Dowland’s first galliard (p 22)
|Final bars of Dowland’s First Galliard from the Matthew Holmes Lute Books
Facsimile published online here by Cambridge University Library
Well, if this really was Dowland’s first galliard, he really hit the ground running. It’s full of memorable passages.
The image above shows the end of the piece in Holmes’ MS (in this period they seem to have put the title at the end, so we have the six first bars of the next piece too.) The top of the page is really worn, and I take my hat off to Sarge Gerbode for transcribing it. You can read more about the MS by clicking on the link in the caption above.
The ‘catch’ in §A is the melody line in bar 6 echoed by the bass line in bar 7 (and centuries later echoed in turn by the theme tune to the film Deliverance). Similarly, in §B there are repeated catchy motifs in bars 23 and 24.
§§C and C’ are the easiest bits, especially as I have necessarily simplified the tabs. It consists of repeated motifs in the following basic harmonic sequence (on the uke):
A | A | C | C | D | D | E | E | A | A |
with a passing 4th note in each chord.
The pattern in §C’ reminds me of the folk banjo picking style known as double thumbing – there’s nothing new under the sun.
In these final sections I have taken the liberty of shortening the final chord in most of the bars, following Nigel North’s performance on the lute. You may prefer to allow these notes to ring out to the end of the bar, or use both versions if you repeat the piece. It’s all to play for.
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