Music Downloads

In the course of performing Renaissance polyphony, we have come to realise that singing bar-free versions liberates the rhythms within and between the parts. It is easy for any choir to sing these pieces despite the lack of barlines, and once the choir is accustomed to it, its members find it frustrating to be given scores with barlines which are basically arbitrarily imposed on the polyphony and imply a rigidity of rhythm which is foreign to the idiom.

The pieces of music on this page can be downloaded and used by anyone. The selection here is determined by what the Embassy Singers have sung since we started singing bar-free polyphony in 2003.

Andrew Sims, the director, has written an article, 'Liberating Tudor music' explaining more about the background to these scores.

Please feel free to download and try out the following pieces with your choir:

Composer Title
Batten O sing joyfully
Byrd Mass for Four Voices
Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus and Benedictus, Agnus Dei
Byrd Mass for Five Voices
Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei
Byrd Alleluia! Cognoverunt discipuli
Byrd Ego sum panis vivus (D major)
Byrd Ecce quam bonum
Farmer Take time
Gibbons Almighty and everlasting God
Gibbons Magnificat (Short Service)
Gibbons Nunc dimittis (Short Service)
Gibbons O clap your hands
Gibbons The Silver Swan
Mundy My prime of youth
Philips Surgens Jesus
Tallis O ye tender babes
Tallis Salvator mundi

You are welcome to try out any or all of these. If you do, Andrew Sims, the director of the Embassy Singers, would be most interested to hear how you get on!