6 Annotations

First Reading

Terry F  •  Link

Choice Psalmes put into musick, for three voices the most of which may properly enough be sung by any three, with a thorough base
by Henry Lawes; William Lawes

Publisher: London : Printed by James Young for Humphrey Moseley ..., and for Richard Wodenothe ..., 1648.

Terry F  •  Link

The Lawes brothers occupy an important position in English music between Byrd and Gibbons and the generation of Matthew Locke and Henry Purcell in the later part of the 17th century. William Lawes, a loyal follower of King Charles I, was killed at the battle of Chester in 1645. Henry Lawes survived the civil war and the subsequent Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell to be reinstated as a member of the King's Musick and the Chapel Royal on the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

Sacred Vocal Music

Both Henry and William Lawes wrote sacred vocal music, Henry providing psalm settings and anthems and William a series of sacred songs and canons.

Secular Vocal Music

The Lawes brothers both won distinction as song composers, Henry with a vast quantity of songs and William with settings of verses by many of the leading poets and dramatists of the time.

Instrumental Music

William Lawes enjoyed the greatest success as a composer of instrumental music, with compositions for the keyboard, and, more especially, with consort music for viols, with lute and organ, including a number of dance movements.

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Lawes Psalm Settings -- Two Versions in 1648

Lawes, Henry, 1596-1662.
Choice psalmes put into musick, for three voices. The most of which may properly enough be sung by any three, with a thorough base. Compos'd by Henry and William Lawes, brothers; and servants to His Majestie. With divers elegies, set in musick by sev'rall friends, upon the death of William Lawes. And at the end of the thorough base are added nine canons of three and foure voices, made by William Lawes.
London : printed by James Young, for Humphrey Moseley, at the Prince's Armes in S. Pauls Church-yard, and for Richard Wodenothe, at the Star under S. Peters Church in Corn-hill, 1648.
[330] p. : ports., music ; 4⁰.

In four parts: Cantus primus; Cantus secundus; Bassus; Thorough base. "The version of the psalms here used is that of George Sandys"--Pforzheimer Catalogue. The words "Henry and William" are bracketed together on title page. With a portrait of Charles I. The location and presence of this portrait varies in different copies. Cf. Pforzheimer Catalogue. The preliminaries (A⁴ a²) are the same in each of the four parts, although there are at least four states of the preliminaries not particular to any one part. These states include the presence or absence of the portrait, different locations for the portrait, as well as the presence or absence of music on verso of title page, all in various combinations. Cf. Pforzheimer Catalogue. Signatures: A⁴ a² B-L⁴ chi¹; A⁴ a² M-X⁴; A⁴ a² Y-2H⁴; A⁴ a² 2I-2O⁴. The signatures and pagination are given for the ideal copy. Most copies lack A1 in all four parts. There is an extra leaf bound at the end of part 1 (chi¹), necessitated by the fact that "An elegiack dialogue on the sad losse of his much esteemed friend, Mr. William Lawes" has two pages of additional music for the Cantus primus which is not sung by Cantus secundus. Leaves E4, P4, and 2B4 are blank.
Wing (CD-Rom, 1996),L640 Pforzheimer, 585


Sandys, George, 1578-1644.
A paraphrase upon the divine poems by George Sandys.
London : Printed for O.D., MDCXLVIII [1648]
381 p. in various pagings. 8⁰.

"A paraphrase upon the psalmes of David by G.S. Set to new tunes for private devotion .. by Henry Lawes .." has special t.p. and separate paging. With music.

Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), B2380 (S674)

Sandys was, inter alia, Treasurer of the Virginia Company; some sources suggest that his famous 'Paraphrase upon the Psalms and Hymns dispersed throughout the Old and New Testaments' (1636) was begin, if not completed, in America.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Nov