N.p., [Watertown or Woburn, Mass.]: n.d. [ca 1731].
Ink on paper, 38 [of 41] leaves, paginated irregularly 1-60, with an index. Lacking three leaves near the beginning (with six tunes as per the index). 1 vols. Small oblong 8vo. Original limp leather binding in Cambridge style, worn, restitched. Lower cover and index leaf detached. Ownership signature of Nathaniel Clark, 1731/2; later provenance notes loosely inserted. Cf. Britton & Lownens 491-6 & 516-7. Item #314639
Fascinating early colonial American manuscript book of tunes, with family provenance suggesting connections to Watertown and Woburn, Mass.
The manuscript is a compilation of psalm and hymn tunes, with some material deriving from the two American tune books published in the 1720s. There are 24 compositions from Walter, The Grounds and Rules of Music, and 37 compositions from Tufts, An Introduction to the Art of Singing Psalm Tunes. Two are American compositions and are marked “new" in the manuscript: Psalm 100 and Southwell, which figures in both Walter and Tufts.
There are 60 compositions, all but one of which are sacred. The one secular song is “The Sylvan Oracle”, from Congreve’s Judgment of Paris, a Masque (1701), the first verses of which are inscribed here:
Let ambition fire thy mind,
Thou wert born o'er men to reign,
Not to follow flocks design'd;
Scorn thy crook, and leave the plain.
Crowns I'll throw beneath thy feet,
Thou on necks of kings shall tread,
Joys in circles joys shall meet,
Which way e'er thy fancies lead.
The ownership signature, “Nathaniel Clark His Book An. Dom. 1731/2”, points to Nathaniel Clark (1698-1776), whose son Peter Clark was born in Woburn in 1738. Later family notes on provenance accompany the manuscript.
Price: $3,750.00 Free International Delivery