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Enlarged third edition of the first printed secular Scottish songbook

FORBES, John (publisher).
Cantus, songs and fancies, to severall musicall parts. Both apt for voices and viols. With a brief introduction to musick, ... The third edition, exactly corrected and enlarged. Together also, with several of the choisest Italian-songs, and New English-Ayres, all in three parts, (viz.) two treebles and a bass.
Aberdeen, John Forbes, 1682. Small oblong 4to (12.5 x 16 cm). With a facsimile woodcut title-page (with woodcut arms on the back), a general letterpress title-page (with the woodcut arms of King Charles Stuart on the back), a full-page woodcut of a human hand, and musical scores throughout. 19th-century brown morocco. [57] ll.
€ 6,000
Enlarged and corrected third edition, one of two issues, of the earliest printed secular Scottish songbook, published by John Forbes, book and music printer at Aberdeen. "As the sole publication of secular music in Scotland during the entire sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the three editions (1662, 1666 and 1682) of Cantus, songs and fancies by the Aberdeen printers John Forbes and son are of historical significance. ... the three editions present the 'cantus' voice of sixty-four songs, about a third of them unique to Scotland and nine found so far only in Songs and Fancies" (McLucas). Added to the present third edition are six "balletti" after Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi (b.1555), and some popular English songs by Henry Lewis and Dr. Wilson.
With the bookplate of the English musician, organist and tenor William Hayman Cummings on paste-down, and the bookplate of the Swiss pianist Alfred Cortot on first flyleaf. Lacking the woodcut frontispiece, replaced by the frontispiece from the 1879 facsimile edition. Title-page and the following pages somewhat stained, occasionally a small spot, stain, or wormhole. Binding very slightly rubbed along the extremities. Overall in good condition. A.D. McLucas, "Forbes' Cantus, songs and fancies revisited" in: Defining strains: the musical life of Scots in the seventeenth century (2007), pp. 269-298; ESTC R218639.
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