INVESTIGATION of the provenance of a seventeenth-century music manuscript recently acquired from Richard Macnutt led into some unexpected by-ways of literature and history, both English and Italian. At first sight, apart from a fine binding, there is little to distinguish this manuscript from other collections of contemporary Italian music. It contains solo cantatas to Italian words and is written in the hand of a professional Italian copyist. The title-page (fol. i) is, however, unusual in drawing attention to the authorship of the words rather than that of the music: 'Parole di Gio. Patritio Carey messe in musicada Diuersi Autori.' This title is followed by a note in a different hand, 'per GuglmoReymes'.
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