Cover pageJohn Jenkins (1592–1678)
Divisions on a Ground for Viola da Gamba

Pieces for Solo Bass Viol

Preface Reviews [in German version] Sample page CDs [in German version] 2nd sample page Errata / Addenda Deutsche Version

Editor: Günter and Leonore von Zadow, publication date: 2023-12, introduction: Andrew Ashbee, source: GB-Ob Mus. 184 c.8 and others

Order information

G414John Jenkins, Divisions on a Ground for Viola da Gamba, JENKINS VDGS No. 3–10, 65, VdG+Bc, full score, 2 parts, 68 p., ISMN 979-0-50174-414-519.80 €


The term Divisions on a Ground describes a certain type of improvisation or composition that was very popular in England in the mid-17th century. A theme that fits a bass line of a few bars is often repeated and varied in such a way that longer notes are divided into shorter ones and larger intervals into smaller ones. This creates a series of variations or divisions. When playing these divisions, the bass can be played along or just thought along. - Eight such sets of divisions by John Jenkins have survived, all of which are included in this booklet together with a prelude. Some of them are quite extensive and sometimes make considerable demands on the players. The themes, which were popular in their day, still have their musical appeal today.

Errata / Addenda