London, British Library, Add. MS 31922

Henry VIII Book Facsimile Edition

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Thirty-three compositions by Henry VIII alongside a wide selection of other music from the first years of the sixteenth century are all collected together in a manuscript that probably contains the repertory of Henry’s own music-making sessions.

He was not quite eighteen years old when he became king in 1509. But in the next decade, before the difficulties began, his court was one of the most brilliant in Europe. And he himself was always eager to show off his abilities as a musician.

The book was almost certainly not made for him: its decorations are too modest.

But it is easy to imagine that it was for one of the favoured subjects who made music with him. It is clearly written and easy to read, a perfect size for three instrumentalists or singers.

Some of the pieces are textless and evidently intended for instrumental performance; others do have text but were probably also for instruments alone; and some are three-voice songs with all three voices clearly texted.

Sources

  • Images courtesy of the British Library

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Henry VIII Book": The Henry VIII Book facsimile edition, published by DIAMM, 2014

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Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.
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The Henry VIII Book

London: DIAMM, 2014

  • Commentary (English) by Fallows, David
  • This is a partial facsimile of the original document, Henry VIII Book: the facsimile might represent only a part, or doesn't attempt to replicate the format, or doesn't imitate the look-and-feel of the original document.

The facsimile, on heavy matt art paper, is the complete reproduction of the whole original document. 273 pp. full color + 85 pp. introduction, indexes etc. The facsimile edition is reduced in size compared to the original document (format 213 x 310 mm; 98% of full size).

Binding

Hard bound in buckram.

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