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Book - Musica transalpina

Musica transalpina

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (printed)
    England (binding)

  • Date:

    1588 (printed)
    ca. 1588 (binding)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 58b, case 4

Physical description

Printed book of musical notation, bound in brown calf, with gold rules bordering the covers and small blocked corner-pieces. With the coat of arms of Gilbert Lord Talbot stamped in gold on the upper and lower covers, the remainder of the covers being filled with a diaper of floral stamps. Printed pages with woodcut initials.

Place of Origin

London (printed)
England (binding)


1588 (printed)
ca. 1588 (binding)


Height: 220 mm, Width: 166 mm, Thickness: 12 mm

Descriptive line

Book, 'Musica transalpina', by Lodovico Ariosto, printed in London by Thomas East, the assignee of William Byrd, 1588.

Labels and date

Lodovico Ariosto, Tenor parts from
Musica transalpina, 1588
Musica transalpina contains ‘madrigals’ or secular
songs written for two or more singers. It was the first
printed collection of Italian madrigals with English
lyrics. Thomas East was England’s leading music
printer from 1588 until his death in 1608. He worked
for the composer William Byrd, who was granted a
licence from Elizabeth I to print and sell music.

Ink on paper, woodcut initials
Printed in London by Thomas East (1540-1608),
the assignee of William Byrd (about 1538-1623),
published by Nicholas Yonge (1560-1619)
Given by Henry J.B. Clements
Museum no. L.2177-1948 [12/12/2018]


Paper; Calf


Stamping; Woodcut


National Art Library; Bookbinding; Music; British Galleries


National Art Library

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