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Open Weekend: Tudor Partbooks Project, Oxford, 14 and 15 May 2016

April 27, 2016

On 14 and 15 May 2016 there is a great opportunity to get involved in an exciting major project to restore some fascinating Tudor music manuscripts.  The Tudor Partbooks project is holding an open weekend as part of the  Oxford Early Music Festival and prospective volunteers are invited to drop in to find out what it is all about.  Here is how the project is described on its Facebook page.

When the Elizabethan gentleman John Sadler sat down to copy his music partbooks – adorned with elaborate initials, colourful inscriptions and charming pictures of birds, animal and plants – little did he know that he had chosen an overly acidic ink. Over the centuries this ink has burned through the paper leaving his once beautiful partbooks stained, difficult to read and too fragile to be handled. With funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Tudor Partbooks team are digitally reconstructing Sadler’s manuscripts to return them to their former glory and a more legible state. Join us at our open weekend to discover more about John Sadler and the process of digitally reconstructing his partbooks. Drop in anytime during the times below to meet our team of volunteer restorers, try your hand at digital reconstruction, hear performances of the music that Sadler copied by viols consorts and choirs, or even have a go at singing from our reconstructed manuscript pages.

Interested?  Here are the details of the event.

Open Weekend: Digitally Reconstructing Tudor Music Manuscripts

  • Venue: Faculty of Music, St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DB
  • Start: Sat, 14 May 2016 10:30:00 BST
  • End: Sun, 15 May 2016 16:30:00 BST

Opening times:

Saturday 14 May: 10:30am- 1:00pm

Sunday 15 May: 1:30- 4:30pm

Schedule: details of performances and talks will be available soon!

Find out more on the project’s website:

For a detailed look at what you might end up doing if you volunteer to take part in the project, see the blog of Katherine Butler, who is the research assistant for the project:

If you are interested in taking part in the project contact Katherine at:

Other members of the team are:

Principal Investigator: Magnus Williamson
Co-Investigator: Julia Craig-McFeely
PhD Student: Daisy Gibbs

The Project’s Partners are:
DIAMM (Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music)
British Library
Bodleian Library
British Academy
Oundle International Festival

Project Collaborators:
Stile Antico

Barry Mitchell 27 April 2016

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