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.
The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.
A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.
A round is a musical composition, a limited type of canon, in which a minimum of three voices sing exactly the same melody at the unison, but with each voice beginning at different times so that different parts of the melody coincide in the different voices, but nevertheless fit harmoniously together. It is one of the easiest forms of part singing, as only one line of melody need be learned by all parts, and is part of a popular musical tradition. They were particularly favoured in glee clubs, which combined amateur singing with regular drinking. The earliest known rounds date from 12th century Europe.
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.
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.
The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two 'ancient universities' share many common features and are often referred to jointly as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
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.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.
Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.
Street Cries are the short lyrical calls of merchants hawking their products and services in open-air markets. The custom of hawking led many vendors to create custom melodic phrases. During the 18th and 19th century, the street cries of major urban centers became one of the distinctive features of city life. Street cries became popular subject matter for poets, musicians, artists and writers of the period. Many of these street cries were catalogued in large collections or incorporated into larger musical works, preserving them from oblivion.
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.
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).
Music theory is the study of the practices and possibilities of music. The Oxford Companion to Music describes three interrelated uses of the term "music theory":
The first is what is otherwise called 'rudiments', currently taught as the elements of notation, of key signatures, of time signatures, of rhythmic notation, and so on. [...] The second is the study of writings about music from ancient times onwards. [...] The third is an area of current musicological study that seeks to define processes and general principles in music — a sphere of research that can be distinguished from analysis in that it takes as its starting-point not the individual work or performance but the fundamental materials from which it is built.
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.
William Boyce was an English composer and organist.
John Playford (1623–1686/7) was a London bookseller, publisher, minor composer, and member of the Stationers' Company, who published books on music theory, instruction books for several instruments, and psalters with tunes for singing in churches. He is perhaps best known today for his publication of The English Dancing Master in 1651.
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" is an English-language nursery rhyme and musical round. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 3753.
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 Attwood Walmisley was an English composer and organist.
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.
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 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).
Richard Al(l)ison was an English composer. He wrote de la Tromba, a fine broken consort piece which has several professional recordings and first became well known due to the Julian Bream Consort.
The year 1609 in music involved some significant events.
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.
William Turner was a composer and countertenor of the Baroque era. A contemporary of John Blow and Henry Purcell, he is best remembered for his verse anthems, of which over forty survive. As a singer, he was a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal from 1669 until his death.
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Free scores by Thomas Ravenscroft in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki) Free scores by Thomas Ravenscroft at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) Thomas Ravenscroft at AllMusic
The Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) is a sheet music archive which focuses on choral and vocal music in the public domain or otherwise freely available for printing and performing.
The International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), also known as the Petrucci Music Library after publisher Ottaviano Petrucci, is a subscription-based project for the creation of a virtual library of public-domain music scores. Since its launch on February 16, 2006, over 370,000 scores and 42,000 recordings for over 110,000 works by over 14,000 composers have been uploaded. Based on the wiki principle, the project uses MediaWiki software. Since June 6, 2010, the IMSLP has also included public domain and licensed recordings in its scope, to allow for study by ear.
AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.
Naxos Records is a record label specializing in classical music. Through a number of imprints, Naxos also releases Chinese music, jazz, world music, and early rock and roll. The company was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born resident of Hong Kong. Since 2009 Naxos has distributed Blu-ray discs, streaming web radio, and podcasts. Naxos allows members of subscribing public libraries and music schools such as Hong Kong Public Libraries, Auckland Libraries, Wellington City Libraries, and Toronto Public Library free streaming of Naxos classical and jazz collections.
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