This seventeenth-century manuscript, also called the Manchester Gamba Book, is perhaps the richest treasure in the entire literature of the Lyra Viol.
It is the largest single collection of Lyra Viol music , containing 246 pieces in French tablature (plus another twelve pieces in staff notation) in twenty-two different tunings.
The Manchester Gamba Book is particularly valuable for its examples of Lyra Viol ornamentation. Its Table of Graces, or ornament chart, is not only the most extensive of the period, it is also the only manuscript source which includes notational explications of the stenographic signs.
The other gem in the manuscript is the Pavin in the Lyra Way tuning by Gervise Gerrarde. Gerrarde is also the probable creator of the Table of Graces which complements his Pavin so extraordinarily well. Gerrarde’s Pavin is the most richly ornamented piece in the entire literature of the instrument, and is a virtual masterclass in Lyra Viol style ornamentation.