Non nobis Domine (Anonymous)

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  • CPDL #23062:         
Editor: Claudio Raffi (submitted 2011-01-25).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 70 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Arranged for STB. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #17430:  Icon_pdf_globe.gif Icon_snd_globe.gif Icon_mp3_globe.gif Icon_ly_ext.png Network.png Part Midis and Mp3s Available
Editor: Monique Rio (submitted 2008-07-03).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 105 kB   Copyright: CC BY 4.0
Edition notes: Formerly Edited by Aaron Elkiss; Updated 2016-08-17
  • CPDL #10914:       
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2006-02-03).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 19 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
  • CPDL #10739:      (Sibelius 3)
Editor: Philip Legge (submitted 2006-01-15).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 96 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Included in the TUMS Busking Book, arranged for SAB. PDF also contains a setting of the same text by Philip Legge, and Fine knacks for ladies by John Dowland. This edition was made directly from the facsimile reprint in Musical Times volume 113 (1972), page 856, by transposing down a perfect fourth (for the soprano) and quartering the note values.MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #10618:   
Editor: Paul Cienniwa (submitted 2006-01-07).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 22 kB    Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: This three-part canon is arranged for SAB.
  • CPDL #06783:  Network.png
Editor: John D. Smith (submitted 2004-02-25).   Score information: A4, 1 page    Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Scores listed alphabetically by composer. All scores available in Scorch format, some are also available as PDF files.
  • CPDL #05935:       
Editor: Bettina Blokland (submitted 2003-11-06).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 23 kB    Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Files recovered using http://archive.org
  • CPDL #03721:      (Sibelius 2)
Editor: Stuart McIntosh (submitted 2002-06-24).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 84 kB    Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Realised for 3 voices, SABar. Score reposted July 14, 2004. Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score.
  • CPDL #03618:  Network.png PDF file.
Editor: Rod Mather (submitted 2002-05-25).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 28 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Realised for 4 voices, SATB.

General Information

Title: Non nobis, Domine

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This work has been misattributed.
See notes for details and correct composer below or see the discussion page.

Composer: Anonymous (often misattrib. to William Byrd)

Number of voices: 3 or 4vv   Voicings: SSA, SAB, STB or SATB
Genre: SacredCanon

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

Published:

Description: This famous canon at the fifth and unison or octave is now generally accepted by musicologists as not having been written by William Byrd (1542/3–1623); the late, eminent Byrd specialist Philip Brett came to the view that most of the canons attributed to Byrd were spurious.
Recent research has shown that the two related figures which form the basis of the Non nobis, Domine canon were extracted from the 5-voice motet Aspice Domine by Philip van Wilder (c. 1500–1554). In the motet both figures are set to the text-phrase Non est qui consoletur (“there is none to console”) which was presumably the text to which the original version of the canon was sung by the Elizabethan recusant community as an expression of nostalgia for the old religious order. The Non nobis, Domine text to which the canon is sung today was apparently taken from the first collect from the thanksgiving service added to the Book of Common Prayer to celebrate the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot on 5 November 1605.
The earliest source of the canon dates from 1620 to 1625 and is preserved in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, in the “Bull” manuscript, MS 782, f.122v, where it is anonymous, unbarred and untexted. It is however clear from the repeated notes and the contour of the melody that this version was already designed to fit the Non nobis, Domine text, which was evidently sung in a spirit of thanksgiving for deliverance.
The canon was published anonymously in three 17th century collections, yet the earliest attribution to a specific composer was made as late as 1715 by Thomas Tudway, who ascribed it to Morley; the woefully inaccurate Dr Pepusch ascribes it to Byrd in his 1731 Treatise on Harmony; and in 1739 the theme is quoted in a concerto by Count Unico Willem van Wassenaer (formerly attributed to Pergolesi) as Canone di Palestrina! The canon is known to have been admired by Mozart and Beethoven, whomever its composer was. — Philip Legge with additions by David Humphreys

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Psalm 115.