8. Conclusions

In 1960, Thurston Dart had this to say on the question of reconstructing instrumental parts for Loosemore and Coprario’s verses:

… the texture of [these] pieces is too complex for one to be able to restore the missing parts with any degree of confidence. For the moment, therefore, the music must remain as dead as the men for whom it was in all probability composed: Saunders on the violin, ‘brave thanksgiving Mun’ on the cornett, ‘old Browne’ on the trombone, and Henry Loosemore himself at the Dallam organ.1

It is hoped that this exposition, and the edition it accompanies, goes some way to resuscitating these extremely rare pieces after centuries of neglect, but further questions about the context in which they would originally have been performed and which may impact on modern interpretation of the materials concerned still remain, not to mention the broader applicability of these issues to the performance of seventeenth-century English music more generally. Dart presumes, not unreasonably, that MS Drexel 5469 was produced by Loosemore ‘for use by him and his assistants in the organ-loft at King’s’,2 but were there other spaces in the chapel, equipped with an organ, that might have been used to accompany these pieces? Given the lack of comparable repertoire, how closely would the instrumental parts have adhered to the notated organ lines, and was an element of improvisation involved in their performance? The mystery of these pieces is far from solved, but by presenting a thorough assessment of the historical performance context alongside a wide range of performance materials, I have sought to provide the modern musician with the tools to address some of the remaining performance practice issues themselves, and to enjoy two distinctive and interesting contributions to a repertoire now all but lost.