Our early music publications have expanded from the initial editions which concentrated on works for viols and consort songs for viols and voices. They now include a wide range of chamber music from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and on into the first few decades of the 19th century. Many of the more recent issues are also in a suitable range for recorder players and there are editions of early classical repertoire (notably by Haydn) for flute, violin, etc. Please refer also to the Jane Austen connection and related editions of songs which are in preparation. Other editions of interest include the Thomas Moore Songs (1808-1834) Thomas Moore and the project of guitar songs from c.1800 using poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe and the Guitar . This is part of an ongoing project researching guitar chamber music from the period 1790 – 1830.
The editions are based on careful study of the original sources and we are proud to list several eminent musicologists and early music specialists amongst our editors. These include Dr Andrew Ashbee, Professor Peter Holman, David Pinto, Dr Ian Payne, Dr Derek McCulloch, Dr David Rhodes, Ian Graham-Jones, Alison Crum and Professor Richard Charteris. Our aim is always to provide playing editions with suitable sets of parts.
Of particular importance and interest are the three books by Judy Tarling: Baroque String Playing (with two other related editions: Baroque Violin Technique CMP 487 and The Baroque Dance CMP 496) and the highly informative book The Weapons of Rhetoric. These books give a minutely detailed account of Renaissance and Baroque performance practice. Recently published is her masterly analysis of the structure, rhetorical significance and historical background for Handel's Messiah. See Judy Tarling . Also in the field of baroque violin playing there is Gradus ad Parnassum, (CMP 497) a selection of 24 movements from baroque string sonatas, devised by Walter Reiter as studies in fluency, technique and stylistic awareness for violinists.
Much interest is to be found in Carin Zwilling's The Original Songs in Shakespeare's Plays. This gives a detailed account of all we know of the thirty two song settings which were incorporated into performances of the plays during the lifetime of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. It is fascinating to see how Shakespeare borrowed or adapted from ballads and lyrics which were part of a common Elizabethan and Jacobean heritage, and the extensive research of the author examines many variant readings and influences. The edition includes facsimile, tablature and/or modern typesetting of all the music. Performance parts for the music alone is available in a separate publication. ISBN 978 0 9528220 6 6.
Alison Crum's books for learning the viol can be found at VIOL TECHNIQUE BOOKS. These feature the First Solos series (one book each for Treble, Tenor and Bass), and the Intermediate Solos (also one book each for Treble, Tenor and Bass). There is also a book of tricky excerpts from the solo repertoire (CMP 473 - Pieces de Resistance). Her latest book is The Viol Rules, a comprehensive account of viol playing technique drawing on more than twenty five years' experience of teaching the viol. A French translation - Règles pour la Viole - is also available
A recent addition to our list of books is Concertos of the Viennese School c.1780-1810, and their Scoring by Richard Maunder. Here we have a brilliant examination of how the concerto developed during the lives of Mozart, Beethoven and their contemporaries. With dozens of music examples, ISBN 978 0 9528220 8 0.
In passing, note also a new book by Derek McCulloch: Goethe à l'anglaise - Singing the Poet's Song in a strange Land. Dr McCulloch presents a compelling case for pragmatic translation of songs in foreign languages into the language of the audience (in this case, assuming an English-speaking audience). He backs this up with outstanding translations of thirty lyrics by Goethe (and a few by Schiller). Many of these songs have been published by Corda Music — see CMP162, 163 and 166. Follow the link to our Early Music catalogue at the foot of this page. ISBN 978 0 9528220 9 7.
We also publish arrangements of solo or consort music where this meets a demand. When trawling the archives for music of the past it is common to encounter several different sources of the same piece - a lute piece in a version for consort, a song arranged for keyboard, lyra-viol or cittern, etc. The combinations can be multifarious, so we propagate several more in the same vein, always observing the essential elements of form and historical style in the arrangements.
We can sometimes offer transpositions of pieces to suit different vocal or instrumental resources - once again a time-honoured practice from the past, but now easier to organise with a computer typesetting. Please contact us for availability.
A variety of catalogue numbers and prefixes are used in the early music list.
Our early music editions have a history - not just in the musicological sense.
All the editions with CMP catalogue numbers are typeset by us and have been produced in the last twenty five years.
GP and KM
During the 1980s we sold our early music editions through Golden Phoenix, an organisation run by the late Joy Dodson who was a professional music calligrapher. When she died in 1991 we inherited all her calligraphy editions (beautifully copied in a clear hand) and we have maintained those editions ever since. Thus all items with GP (Golden Phoenix) prefixes and KM prefixes refer to Joy Dodson's calligraphy editions.
We also stock volumes 1 and 2 of the five part consort music by Giovanni Coprario which is prefixed CMM. The first two of these editions by Professor Richard Charteris were copied by Joy Dodson and the third volume was completed in typeset form by Fretwork Editions after Joy Dodson died.
A further addition to our catalogue came with the acquisition from Oxford University Press of First Solos for the Viol by Alison Crum (the books were about to be deleted from their catalogue). These have now been re-issued in a Corda Music edition, newly typeset with additional pieces in the appendix of each one. The series has been expanded with the Intermediate Solos - a book for each size of instrument, featuring works for viol and continuo covering all the major styles of the 16th - 18th centuries. There is also a book of excerpts from tricky passages in the bass viol repertoire, with advice about fingering and bowing techniques for advanced players. (see CMP 473 - Pièces de Résistance)
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Last updated 30th August 2021