Ravenscroft, Thomas , English editor, music theorist, and composer; b. c. 1582; d. c. 1635. He was a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London under Thomas Giles and Edward Pearce, and also studied at Gresham Coll., Cambridge (B.Mus., 1605). He was music master at Christ’s Hospital in London (1618–22). Among his Works are 8 verse anthems, 3 full anthems, 3 motets, and 4 fantasias for 5 Viols.
A Briefe Discourse of the True (but Neglected) Use of Charact’ring the Degrees by their Perfection, Imperfection, and Diminution in Mensurable Musicke: Harmony of four voyces concerning the pleasure of five usuali recreations, 1. Hunting, 2. Hawking, 3. Dancing, 4. Drinking, 5. Enamouring (London, 1614); A Treatise of Musick (MS). EDITIONS (all publ. in London): Pammelia: Musick’s Miscellanie: or Mixed Varietie of Pleasant Roundelayes and Delightful Catches of 3–10 Parts in one (1609; ed. by P. Warlock, 1928); Deuteromelia … Freemens Songs and… Catches for 3 to 4 Voices (1609); Melismata: Musicali Phansies, fitting the Court, Citie and Countrey Humours for 3 to 5 Voices (1611); The Whole Booke of Psalms (1621; ed. by W. Havergal, 1845).
D. Mateer, A Critical Study and Transcription of “A Briefe Discourse” by T. R .(diss., Univ. of London, 1970).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire