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posted on 2023-06-09, 03:22 authored by Casey FitzpatrickCasey Fitzpatrick

This Visualise your Thesis video (VYT) demonstrates and describes a performance-led research thesis that comprises a body of recorded music totalling 180 minutes (75% of the thesis) and a 25 000-word written dissertation (25%). The thesis focuses on Ms.Add.3056, a manuscript of lute tablature commonly referred to as the ‘Cosens’ lute book (c1605-10). 

The manuscript is notable for its unique arrangements of well known solo lute pieces, many of which feature unique thematic paraphrase and textural variation. The PhD project will involve the deciphering, interpretation and studio recording of all 70 pieces in the manuscript, utilising historical performance techniques, instruments and accompanying research.

For progress updates and further information please visit:

[Timestamped Video Transcript]


[00:05] This is a Renaissance lute

[00:07] It was a favourite instrument of the infamous English king Henry the Eighth

[00:11] and his celebrated daughter, Queen Elizabeth the first.

[00:15] So, what does a lute sound like?

[00:27] These markings are 400-year-old handwritten lute tablature. 

[00:31] The flags at the top indicate the rhythm of the music,  

[00:33] the horizontal lines represent the strings of the lute, 

[00:36] and the letters describe a position on the fingerboard. 

[00:41] One of the most unique and varied manuscripts of handwritten lute tablature is the Cosens Lute Book.

[00:46] A new Doctoral project is being undertaken to decipher and record all 70 of the pieces in this manuscript. 

[00:52] Using researched performance techniques, and a historically accurate renaissance lute, this performance-led research project will catalogue, share, and preserve this remarkable collection of music, as it may have sounded some 400 years ago.


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