Dr Fellowes began in 1937 'an attempt to issue in practical form a complete corpus of the Vocal Works
of William Byrd'. He planned his edition in 16 volumes, adding a later volume of Chamber Music for
Strings and three volumes of Keyboard Music, the last of which appeared in 1950.
The revision of the series began in 1962 under the direction of Thurston Dart. Volumes 2, 3 and 12 – 14
(all containing music from the printed sources) were re-issued with such alterations and corrections
as could be carried out on the original engraved plates. It was soon found that much of the collection
required more extensive amendment, and between 1968 and 1971 volumes 15 and 17 were edited
afresh, and volumes 18 – 20 were replaced by volumes 27 and 28 of Musica Britannica William Byrd:
Keyboard Music (edited by Alan Brown).
The 350th anniversary of the composer’s death marked the beginning of the preparation of a new
edition, starting with volume 16 and incorporating the two recently re-edited volumes, 15 and 17.
Preserving the practical aims and general outline of its predecessor, this new collection aims to present
a fully critical text, based on a thorough re-appraisal of the sources, in accordance with the needs of
present-day performers and scholars. Each volume includes an editor’s preface, and a full commentary
upon the verbal and musical text. A number of works discovered since 1950 are printed, and a serious
attempt has been made to come to terms with the question of authenticity surrounding many of the
works recovered from manuscript sources.
All twenty volumes of the new Byrd Edition were seen through the press by the General
Editor, the late Philip Brett and are available for sale in all good music and book shops as well as the Stainer & Bell Online Shop.
Now for the first time, most individual items from these volumes are available for purchase as Adobe PDF files on this site.
They are each sold with a licence to print ten copies for use by your choir, or in the case of consort music and songs, one for each of the required perfomers. The pieces are listed alphabetically in three pages CHORAL WORKS, CONSORT MUSIC and CONSORT SONGS.