Marchant: Galliard on Walsingham (Holmes Dd.2.11 29/2)

Marchant: Galliard on Walsingham (Holmes Dd.2.11 29/2) Yet another lute arrangement of Walsingham (see here for an introduction) and the first of three by John Marchant. This one is in the first Matthew Holmes Lute Book (Dd.2.11) in Cambridge University Library.

Facsimile of John Marchant: Galliard on Walsingham in Matthew Holmes Lute Book Dd.2.11 29/2

A clean legible MS with no infelicities.

Incidentally, if you are interested in Holmes’ calligraphy, most of the letters used in the MS tabs are clear here. The notes on the first string from bar 1 are:  d f h f  | d d d | d f h i f h  | d c d f h | d | c d f hand so on. The first a is in bar 5 string 4. The first b is in bar 9, string 4, beat 3. The first e is in bar 1, string 4, beat 3. The i looks to me rather like a fancy y, so that is how I recognise it. The c looks more like an r, and the f often tends towards the German ß or Greek β. The d is always in the Greek-ish form ∂, like a partial differential. Often a note is written on rather than between the lines, but it’s normally easy enough to work out what is meant.

There are three variations, of 8, 8 and 10 bars; the longer final one seems to have been a popular device. It starts in the relative major (C), but the 2nd and 3rd variations are in Am. As is to be expected, all three end on the major. Because of the chordal construction, I have felt free to suggest modern chord symbols, but have not indicated passing tones.

It feels quite vigorous and martial to me, and I think that I have managed to pick out the voices, which are much easier to spot in the lute version. You may, of course, disagree with my analysis, which is more obvious in the notation than in the tabs.

Good fun to play, particularly the third variation, where the repeated motifs remind me of Dowland’s work.

Available to download in the following formats:

  • pdf
  • TablEdit

The Composer

“John Marchant (fl 1588–1611). English composer or composers. A ‘John Marchant’ was admitted Gentleman in Ordinary of the Chapel Royal on 14 April 1593, but is not mentioned in chapel records thereafter. A letter endorsed 8 December 1611 from William Frost to Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, states that ‘Mr Marchant is latelie deceased who taught the princes [Elizabeth] to play uppon the virginalles’.” (Grove Music Online. )

A John Markant, mentioned in Diane Poulton’s biography of John Dowland, was responsible for liturgical music, and could be the same man.

Tags: #galliard #holmes #marchant #walsingham

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