Daniel Bacheler: Galliard to ‘To plead my faith’

Daniel Bacheler: Galliard to ‘To plead my faith’ Daniel Bacheler (1572 – 1619) was about 9 years younger than John Dowland, but as regards status more successful, in being appointed to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, and gaining a coat of arms. He was apparently admired by Dowland, who wrote an arrangement (P 28) of this piece, which I intend to arrange for ukulele soon.

The galliard is adapted for ukulele from a tablature transcription of the lute original (BL Add MS 38539 p 15v/1) by Sarge Gerbode here. I subsequently referred to a transcription for guitar by Eric Crouch here.

Daniel Bacheler (on horseback) from an engraving by Thomas Lant 
of the funeral procession of Sir Philip Sidney in 1586.
I don’t think you’d recognise him in a police line-up without the horse.

Image taken from Wikipedia.

According to Diana Poulton, this piece is based on Bacheler’s own song melody “To plead my faith”, but apart from the first four bars (and their repeat) it deviates widely. There are three themes of eight bars, each followed by a variation.

Much of the activity in the lute original is thankfully on the top four strings, but as usual I have tried to fit in some bass notes. The durations shown are as in the original, but it may not be possible to maintain them on the ukulele as they have to be fingered, whereas on the lute they are often on open strings.

The piece is quite syncopated and, to make the timing clearer where a note crosses the beat, I have notated with ligatures rather than dots. In some places, especially where there are three voices, it would be a good idea to take the timing from the notation as the tabs are stretched to the limit.

The first two lines of the galliard from the Sturt Lute Book (British Library).
The grace symbols are clearly visible.
Timing is indicated by the (now conventional) note symbols, but in short-hand form.
Full facsimile on Sarge Gerbode’s website here.

The image above shows that the original is decorated with indications of graces (#, × and +). I have omitted them as: (1) there seems no clear consensus of what they mean, and (2) I find the piece difficult enough already. As players of the day seem to have been rather like jazz musicians in their ability to improvise, I think it’s consistent for to us to add mordents, slurs and so on to the longer notes as we see fit (or are able to perform). Or, you might want to download Gerbode’s transcript and work out for yourself what is feasible; if you do, let me know.

As with much music of this period, the voices are integral to the piece, and I have found it unrealistic to simplify for performance by, say, just playing the top voice. So … it’s not easy to play, but I have enjoyed trying. Perhaps I’ll have a go at making a simple arrangement of the original song.

You can download the galliard in the following formats:
  • pdf
  • TablEdit
… and also the words and music of the song:
  • pdf
  • TablEdit

Tags: #bacheler #daniel #faith #galliard #plead

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