As constituted during the time of Queen Elizabeth I, it typically featured three plucked string instruments (lute, cittern, and bandore), two bowed instruments (treble and bass viols), and a recorder or transverse flute. Such a consort became quite popular during the Elizabethan era and often accompanied vocal songs.
There are several surviving compositions specifically for the consort, called a Morley consort because of the publication: First Book of Consort Lessons by Thomas Morley (1599). There are other consort compositions by Philip Rosseter and some vocal music accompanied by the specific consort such as Sir William Leighton's The Teares and Lamentatacions of a Sorrowfull Soule (1614) and the Psalms of David in Metre (1599) by Richard Allison. Sidney Beck made the first modern editions of this music and had a professional consort in New York state. Julian Bream was a pioneer in reviving the consort. James Tyler (professor of music) did much to popularise the playing of these consorts by getting music students at the University of Southern California to play all six instruments. The Baltimore Consort, an American ensemble, specializes in the performance of music for broken consort.