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16 February 2017, 11:34
The Robertsbridge Codex is a manuscript from around 1360 and it contains the earliest surviving music written specifically for keyboard.
Picture: a page from the Robertsbridge Codex. Credit: British Library
The Robertsbridge Codex includes a rich variety of music, including a few vocal motets, a transcription of an Italian dance, but perhaps most excitingly, there's also a piece for keyboard – and it's the earliest surviving music for a keyboard instrument.
The music is an 'Estampie', which was a popular medieval dance. The word "Retrove" is also written at the top of the manuscript… though no one knows quite why.
(from pianist Alberto Chines)
The earliest piece of keyboard music ever written
Music from the Robertsbridge Codex – played by Alberto Chines, piano
Here's more from pianist Alberto Chines on YouTube (some lovely Stravinsky from him there, if you now fancy something more recent!)