Reconstructing Verses by Henry Loosemore and John Coprario

Helen Roberts, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Critical performance edition

This exposition presents new insights into the liturgical soundscape of early seventeenth-century England. Through musicological, organological and practice-led enquiry, three fragmentary artefacts are brought together for the first time, establishing a new material context for performance practices of the period. This research has led to the reconstruction and publication of two rare pieces of English instrumental music with winds (partially preserved in Henry Loosemore's Organ Book, US-NYp MS Drexel 5469), enabling the first complete performances of these pieces for nearly 400 years, as heard in the illustrative recordings, below. The research process has also illuminated broader aspects of performance practices in seventeenth-century England, relating to pitch, key, and temperament, further demonstrating the value of practice-led research methods traditionally under-used in this field. It is suggested that the reader explore the critical edition and recordings first, before discovering more about the background research process in the extended essay.

Extended Essay

Illustrative Recordings

A verse for ye Organ, a Sagbot, Cornute & Violin by Henry Loosemore

A verse for the Organ, a Sagbot & Cornute by John Coprario