Renaissance Popular Music arranged for guitar by Brian Jeffery (pdf)

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This is a digital download (pdf).

This is a collection of Renaissance popular music originally composed for lute and now arranged for guitar by Brian Jeffery. Previously published by Oxford University Press and now reassigned to Tecla.

Contents:

  • The English Hunt’s Up, by John Whitfield. Lively, tuneful.
  • Dargesson (anon). In 12/8, bouncy.
  • Packington’s Pound (anon). Folk-song in style.
  • The Sick Tune (anon). Traditional.
  • A Port, by Rorie Dall (Scottish, traditional in style). Pentatonic in parts.
  • I serve a worthy lady (anon, Scottish, traditional in style). Like a jig.

These pieces are all transcriptions for the guitar of pieces originally written for the lute (or bandora), all from English and Scottish sources of the sixteenth and seventeenth century.

“The English Hunt’s Up” is one of a number of pieces called “The Hunt’s Up”; John Whitfield has given his version an individual flavour especially by the modulation in bars 7-8 and 20-21. “Dargesson” is probably a dance piece, although we still do not know what the title means. “Packington” is probably Sir John Packington, who died in 1625. “The Sick Tune” seems to be related to the ballad “Captain Ker”, a gruesome story of treachery and bloodshed, which has as its refrain:
Sick, sick and too too sick,
And sick and like to die;
The sickest night that ever I abode,
Good Lord have mercy on me.

Scottish lute music, by its modality and immediately recognizable Scottish flavour, has a character different from that of all other European lute music. A good deal of it survives, but unfortunately in fragmentary form. Rorie Dall is supposed to have been a blind harper about the year 1500, so perhaps we have here an early transcription for lute of what was originally a harp piece. “I serve a worthy lady” has the character of a dance piece and is as lively and Scottish as anything that Jimmy Shand ever played.

This collection is one of a series of seven titles of lute music arranged for guitar by Brian Jeffery.

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Copyright 2008 by Tecla Editions. Errors and omissions excepted.