Thomas Ravenscroft

Last updated
Monument to Ravenscroft at St John the Baptist Church, Chipping Barnet Thomas Ravenscroft 001.jpg
Monument to Ravenscroft at St John the Baptist Church, Chipping Barnet

Thomas Ravenscroft (c.1588 1635) was an English musician, theorist and editor, notable as a composer of rounds and catches, and especially for compiling collections of British folk music.

Little is known of Ravenscroft's early life. He probably sang in the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral from 1594, when a Thomas Raniscroft was listed on the choir rolls and remained there until 1600 under the directorship of Thomas Giles. He received his bachelor's degree in 1605 from Cambridge. [1]

Ravenscroft's principal contributions are his collections of folk music, including catches, rounds, street cries, vendor songs, "freeman's songs" and other anonymous music, in three collections: Pammelia (1609), Deuteromelia or The Seconde Part of Musicks Melodie (1609) and Melismata (1611), which contains one of the best-known works in his collections, The Three Ravens. Some of the music he compiled has acquired extraordinary fame, though his name is rarely associated with the music; for example "Three Blind Mice" first appears in Deuteromelia. [2] He also published a metrical psalter (The Whole Booke of Psalmes) in 1621. As a composer, his works are mostly forgotten but include 11 anthems, 3 motets for five voices and 4 fantasias for viols.

As a writer, he wrote two treatises on music theory: A Briefe Discourse of the True (but Neglected) Use of Charact'ring the Degrees (London, 1614), and A Treatise of Musick, which remains in manuscript (unpublished).

Ravenscroft: "I Have House and Land in Kent" (1611) on sampled instrumentation

Related Research Articles

Choir Ensemble of singers

A choir is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans from the medieval era to the present, or popular music repertoire. Most choirs are led by a conductor, who leads the performances with arm and face gestures.

Thomas Campion was an English composer, poet, and physician. He wrote over a hundred lute songs, masques for dancing, and an authoritative technical treatise on music.

Henry Lawes English musician and composer

Henry Lawes was the leading English songwriter of the mid-17th century. He was elder brother of fellow composer William Lawes.

Thomas Tallis English composer

Thomas Tallis was an English composer who occupies a primary place in anthologies of English choral music. He is considered one of England's greatest composers, and he is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. No contemporaneous portrait of Tallis survives; the one painted by Gerard Vandergucht dates from 150 years after Tallis died, and there is no reason to suppose that it is a likeness. In a rare existing copy of his blackletter signature, he spelled his name "Tallys".

Michael Praetorius German composer, organist, and music theorist

Michael Praetorius was a German composer, organist, and music theorist. He was one of the most versatile composers of his age, being particularly significant in the development of musical forms based on Protestant hymns, many of which reflect an effort to improve the relationship between Protestants and Catholics.

Three Blind Mice 1805 traditional song

"Three Blind Mice" is an English-language nursery rhyme and musical round. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 3753.

Giovanni Croce was an Italian composer of the late Renaissance, of the Venetian School. He was particularly prominent as a madrigalist, one of the few among the Venetians other than Monteverdi and Andrea Gabrieli.

Louis Bourgeois (composer) French composer

Loys "Louis" Bourgeois was a French composer and music theorist of the Renaissance. He is most famous as one of the main compilers of Calvinist hymn tunes in the middle of the 16th century. One of the most famous melodies in all of Christendom, the Protestant doxology known as the Old 100th, is commonly attributed to him.

Thomas Hastings (composer) American composer

Thomas Hastings was an American composer, primarily an author of hymn tunes of which the best known is "Toplady" for the hymn Rock of Ages. He was born to Dr. Seth and Eunice (Parmele) Hastings in Washington, Connecticut. He was a 3rd great-grandson of Thomas Hastings who came from the East Anglia region of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634.

Ding Dong Bell English language nursery rhyme

"Ding Dong Bell" or "Ding Dong Dell" is a popular English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 12853.

Sir Richard Runciman Terry was an English organist, choir director and musicologist. He is noted for his pioneering revival of Tudor liturgical music.

In music, a catch is a type of round or canon at the unison. That is, it is a musical composition in which two or more voices repeatedly sing the same melody, beginning at different times. Generally catches have a secular theme, though many collections included devotional rounds and canons.

Psalm 137 Psalm

Psalm 137 is the 137th psalm of the Book of Psalms, and as such it is included in the Hebrew Bible. In English it is generally known as "By the rivers of Babylon", which is how its first words are translated in the King James Version. It is Psalm 136 in the slightly different numbering system of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate versions of the Bible. Its Latin title is "Super flumina Babylonis".

The Baffled Knight or Blow Away the Morning Dew is Child ballad 112, existing in numerous variants. The first known version was published in Thomas Ravenscroft's Deuteromelia (1609) with a matching tune, making this one of the few early ballads for which there is extant original music. The song was included in such notable collections as Pills to Purge Melancholy by Thomas d'Urfey (1719–1720) and Reliques of Ancient English Poetry by Thomas Percy (1765).

The year 1609 in music involved some significant events.

Hymn tune musical setting of a Christian hymn; the melody of a musical composition to which a hymn text is sung

A hymn tune is the melody of a musical composition to which a hymn text is sung. Musically speaking, a hymn is generally understood to have four-part harmony, a fast harmonic rhythm, and no refrain or chorus.

Vasily Polikarpovich Titov was a Russian composer, one of the foremost exponents of the so-called Moscow Baroque. Although Titov's works are not widely known today, he was famous during his lifetime, and his importance was acknowledged in Russia by both pre-revolutionary and Soviet musicologists.

Dr David Skinner is a British musicologist and choir director. He is Director of Music at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He co-founded the Cardinall's Musick and Magdala.

Michael East was an English organist and composer. He was a nephew of London music publisher Thomas East, although it was once thought that he was his son.

Pammelia is an English collection of vocal rounds and canons, first published in England by Thomas Ravenscroft in 1609. It was the first collection of its type, and was followed by Deuteromelia, which was also published in 1609. It consists of 100 anonymous pieces for three to ten voices. A second edition was printed in 1618.

References

  1. W. J. Lawrence (October 1924). "Thomas Ravenscroft's Theatrical Associations". The Modern Language Review. 19 (4): 418–423. doi:10.2307/3714755. JSTOR   3714755.
  2. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (1951)