1. Introduction

This paper details the process of reconstructing two rare pieces of instrumental music with winds from early seventeenth-century England, informed by practice-led investigation of three artefacts: MS Drexel 5469, the fragmentary source of the music in question; the Christ Church cornetts, two original instruments that may historically have been associated with performance of this type of repertoire; and the St Teilo organ, an instrument reconstructed after Tudor archaeological evidence and representative of the style of instrument in use when MS Drexel 5469 was compiled. I examine each artefact in turn, establishing the wider historical context of each and assessing the connections between all three, before detailing how this work informed the first critical performance edition of two pieces overlooked by historical performers until now. I draw on practice-led research carried out at a workshop held at the University of Birmingham in November 2018 involving students, professional musicians and academics in the process of testing a number of approaches to instrumental involvement in English liturgical music of the seventeenth century. Henry Loosemore’s A Verse for ye Organ, a Sagbot, Cornute, & Violin was one of the case studies during this workshop, and the experience went on to inform my approach to John Coprario’s A Verse for the Organ, a Sagbot & Cornute from the same manuscript source.

Helen Roberts

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Reconstructing Verses by Henry Loosemore and John Coprario: Practice-led Research with Three Artefacts