Transcribed and edited by Gordon J. Callon, School of Music, Acadia University, Nova Scotia.
The first edition complete of the music of Nicholas Lanier, 1588-1666, lutenist, composer, first Master of the King's Music, painter and poet.
Twenty-one solo songs, 5 dialogues, 6 part songs, 4 instrumental works, and the canon Thus, thus at last (from his Self Portrait) as well as his poem Come Loyal Hearts. There are seven reproductions, including his Self Portrait, with detail.
Lanier is remembered primarily as one of the composers who introduced the style of Italian monody to England. This he encountered during 1611 when as a domestic musician to Robert Cecil he accompanied Cecil's son William on a tour of northern Italy. Later, 1625-68, he again visited northern Italy, particularly Venice, as representative and agent of Charles I in the purchase of a large part of the art collection of the Dukes of Mantua.
Two songs appear with tabulature: Bring away this sacred tree, which was printed with lute tabulature and bass line, and Amorosa Pargoletta, of which the solo version has accompaniment for theorbo.
The remainder of Lanier's music provides accompaniment as a thorough bass. In the seventeenth century this normally would have been played on a theorbo, or a lute, or some other finger-plucked instrument. For the convenience of singers, the thorough bass in this edition is realised for keyboard.
Several of the sources of Lanier's music contain symbols indicating the use of ornaments, in addition to written out ornamentation and embellishment. Some manuscripts have a multitude of symbols and divisions, in the musical score itself, and in the margins and following individual pieces. Marginal and other extra embellishment of the copy-texts are given in the score when this will not disrupt the rhythmic structure. Included in this edition is a complete critical commentary listing musical sources, variants, and sources of the lyrics, with a discussion of the context of each item.