Thirty-Five Compositions By King Henry VIII
is a unique collection, containing King Henry VIII’s complete secular works. These works consist of part-songs and instrumental consorts, and have been transcribed and edited by John Stevens.
The collection is a mixture of instrumental pieces and pieces for vocal ensemble, mostly in three parts, with about half-a-dozen in four. Seventeen of the pieces are instrumental, though it is perfectly possible (and historically accurate) to play the vocal pieces on instruments if preferred.
In the instrumental pieces no instruments are stipulated. The top staff is treble, the second is written in the treble clef but sounds an octave lower, as for vocal tenor, and the lowest line is a for a bass clef melody instrument.
Either flute or recorder would work well for the top line in most of these pieces, which usually go no lower than around middle C. The bassoon could play either the second or third line. And the line left over could be played on keyboard.
This is not harmonic music however. There are no chords, nor would it be easy of idiomatic for the keyboard player to vamp or otherwise extemporise harmonies.
The pieces are printed in score, so two players might share one copy, but two copies would be ideal if the keyboard player is also taking part, and three of course if the players want to practise separately.