Early Music History / Volume 16 / October (1997) pp 235-293
Looking back over the past half century of research into the music of early Tudor England, it is clear that interest has been focussed principally upon sites of wealth, privilege and power. Dominating the arena are courts and household chapels, cathedrals and colleges, and the men and women who headed them. Perhaps that focus has been inevitable, since by their very nature wealthy and powerful institutions have the means to leave behind them rich deposits of evidence: not only high-art music, itself often notated in fine books, but also detailed records of expenditure, of the contractual duties carried out by or expected of musicians, and of valuable assets such as books and musical instruments. Moreover, where magnificence is on show there will often be eyewitness accounts to report on what has been seen and heard. All of those forms of evidence survive in quantity from early Tudor England, and it is hard not to be drawn to them.