Clement Matchett's Virginals

Realising the Panmure Collection

Bringing 17th century music to life for the i-pod generation

Event: Free lecture, titled 'Clement Matchett's Virginals'.
An important 30-volume collection of 17th-century music, rediscovered in the 1930s, and held in the National Library of Scotland, has been given a new lease of life in CD recordings by Dr Kenny McAlpine, lecturer in Computer Arts and Media at the University of Abertay Dundee.

Dr McAlpine hopes that his work will be an inspiration to others to rediscover the musical treasures held by the Library and bring them to life for the i-pod generation. His illustrated talk outlines the recording process — with a few harpsichord-related surprises along the way.

Date: Wednesday 8 June 2005
Time: 7pm
Venue: Boardroom, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW
Cost: Free, places can be booked in advance
Contact: 0131 623 3845,

Further information

Dr Kenny McAlpine, a sound and music expert, who is based at the School of Computing and Creative Technologies at the University of Abertay Dundee, has spent the last two years creating modern digital recordings of two volumes of previously little-known music which was collected by a 17th century Lothian noblewoman, Lady Jean Campbell. His work brings the collection to life for the 21st century.

The National Library of Scotland holds the country's most important collection of historical music, with over 300,000 manuscripts and printed scores, from the early medieval period through to the late 20th century.

The Panmure Collection, consisting of around 30 volumes, with 12 dating from before 1675, was gathered together mainly by Lady Jean Campbell, later 2nd Countess of Panmure, and by her sons James Maule (4th Earl of Panmure) and Harie Maule.

Clement Matchett's Virginals on new media

A CD has now been produced with music from two of the manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland's collection, 'Clement Matchett's Virginals Book', (1612) and 'Lady Jean Campbell's Book' (circa 1635), performed on the harpsichord by Dr Kenny McAlpine.

When investigating different styles of music for a research project, Dr McAlpine came across the Panmure Collection and realised that this music was 'of some significance, from both a musical and historical perspective. It seemed to me a little sad that the music was sitting around as archive material rather than being played and enjoyed, so I decided to create a set of recordings'.

The CD can be obtained through the Library shop and at all good music shops.

2 June 2005

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