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My Lady Wynkfylds Rownde : Work information

Anon ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Trevor Pinnock (Spinet)

This work

Work name
My Lady Wynkfylds Rownde
Work number

This recording

Simon Lawman
Alan Lucas
Recording date
1974-01-01 02:00:00

The Composers


A piece of music is attributed to "Anon" if we do not know who wrote it. There are several ways this can happen.

Some music, particularly folk songs, have been handed down for centuries without being written down. Presumably someone composed them, but by the time people like Bartók, Vaughan Williams and Percy Grainger  went around collecting folk songs, many attributed the tunes as "traditional". Thanks to the "Chinese Whispers" effect of passing on a tune by ear, the music had been shaped and changed with the times.

There are also written pieces that are difficult to identify. Before photocopiers existed, most music was copied by hand, making the age of the paper and handwriting not reliable indicators of age or provenance. If the title page gets lost, we can only listen to the music to see if the style is familiar. If the work is by somebody obscure, or if it isn't a good example of their work, it becomes more difficult to identify.

Copyright violation was abundant in the classical period, with many copying pieces and pretending that they had written them, or producing forgeries of the works of famous composers. As with paintings, once a piece has been identified as a fake, it can be virtually impossible to work out the composer.

There is a lot of debate about certain "anonymous" works. There are claims that "Greensleeves" was written by King Henry VIII although, having listened to some of the other things attributed to him, this seems rather unlikely. One must use a good sense of judgment and have a good musical ear to properly attribute these anonymous works to a particular composer.

Related: folk Traditional

Track listing

  • 1:22 min


The "Queen Elizabeth Virginals" is a spinet of Italin construction probably built around 1570 in Venice. It is elaborately decorated and displays not only the English royal arms as borne by the Tudors but also the personal device of both Anne Boleyn and her daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. This instrument must have belonged to the latter and was associated with Queen Elizabeth's name when it first re-appeared in the mid-18th Century. The Queen is known to have been a skilled performer on the virginals. Restored by Andrew Douglas, of Oxford, 1961. Tuning: Mean tone. Pitch: Low.