Avery MacLean

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Frederick Hall




This thesis explores the performance-practice indications for ornamentation in four recorder tutors from the late seventeenth century. Humphrey Salter's Genteel Companion, John Banister's Most Pleasant Companion, John Hudgebut's A Vade Mecum, and Robert Carr's Delightful Companion all date from a single period in Restoration England, spanning the years 1679-1686. These tutors form part of a large repertory of instructional manuals for amateur musicians, providing examples of popular didactic methods used at the time. They share the distinction of being the only English recorder tutors to use a tablature or "dot method" of notation. The tablatures are examined in a multimedia format, allowing the reader interactive access to the texts, facsimile scores, and accompanying audio examples from each of the four tutors. The reader is encouraged to extrapolate from the examples of ornamentation practices inscribed in the tablatures and apply them to similar repertoire of the period. Attention is given to placement, fingering, and stylistic realization of the ornaments as well as the broader performance-practice issues informing the music. In the document section of the thesis, chapter 2 outlines the social background of the tutors. Arguments are made for an increasingly wide-ranging audience for these tutors, with a strong interest in fashion and leisured activities that took hold toward the end of the century. Recent studies of literacy in the seventeenth-century inform the hypothesis that the tutors were accessible to a wider audience than has been suggested by earlier studies. The recorder tutors provide valuable insights into popular culture in the late seventeenth century, illustrating both current performance practices and the musical tastes of their public.

McMaster University Library

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