Holborne: Walsingham Anthony Holborne (c 1545 – 1602) was a prolific and respected composer of, according to one of his titles: Pavans, Galliards, Almains, and other short Aeirs both grave, and light, in five parts, for Viols, Violins or other Musicall Winde Instruments. You can read his biography here.
|Facsimile of the original, showing the compressed format used by Holmes in the days when paper was an expensive commodity. You can see the whole page here.|
A short piece of 12 bars. The original Walsingham air (see blog page for more info) is of 8 bars. The first four bars of Holborne’s version follow the melody quite closely, the second four rather less so, and the final four are a variation on the second four.
A number of harmonies are unexpected (to me, at least). Although the piece is set approximately in G minor, the Gm chord occurs only twice, and the piece starts in the relative major (Bb). There is a strange transition (in bars 7 and 11) from Bb via D (possibly, or B) to C. All in all, an intriguing little piece, which is not that easy to get to grips with. As it wanders so far off-piste so soon, I wonder if it is merely a segment of a longer composition.
I know it’s anachronistic, but here is an approximate chord sequence:
Bb / A | Bb C D | Eb Bb Am | Bb / / |
F / Dm | Gm / / | Bb ?D C G D | G / Eb |
F / Dm | Gm / / | Bb ?D C G D | G / / ||
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