Thomas Ravenscroft (c. 1582 or 1592 1635) was an
English musician, theorist and editor, notable as a
composer of rounds and catches, and especially for
compiling collections of British folk music.
Little is known of Ravenscroft's early life. He
probably sang in the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral from
1594, when a Thomas Raniscroft was listed on the choir
rolls and remained there until 1600 under the
directorship of Thomas Giles. He probably received his
bachelor's degree in 1605 from Cambridge.
Ravenscroft's principal contributions are his
collections of folk music, including catches, rounds,
street cries, vendor songs, "freeman's songs" and other
anonymous music, in three collections: Pammelia (1609),
Deuteromelia or The Seconde Part of Musicks Melodie
(1609) and Melismata (1611). Some of the music he
compiled has acquired extraordinary fame, though his
name is rarely associated with the music; for example
"Three Blind Mice" first appears in Deuteromelia. He
also published a metrical psalter (The Whole Booke of
Psalmes) in 1621. As a composer, his works are mostly
forgotten but include 11 anthems, 3 motets for five
voices and 4 fantasias for viols.
As a writer, he wrote two treatises on music theory: A
Briefe Discourse of the True (but Neglected) Use of
Charact'ring the Degrees (London, 1614), and A Treatise
of Musick, which remains in manuscript
Although this piece was originally created for Voice
(SATB), I created this arrangement for Wind Quartet
(Flute, Oboe, Clarinet & Bassoon).