The Anne Boleyn Music Book
Introduction by Thomas Schmidt and David Skinner with Katja Airaksinen-Monier
Anne Boleyn Music Book, inscription
Anne Boleyn Music Book

This modestly-sized but beautifully written book contains sacred motets by some of Europe’s most famous composers, specifically those associated with the French Royal Court of the early 16th century. An inscription in an early sixteenth-century English hand reads “M[ist]res A Bolleyene Nowe thus” followed by musical motto of three minims and a longa; that she is referenced “mistress” indicates that the inscription was certainly made before she became queen in 1533; “nowe thus” was the motto of her father. Despite considerable interest by musicologists in past decades, the book remains something of a mystery: clearly made in France, but associated in a yet-to-be-determined way with Henry VIII's second wife. For the facsimile production the RCM removed the MS from its 19th-century binding, making it possible to study the layers and compilation. Commentary includes chapters on the historical context of the book, a new analysis of its structure, the significance of the music it contains with some new ascriptions, an analysis of the decoration, and a list of concordances and editions. Hardbound.


DIAMM Facsimiles, 6. Oxford 2017. Facsimile: 270 pages in the original size (21 x 30 cm).  Introduction: 58 pages. Repertory: 42 compositions by Josquin, Mouton, Gascongne, Compère, Brumel, Obrecht, de Sermisy, anon.

Anne Boleyn Music Book, cover

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