The bass viol in the mixed consort

Spring, M (2013) The bass viol in the mixed consort. In: Galpin Society Conference, 25-29 July 2013, Oxford, UK.

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A glance at the only surviving printed part-book for the bass viol from the set mixed consort books of Thomas Morley (1599/1611) is rather a disappointment. In many pieces role for that instrument is limited to that of sustaining the bass line of the lute, especially in the repeated passages where the lute is given elaborate divisions. However the manuscript books for the Walsingham Consort Books and more particularly the Cambridge Consort Books associated with Mathew Holmes and Richard Reade reveal a more varied role. In some piece, and especially those of Richard Allison and Daniel Bacheler, the bass viol alternates with the bandora in providing a bass line for subgroupings among the remaining four instruments. As Sydney Beck pointed out in the 1959 introduction to his edition of Morley’s Book, there are a few pieces, notably Lachrimae Pavin and James, His Galliard in the Cambridge Consort bass viol book that give alternative elaborate divisions for the bass viol. This paper explores the musical roles the bass viol is given in the surviving sources of mixed consort music, and considers how the bass viol player might supply simultaneous divisions to enliven the more mundane bass lines of much of the surviving repertoire.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: Bath School of Music and Performing Arts
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 16:51
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:40
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