Gothic Voices, Christopher Page (conductor)
Masters of the rolls is the name we have given to the English composers of the fourteenth century, almost all of whom are anonymous. Literate musicians were often called ‘magister’ in the Middle Ages (compare the modern Italian usage of ‘maestro’), and for performance purposes their compositions were often copied out on rolls like those shown on the front illustration of this album. Some of these anonymous masters are perhaps to be found in the texts of ‘musician motets’ like Musicorum collegio/In templo Dei: John Adam, William Oxwick, John Exeter, Nicholas Hungerford, William Tideswell. Even the most expert research has failed to uncover much information about these singers and nothing to connect them with any particular surviving compositions.