|Abstract: ||While the study of complete sources is very valuable, and has contributed greatly to what is understood of music history, the perspective they contribute is limited because they cannot reveal information about how music and music sources were most often used. The study of functional sources, more probably created for use, allows for more insight into how music was performed and understood, and how such sources were created, used and valued.
This study examines twelve fragmentary early sixteenth-century English sources from the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM) database, constituting a sample of functional music sources in this period. The study of this sampling reveals information about how functional manuscripts were created, used and valued in England during this time period. Some of the fragments contain works with concordances. These concordances are compared using variant comparison, where differences in the versions of the work are considered and weighed. The comparative study of concordances provides insight into the transmission of the versions, scribal and performance culture, as well as into music culture in general. Overall, the study of this sampling of early sixteenth-century functional English sources provides a clearer understanding of the use of accidentals, scribes and scribal culture, performers, performance practice and music culture in England at this time, contributing to the understanding of music history.|