Cambridge Digital Library is launching a new Music Collection with the online release of the ‘crown jewels’ of English lute music. Dating from the late 16th and early 17th century, the manuscripts contain handwritten copies of scores by John Dowland, Francis Cutting and dozens of other early modern composers.
Digital versions of the manuscripts [went live online about a week ago] as the first items in a new digital Music Collection, which will grow to reflect Cambridge University Library’s important holdings in this area. The Library’s holdings range from music scores and texts on music to ephemera and concert programmes to archival materials documenting the life and work of composers. Such items play a crucial role in the preservation of musical heritage on a national and international level.
The new online collection of lute music comprises high-resolution zooming images of around 650 pieces contained in eight manuscripts, allowing full access to these unique items to anyone with an internet connection. Pieces from the collection range from celebratory jigs and dances, to popular ballads and sorrowful music for funerals, giving an extraordinary insight into the role and uses of music in early modern England.
Learn More About the New Digital Collection
Direct to Cambridge Digital Library Music Collection