Drexel 5611
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Drexel 5611
Drexel 5611
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Drexel 5611 front cover.jpg
Drexel 5611
TypeMusic manuscript
Datelate 1650s-early 1660s
Place of originEngland
Compiled by3 anonymous copyists (the first thought to be Thomas Heardson, the third thought to be Albertus Byrne)
Size11.5 × 7.75 × .75 inches (29.2 × 19.7 × 1.9 cm)
Accession1888 by the Lenox Library (now part of the New York Public Library)

Drexel 5611 is a 17th-century music manuscript compilation of works written for virginal. Dating from either the end of the Commonwealth period or the early Restoration period (when collections of keyboard music were rare[1]), it is an important source for English keyboard music.[2] It also includes a handful of works by French composers, reflecting the growing interest among English musicians in contemporary French keyboard music.

Belonging to the New York Public Library, it forms part of the Music Division's Drexel Collection, located at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Following traditional library practice, its name is derived from its call number.[3]


Jeffrey Mark, a librarian with the New York Public Library and the first to write about Drexel 5611, observed that the manuscript contains three works by French composers, indicating that it was compiled during the reign of Charles II of England.[4]Musicologist Barry Cooper suggested that the bulk of the manuscript dates from approximately 1655-1670 with the final thirteen works dating later. Surveying numerous manuscripts containing French harpsichord music, Bruce Gustafson suggested "circa 1664?"[5]

In her discussion of the manuscript, Candace Bailey noted that Gerald Hendrie (editor of an edition of Orlando Gibbons's keyboard music) observed that Gibbons's composition "The Queen's Command" exists both in Drexel 5611 and in British Library manuscript Add. 31723, and that the latter source was copied from the former.[6][7] A note in the Add. 31723 manuscript indicates: "transcribed from an ancient ms. of 1657." Bailey wonders that, if Drexel 5611 is that 1657 manuscript, does the date mentioned in the note represent a beginning or termination date? Bailey observed that if the 1657 termination date is correct, Drexel 5611 represents the earliest sources of music composed by Matthew Locke.[8] Bailey concluded her discussion by establishing dating at "1650s or early 1660s."[9]

Physical description

The dimensions of Drexel 5611 measures 11.5 × 7.75 × .75 inches (29.2 × 19.7 × 1.9 cm).[4] It contains 89 works written out over 159 pages.[10]

The manuscript's title page is preceded by a tipped-in image of Gibbons by engraved by J. Caldwell and published about 1750--apparently the work of a later owner. (The engraving is the same as included in John Hawkins's A General History of the Science and Practice of Music published in 1776.[11])


Bruce Gustafson identified six watermarks present in Drexel 5611:[5]

Gustafson watermark number Visual description Possible source
51[12] Foolscap with seven-point bell collar, facing right, with figure "4" and three circles no information
71[13] Cardinal's hat no information
72[13] Horn in crowned wreath with initials "IGD" English origin[14]
86[15] Large posts with grapes (fir cone?) and trefoil crown; no discernable initials Possibly of German origin[16]
87[17] Large pot (single-handled, left) with U-shaped top, initials "O [Q?] R" no information
88[17] Large post (single-handled, right) with U-shaped top, initials not discernable no information

Robert Klakowich[18] believed that the paper of Drexel 5611 was probably of French or German origin. He based this assumption on knowing that Holland was the main paper distributor for Europe during the mid-17th century, importing paper from France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy, and then redistributing it. (Holland would not be a paper manufacturer until the last two decades of the seventeenth century.)[19]


Allmaine by Thomas Heardson, the first work found in the manuscript Drexel 5611

Jeffrey Mark observed that seven of the final ten works in Drexel 5611 were composed by Albertus Bryne. He thus surmised that the manuscript was once owned by Bryne, who became organist of Westminster Abbey after 1666.[4] That the signature of no. 83 is less neat than that of the copyist of the surrounding works led Mark to assume it was Bryne's signature.[4]

Klakowich discovered that the manuscript had once belonged to Charles Burney and was listed as lot 634 in the auction of his estate.[20] He hypothesized that Burney might have come into possession of the manuscript during the third quarter of the 18th century.[21]

The reprint of Burney auction catalog indicates that the manuscript was purchased for 5s 6d by Edward Jones (1752-1824).[22][23]

It is not known how the manuscript came into the possession of Edward Francis Rimbault, although Klakowich made an educated guess that it could have been purchased from the Jones's auction by Rimbault's father, Stephen Francis Rimbault.[24] A musicologist and a voracious collector of British manuscripts, it is not surprising that the manuscript would become one of his holdings. After Rimbault's death in 1876, the manuscript was listed as lot 1394 in the 1877 auction catalog of his estate.[25][26] Purchased for £16 10s,[27] the manuscript was one of about 600 lots acquired by Philadelphia-born financier Joseph W. Drexel, who had already amassed a large music library. Upon Drexel's death, he bequeathed his music library to The Lenox Library. When the Lenox Library merged with the Astor Library to become the New York Public Library, the Drexel Collection became the basis for one of its founding units, the Music Division. Today, Drexel 5856 is part of the Drexel Collection in the Music Division, now located at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.


Scholars have identified three different hands in the manuscript. Their lack of a definitive identity has given musicologists a chance to evaluate and hypothesize based on available evidence. Most scholars suspect that the first scribe (who entered most of the works and the index at the front of the volume) was Thomas Heardson.[9] Klakowich stated that the first copyist was responsible for nos. 1-76 and 78-86.[28] Klakowich observed that the manuscript's attributions to Heardson lack the title "Mr." which strongly suggests that Heardson himself was author and copyist.[29] Bailey noted that, although the name Thomas Heardson is associated with the manuscript, there were several people with that name from which to choose.[30] Basing her research on that of Klakowich, Bailey narrowed down the choice to one person, information about whom is elusive. He was organist at Ludlow Parish Church 1637-42, and possibly the author of the three-voice song "Gloria Patri" that appears in John Hilton's 1652 publication Catch That Catch Can.[29][31] (The popflock.com resource article Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Newark-on-Trent mentions that Heardson was master of the song school at that church 1642-49.) Comparing Drexel 5611 with a document produced by the Thomas Heardson of Ludlow Parish Church, Bailey concludes that they are the same hand, revealing the identify of Thomas Heardson. (She also suggests that he might be a brother or relative of John Heardson, organist at Lincoln Cathedral Choir in the 1630s.)[32]

Klakowich observed that the second copyist was responsible for only no. 77 on page 142 (a work by Matthew Locke).[28] He suggested that this copyist might have been an associate of Heardson's which Bailey considers a "reasonable proposal" (particularly as no other evidence presents itself).[33]

The third scribe entered works by Albertus Bryne, nos. 87-89 on pages ....[28][9] This is particularly intriguing not just because of consecutive works by the same composer, but also because, as observed by Klakowich, the scribe appears to be the same one who penned the manuscript Ob. Mus. Sch. Ms. D.219 in the Bodleian Library.[30] Since all of the third copyist's work is that of composer Albert Bryne, Klakowich adopted Hendrie's belief and felt that Bryne is the copyist. (Klakowich felt that only the final three works are in Byrne's hand, which explains why some of the preceding works include the title "Mr."[34])

Barry Cooper disagreed with Klakowich because of different forms of the name. Bailey attempted to reconcile the two conflicting viewpoints, noting that both manuscripts have a similar provenance (both are from Oxford), lending much weight to Bryne as the third copyist.[35]


Klakowich identifies two main issues regarding the attributions in Drexel 5611:[28]

  1. Discrepancies between the index and the works
  2. Works found in other sources with different attributions

The number of conflicts in Drexel 5611 has led scholars to question the attributions altogether. For example, in his edition of keyboard works by Orlando Gibbons, editor Gerald Hendrie discounts all of Drexel 5611's attributions. Klakowich takes particular interest in no. 38. In Drexel 5611 the attribution is to Christopher Gibbons, whereas in other sources the composer is identified as Orlando Gibbons.

Klakowich notes that the version in Drexel 5611 is a reworking of a piece by Orlando Gibbons. He therefore solves the discrepancy by theorizing that the attribution of Christopher Gibbons may refer to him as an arranger (in this case, having made an arrangement of one of his father's works).[36] Klakowich therefore opens up the possibility that some of the attributions in Drexel 5611, rather than exclusively indicating composers, may sometimes refer to arrangers.[37]


Saraband by Matthew Locke, one of his earliest known keyboard works, found in the manuscript Drexel 5611

In her 2003 study, Bailey described Drexel 5611 as heralding a new style in 17th-century British keyboard music. She based her observation on the manuscript's musical content, noting that the copyist had access to some of the most contemporary keyboard works of the period between the English Civil War and the Commonwealth, the frequency of dance movements, and the organization by key, composer and dance order. The manuscript's singularity stems from including the earliest known keyboard works of Matthew Locke.[9]

The majority of the eighty-nine works within Drexel 5611 are dance works.[38] Of these dance works, sixty-seven carry titles which clearly indicate their dance associations. The other sixteen contain dance characteristics but are either untitled or titled "Toy" (nos. 12, 13, 27), "For the hand" (nos. 68, 70, 71), "First, second, third" (nos. 28, 29, 31) and two have unique titles ("Gerrard's Tune" no. 30 and "Queen's Command" no. 67).[38] Combining designated works with those exhibiting particular dance characteristics, Klakowich observed that Drexel 5611 contains 31 almands, 43 corants, 8 sarabands, and 1 galliard. Before no. 77 Klakowich observes that organization of movements is not consistent. But after no. 77, he observes the frequency of the three-movement organization almand-corant-saraband.[39] This three-movement organization also exists with the works by Benjamin Rogers (nos. 32-34) and a four-movement structure for the works by Mercure (nos. 42-45).

The six non-dance works are three voluntaries (nos. 5, 55 and 56), one cantus firmus work (no. 6), the work entitled "Division" (no. 66, attributed in the manuscript to John Bull but probably composed by Orlando Gibbons), and the ground by Arthur Phillips.[38]


Allmaine by a composer identified as Mercure, exhibiting the French style of composition

Mark was the first to note that Drexel 5611 used a six-line music staff, typical of organ and virginal music of the time.[40] He also noted that works in the manuscript are organized by key, leading him to propose that the manuscript was created by or for a teacher for pedagogical purposes. Advancing this idea, Mark surmised that the few works which do not adhere to this scheme were probably later additions entered on what was originally blank pages.[27] Bailey also observed the arrangement by key, adding that--within each key--works were organized by composer. Unlike most English keyboard manuscripts of the time, Bailey noted that Drexel 5611 carries composer attributions for every work (even though some of these attributions are in error). (Composer attributions were to become prevalent later in the 17th century.)[35] She observed the kind of music contained in Drexel 5611 ranges from simple settings of popular tunes to more complex works with varied repeats.[8]

Bailey theorized about the volume's organization based on the order of the works it contains. She saw a first section starting from the volume's initial page and continuing through page 65.[7] In this section she observed that the copyist must have had access to contemporary modern music of the period including the English Civil War and the Commonwealth of England.[9] She noted that the emphasis placed on dance movements "is new" as is their ordering.[9] Assuming the copyist was Heardson, Bailey observed that the manuscript begins with works by Heardson, Roberts and Facy, the latter two of whom Bailey suggested might have been colleagues.[41] She surmised that Heardson must have had brief access to works of Benjamin Rogers early during the manuscript's compilation, for his works appear (pages 58-60) but then cease while the works by Roberts and Facy continue.[7]

Bailey saw a second section from pages 66 through 130, characterized by a change of repertory that included works by foreign composers.[7] That Heardson places the works by John Mercure and those attributed to John Cobb together suggested to Bailey that he had access to these works for only a brief time.[7] She noted the two works by Thomas Tomkins on pages 90 and 92 show a significantly more intricate keyboard technique, in contradistinction to the surrounding works by Orlando Gibbons and others.[7] Although several works by La Barre and Tesure appear, they appear with less organization than the works by Mercure and Cobb. The variety of composers in this section suggests that Heardson had access to a considerable amount of music.[7]

Bailey identified the final section starting at page 131 and continuing through the end, beginning with a suite by Matthew Locke followed by ten works by Bryne. Though it might be logical to assume that all of Bryne's works are in the same hand, they are not, some being in Heardson's hand and others being in the same hand as in manuscript Mus. Sch. MS D.219 in the Bodleian Library. That Bailey calls this an enigma.[7]

Foreign influences

Musicologists have noted the inclusion of foreign music in the manuscript.(Klakowich,[42] Gustafson, Cooper 1989)

Bailey noted that works of composers John Roberts and Albertus Bryne appear to have been influenced by French keyboard style.[43] She noted that Drexel 5611 is one of only a few manuscripts that contain works by Hugh Facy. Bailey considered Facy's works were "part of the final vestiges of the contrapuntal tradition of the virginalists and evince a kinship with similar pieces by John Lugge, possibly resulting from a personal relationship with Lugge, who lived relatively nearby in Exeter."[43] The organ works by Hugh Facy included in Drexel 5611 contribute to our understanding of organ literature at a time when organs were banned in churches and cathedrals.[9]

List of contents

This table is based on Bailey whose list numbered each musical work consecutively.[44] Page 124 in the manuscript is mistakenly labeled 125; succeeding pages continue the scribe's erroneous count. Page numbers listed here adhere to the erroneous count.

Page number Work number Title Attribution in manuscript Remarks
1 1 Allmaine Tho: Heardson
2 2 [Allmaine] T:H: title from index
3 3 [Allmaine] Mr. Jo: Roberts title from index
4-5 4 [Allmaine] Mr. Roberts title from index
6-7 5 Voluntary Hugh: Facy title: Hugh: Facy: Voluntary?
8-9 6 Ave Maris stella Mr: Facy
10 blank
11 7 Allmaine Mr: Roberts
12 8 Allmaine Tho: Heardson
13 9 Corant [Tresure]
14 10 [Corant] La: Tresor title from index
15-16 11 A Galliard Mr: Facy
17 12 [Toy] Mr: Facy title from index
18 13 [Toy] Mr: Facy title from index
19 blank
20-21 14 Lesson & hand Mr: facy title from index
22 blank
23 15 Allmaine Tho: Heardson
24 16 Corant Tho: Heardson
25 17 Allmaine Mr: Jo: Roberts incorrect title in index, refers to #18
26-27 18 Allmaine and division Mr: Jo: Roberts title from index for #17
28 19 Sarabrand Mr: Roberts
29 blank
30-31 20 [Corant] Mr: Jo: Roberts title from index
32-33 21 [Corant] Mr: Jo: Roberts title from index
34-35 22 Corant Mr: Roberts
36-38 blank
39-41 23 [Allmaine and division] Mr: Roberts title from index
42 24 [Allmaine] Mr: Roberts title from index
43 25 [Allmaine] Tho: Heardson
44 26 Corant Tho: Heardson
45 27 Toy T:H:
46-47 28 [1st] [Allmaine] Mr: Facy number-title from index
48-49 29 [2nd] [Allmaine] Mr: Facy number-title from index
50-51 30 Gerrards Tune Tho: Heardson
52-57 31 [3rd] [Corant] Mr: Facy number-title from index
58 32 Allmaine Rogers attributed to Rogers in index
59 33 Corant Mr: Ben: Rogers
60 34 Sarb [Sarabrand] Mr: Benjamin Rogers
61 blank
62-63 35 Lesson Mr: Facy title from index
64 36 Allmaine Tho: Heardson
65 37 Corant T:H:
66-67 38 [untitled] C.Gibbons [0. Gibbons] Possibly an arrangement by Christopher Gibbons of a work by his father Orlando Gibbons[45]
68 blank
69 39 Corant Tho: Heardson
70 40 [Corant] [O.Gibbons] title and attribution from index; Gerald Hendrie states the work is most likely French, La Barre or Tresure[46]
71 blank
72-73 41 Corant Mercure
74 41 [Allmaine] [Mercure] title and attribution from index
75 42 [Allmaine] Mercure title from index
76 43 Coranto Mercure
77 44 Sarab[rand] Mercure
78 45 [Coranto] Mr. [Orlando] Gibbons title and "Orlando" from index; Gerald Hendrie states the work is most likely French, La Barre or Tresure[46]
79 46 [Coranto] [Orlando Gibbons] title and attribution from index [spurious]; Gerald Hendrie states the work is most likely French, La Barre or Tresure[46]
80 47 [Coranto] Mr. [Orlando] Gibbons title and "Orlando" from index [spurious]; Gerald Hendrie states the work is most likely French, La Barre or Tresure[46]
81 48 Allmaine Mr: Cobb
82 49 [Allmaine] Mr: Cobb title from index
83 50 [Coranto] [Cobb] title and attribution from index
84 51 [Allmaine] Mr: Cobb title and attribution from index
85 52 [Allmaine] Mr: Cobb title from index
86 blank
87 53 [Coranto] Mr: Cobb title from index
88-89 blank
90-91 54 Voluntary Mr: Tho: Tomkins
92-93 55 Voluntary Mr: Tho: Tomkins
94 56 Corant [Allmaine] Mr: Treser
95 57 Corant Mr: Treser
96-97 58 Corant [and division] Treser "and division" from index
98 59 Corant [Tresure] attribution from index
99 60 Corant [Tresure] attribution from index
100-101 61 Corant Mr: Gibbs
102 62 Allmaine Treser
103 63 Corant Labar
104-105 64 Corant Treser
106-107 65 [untitled] Dr. Bull [O.Gibbons] *CVB and Mus. 47 (in Christ Church, Oxford) attribute to Orlando Gibbons
108-109 66 Queenes Command Dr. Bull [O.Gibbons] this work is attributed to Gibbons in Parthenia (published in 1621), CVB and Drexel 5612
110-112 67 [for the hand] Orlando Gibbons title from index [Portman] *Only Och 1177 (in Christ Church, Oxford) attributes to Portman, but Hendrie follows it based on style
113 68 Coranto Labar Attributed to "Mounsier Tresor" in index
114-115 69 [For the Hand] Mr: Facy title from index
116-117 70 [For the Hand] T:H:
118-123 blank; listed in index as two corants by Tresure
125-126 71 Coranto Mr: Ben: Cosyn Page 124 mislabled 125
127 blank
128-130 72 Coranto: Mr. Lawes Mr. Benjamin Coosens
131-139 73 Ground Mr: Phillipps
140 74 [Allmaine] Mr. Locke
141 75 Coranto [? Locke]
142 76 Saraband Mr. Lock
143 77 Allmaine Mr: Albertus Bryne
144 78 Coranto A:B:
145 79 Sar[aband] Mr. Bryne
145-146 80 Allmaine Albert Bryne
147-148 blank
149-150 81 Allmaine Mr. Bryne
151 82 Corant
152 83 [Sarabande]
153-154 blank
155-156 84 Allmaine A B Possibly in Bryne's hand[47]
157-158 85 [Corant] A:B: Possibly in Bryne's hand[47]
158-159 86 [Sarabrand] A: Bryne Possibly in Bryne's hand[47]

Works consulted

  • Bailey, Candace (2000), "New York Public Library Drexel MS 5611", Fontes Artis Musicae, 47, no. 1: 51-67, JSTOR 23509042
  • Bailey, Candace (2003), Seventeenth-Century British Keyboard Sources, Detroit studies in music bibliography, 38, Detroit, MI: Harmonie Park Press, ISBN 9780899901138
  • Caldwell, John (1985), English Keyboard Music Before the Nineteenth Century, New York: Dover, ISBN 9780486248516 (reprint of 1973 edition)
  • Cooper, Barry (1989), English Solo Keyboard Music of the Middle and Late Baroque, New York: Garland, ISBN 0824001915
  • Cooper, Barry (1972), "The Keyboard Suite in England Before the Restoration", Music & Letters, 53: 319, JSTOR 734942
  • Gibbons, Orlando (1924-1925), Glyn, Margaret H. (ed.), Complete Keyboard Works, London: Stainer & Bell
  • Gibbons, Orlando (1962), Hendrie, Gerald (ed.), Keyboard music, Musica Britannica, 20, London: Stainer and Bell, OCLC 772168
  • Gustafson, Bruce (1979), French Harpsichord Music of the 17th Century: a Thematic Catalog of the Sources with Commentary, Studies in musicology, 11, Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, ISBN 0835710696
  • Klakowich, Robert (1985), Keyboard Sources in Mid-Seventeenth-Century England and the French Aspect of English Keyboard Music (Ph.D.), State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Mark, Jeffrey (1925), "The Orlando Gibbons Tercentenary: Some Virginal Manuscripts in the Music Division", Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 29, no. 12: 847-860


  1. ^ Cooper 1972, p. 319.
  2. ^ Bailey 2003, p. 74.
  3. ^ Resource Description and Access, rule, option c (access by subscription).
  4. ^ a b c d Mark 1925, p. 853.
  5. ^ a b Gustafson 1979, p. 133.
  6. ^ Gibbons 1962.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Bailey 2000, p. 61.
  8. ^ a b Bailey 2000, p. 62.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Bailey 2000, p. 52.
  10. ^ Bailey 2000.
  11. ^ Mark 1925, p. 854.
  12. ^ Gustafson 1979, p. 177.
  13. ^ a b Gustafson 1979, p. 179.
  14. ^ Similar to those listed as #2776 in Edward Ard Heawood, Watermarks, Mainly of the 17th and 18th Centuries (Hilversum: The Paper Publication Society, 1950) and #62 from Edward Ard Heawood, "Papers Used in England After 1600: the Seventeenth Century to c. 1860," The Library 11 (March 1930), p. 285-286.
  15. ^ Gustafson 1979, p. 180.
  16. ^ Edward Ard Heawood, "Further Notes on Paper Used in England After 1600," The Library 5 (1947), p. 119-120.
  17. ^ a b Gustafson 1979, p. 181.
  18. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 16-19.
  19. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 17.
  20. ^ Catalogue of the Music Library of Charles Burney, sold in London, 8 August 1814, edited by A. Hyatt King, Auction catalogues of music v. 2 (Amsterdam: Frits Knuf, 1973). ISBN 9789060272619.
  21. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 55.
  22. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 57.
  23. ^ A Catalogue of the ... Library of ... Mr. Edward Jones, Bard to the King, Containing an Extremely Rare Collection of Music and Works on Music, Pageants and Archery ... Sold by Auction, by Mr. Sotheby ... Feb. 7th, 1825. [London]: Samuel Sotheby, 1825.
  24. ^ Klakowich, p. 58.
  25. ^ Catalogue of the Valuable Library of the Late Edward Francis Rimbault, Comprising an Extensive and Rare Collection of Ancient Music, Printed and in Manuscript ... which will be sold by auction, by Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge ... on Tuesday, the 31st of July, 1877, and five following days (London: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 1877), p. 93, lot 1394. OCLC 11988908
  26. ^ Bailey 2000, p. 51.
  27. ^ a b Mark 1925, p. 852.
  28. ^ a b c d Klakowich 1985, p. 32.
  29. ^ a b Klakowich 1985, p. 28.
  30. ^ a b Bailey 2000, p. 56.
  31. ^ Bailey 2000, p. 58.
  32. ^ Bailey 2000, p. 59.
  33. ^ Bailey 2000, p. 59-60.
  34. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 31.
  35. ^ a b Bailey 2000, p. 60.
  36. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 33.
  37. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 34.
  38. ^ a b c Klakowich 1985, p. 52.
  39. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 54.
  40. ^ Mark 1925, p. 851.
  41. ^ Bailey 2000, p. 60-61.
  42. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 49ff.
  43. ^ a b Bailey 2000, p. 63.
  44. ^ Bailey 2000, p. 65-67.
  45. ^ Klakowich 1985, p. 33-34.
  46. ^ a b c d Gibbons 1962, p. 103.
  47. ^ a b c Klakowich 1985, p. 40.

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