'Hymni totius anni' (Roma, apud Jacobum Tornerium et Bernardinum Donangelum, 1589). A very beautiful example of this kind of Part-Book, on a small scale, will be found in Tallis's 'Eight Tunes,' printed, by John Day, at the end of Archbishop Parker's metrical translation of the Psalms (London, 1560); and one not very much inferior, is Thomas Est's 'Whole Booke of Psalmes' (London, 1592). Ravenscroft's 'Briefe Discourse,' (1606), is a very rough example; and the 'Dodecachordon' of Glareanus (Basle, 1547), though so much earlier, is scarcely more satisfactory, in point of typography.
The third class of Part-Books, designed to be read from the four sides of a table, was more common in England than in any other country. One of the best-known examples is that given in the closing pages of Morley's 'Plaine and easie Introduction' (London, 1597 and 1606), in which the parts are presented in a rectangular arrangement, each part facing outwards as the book is placed open on the table.
In Douland's 'First Booke of Songs or Ayres,' a still more complicated arrangement is dictated by the necessity for accommodating a Lutenist by the side of the Cantus, the part for these two performers appearing on two parallel staves on the left-hand page, while the other three voices share the right-hand page.
An interesting example of this class is 'Le Parangon des Chansons,' printed by 'Jaques
- Facsimiles will be found in 'Ottaviano del Petrucci da Fossombrone,' by Anton Schmid (Vienna, 1845), and 'Ottaviano del Petrucci da Fossombrone,' by Augusto Vernarecci (2nd edit. Bologna, 1882). The student may also consult Catelani, 'Bibliogr. di due stampi ignoti da Ottav. del Petrucci' (Milan), and the Catalogue of Eitner.
- K. 1. c. 1.
- See vol. iv. p. 572a.
- A large folio MS. of this kind, containing a Mass by Philippus de Monte, was lent to the Inventions Exhibition of 1885 by Miss Rivington, and another exceedingly fine specimen, containing a Gloria a 5, written by Fayrfax for his degree of Mus. D. was lent to the same exhibition from the Lambeth Palace Library.