The Art Of Music

In 1996 I recorded five pieces on a 7c lute which were my own intabulations of music from a little-known Scottish manuscript, Edinburgh c.1580. I also published the pieces, but ended up giving away most of the copies.

Now, in 2014, I think these pieces might be of interest to more players. So here is my original publication, with its short introductory essay.

First, a video of four of the pieces…

My original sound files:

Ane Lesson Of Four Mynnymis   


Canon The Fyvtent   

Canon The Nyntene   


A pdf of my original publication: The Art Of Music (14MB)

The Art of Music is a 16th-century Scottish manuscript with the aim of teaching the rules of music to students of composition. None of the music is in lute tablature, but the largely two-part texture fits easily on the 7c lute with a minimal amount of editing – in fact, only the Fantasie required attention in two bars, otherwise what you hear is what is written. Typically for early to mid-16th century Scottish music, the treble is rhythmically complex (no two bars have the same rhythm in a single piece), but overall the music is harmonically simple. These recordings first appeared on a CD called Graysteil which is no longer available. The recording: 7c lute by Martin Haycock. Recording date: 1997. Strings:Aquila gut.

Your comments are welcome.


I received one very important comment from James Kimbel (thanks, James!):

In his edition, Rob mentions the PhD. thesis where he got the transcriptions:
Judson Dana Maynard, “An anonymous Scottish treatise on music from the
sixteenth century, British Museum, Additional Manuscript 4911, edition
and commentary,” 2 vols. (Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University,

I was thinking about ordering a copy of the dissertation to make more
intabulations when I discovered that the text of the manuscript and
many of its musical examples are online for free at:

Texts on Music in English

Just scroll down to SCOTA3B1 TEXT for the first part of the manuscript
and then there’s SCOTA3B2 TEXT, SCOTA3B3 TEXT, & SCOTA3B4 TEXT for the
rest of it.




1 thought on “The Art Of Music”

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