Lute Book Lullaby for String Quartet

By vaughan • 7th December 2011 • Posted in: Manor House Music Recordings

Lute Book Lullaby for String Quartet – The Manor House String Quartet included this haunting Elizabethan melody as part of their second collection of Christmas carols, entitled ‘It Came Upon The Midnight Clear and other carols’. It is often called ‘Sweet Was the Song’ but is also known as the ‘Lute Book Lullaby’ as it originates from William Ballet’s collection of lute music which dates from 1600 and is now housed in the library at Trinity College in Dublin. It is an important collection that gives us an insight into the melodies popular in late Elizabethan England.

The arranger Vaughan Jones found that the main challenge in harmonising the melody was to try and not be overly influenced by all the previous harmonisations! Also to imagine that it was to be played by a small consort of viols rather than being sung by a choir. The melody has a dignity and power which is deeply moving and you can hear a sample of us playing it by following the above link.

You can also purchase the sheet music of Vaughan’s arrangement for the combinations of string quartet and string orchestra here:

Lute Book Lullaby – Music Score



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About Manor House Music

Manor House Music is a wedding string quartet and duo consisting of some of the UK’s finest musicians. Based on the borders of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, we’ve now performed for over 800 weddings, corporate events and private functions all over the South East and Midlands. Available to play in Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Essex, Greater London, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire and beyond.



Tel: 07870 171194