The Music of Thomas Ravenscroft: Bibliography


Ravenscroft, Thomas. Pammelia. Mvsicks Miscellanie, London 1609. Facsimile published by Da Capo Press: Amsterdam, 1971. Another option is Performers' Editions 98226 (1998).

Ravenscroft, Thomas. Deuteromelia, London 1609. Facsimile published by Da Capo Press: Amsterdam, 1971. Another option is Performers' Editions 98227 (1998).

Ravenscroft, Thomas. Melismata, Mvsicall Phansies, London 1611. Facsimile published by Da Capo Press: Amsterdam, 1971. Another options is Performers' Editions 98228 (1998).

Ravenscroft, Thomas. A briefe discovrse of the true (but neglected) vse of charact'ring the degrees by their perfection, imperfection, and diminution in measurable musicke, against the common practise and custome of these times. London, 1614. Facsimile published by Da Capo Press: Amsterdam, 1971. Another option is Broude Brothers, ISBN 0845022229, 1976.

Ravenscroft, Thomas. A briefe discourse, 1614. 1984. Introduction by Ian Payne. Boethius Press. ISBN 086314098X.

Ravenscroft, Thomas. The Whole booke of psalmes: with the hymnes euangelicall, and songs spirituall. Published in 1621, with an enlarged edition published in 1633. The 1621 edition is available on microfilm from UMI: Early English books, 1475-1640 ; 1809:12.

Ravenscroft, Thomas. The whole booke of psalmes with the hymnes evangelicall. Sternhold, Thomas. London, 1621. Magazinsignatur: Film R 360-1339. Buchnr.: 01712724

Ravenscroft, Thomas. A Treatise of Musick. MS GB-Lbl Add. 19758. See Lillian Ruff below for a transcription.

Adelaide, Robert Illing, ed. Ravenscroft's revision of Est's psalter. Band 1: Introduction and transcriptions. 1985. - ca. 120 S. ISBN 0-949302-17-1. Band 2: Facsimiles. 1985. - ca. 120 S. ISBN 0-949302-18-x

The New England & Virginia Co., P. O. Box 8511, Salem MA 01971 [prints inexpensive paperback facimile editions of the first 3 Ravenscroft books.]

The text and some of the music of other metrical psalters from before and after Ravenscroft can be found at


Austern, Linda Phyllis. "Thomas Ravenscroft: Musical chronicler of an Elizabethan theater company." Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. XXXVIII/2 (summer 1985) 238-63. Music examples.

Argues that Ravenscroft wrote his theater songs based on his experience between ages 6 and 12 (1598 - 1604) as a choir boy with the Children of Paul's. Also gives a few additional literary references to Ravenscroft's lyrics in plays.

Bantock, G, Anderton, H. Orsmond, eds. The Melvill Book of Roundels. London 1916 and New York 1972.

Modern edition of 152 page manuscript containing 90 rounds/catches and 8 part songs, apparently written in 1612. Considerable overlap in content with Ranvenscroft. The manuscript is in the Library of Congress MS M1490 .M535A5. Included is a concordance with Pammelia and Deuteromelia -- apparently Melismata was not known to the editor.

Bidgood, Z. "The significance of Thomas Ravenscroft." Folk Music Journal (UK) Vol. IV/1 (1980) 24-34.

Unfortunately this author doesn't seem to be aware of Lant or Melvill, so this article is basically useless.

Fellowes, E. H. English Madrigal Verse, 1588-1632. Oxford, 1920. Enlarged in 1967 by Sternfeld and Greer. pp. 201-255.

Illing, R. Est, Barley, Ravenscroft, and the English Metrical Psalter, Adelaide 1969

A bibliographical study of all editions of the psalter which was edited in its later editions by Thomas Ravenscroft.

Illing, Robert. "A Metrical Trinity: Est, Barley, Ravenscroft." Musical Times 110 (1969), 977-8.

Discusses the relationship of the Ravenscroft Psalter and the Whole Book of Psalms (1562).

King, A. H. Some British Collectors of Music c.1600-1960. Cambridge, 1964.

Lawrence, W. J. "Thomas Ravenscroft's Theatrical Associations", Modern Language Review, xix (1924), 418-23.

Mark, J. "Thomas Ravenscroft, B. Mus. (c. 1583-1633)." Musical Times 65 (1924): 881-4.

A broad introduction to Ravenscroft's music, with a bit of bibliography.

Mateer, D. G. A Critical Study and Transcription of 'A Briefe Discourse' by Thomas Ravenscroft. Dissertation, U of London, 1970.

Payne, Ian. "The sacred music of Thomas Ravenscroft." Early Music (UK) Vol. X/3 (July 1982) 309-15.

Facsimile, music examples, list of works. Complete list of Ravenscroft's sacred works.

Payne, Ian. "Thomas Ravenscroft: a Biographical Note." Musical Times 127 (1986): 707-9.

Attemps to show that Ravenscroft was born c. 1587, not 1592.

Ruff, Lillian M. The 17th century English music theorists. Dissertation. Leaves 408-430 contain a transcription of Ravenscroft's unpublished manuscript "Treatise of Musicke".

Sabol, A. J. "Ravenscroft's Melismata and the Children of Paul's." Renaissance News XII, 1959

Stroud, W. P. The Ravenscroft Psalter (1621), Dissertation. Univ. of Southern California, 1959.

Vasto, Jill. "An Elizabethan Anthology of Rounds", Musical Quarterly XL (1954) 222-234.

Concerns a 1580 manuscript of Thomas Lant with 57 pieces in it, of which 48 appear in some form in Ravenscroft's books. Many are different; Lant's "Hold they peace" is considerably easier than Ravenscroft's, but has a similar text and rhythm/layout. Music given for the 9 which aren't in Ravenscroft; notes are given for all as to how they compare to Ravenscroft.

Warlock, Peter (Heseltine, Philip) ed. Pammelia and other Rounds and Catches by Thomas Ravenscroft (1609-1611). Oxford University Press: London, 1928.

Credits: Many thanks to Bernd Roth for his help with the bibliography.

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