Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Le Roy: Fantasie

My previous posting of several short Le Roy pieces proved popular, so here is a longer piece (of 91 bars): Fantasie.

As it's so long, I'm just posting images of the 1st 40 bars in the original printed format (mid 16th century), and the interpretation I have made of it in modern tabs.

It's interesting to see how compact the original is, but how much easier it is to read the modern version (with, I hope, not too many errors). There are a few discords, but I have checked against the original  and they seem to be what Le Roy intended. Much of the piece consists of overlapping parts (a bit like polyphony, I suppose), and it sounds better on an instrument (fluffs excepted) than when played (very accurately) on MIDI. It's easier to understand what's going on in the musical notation.

I hope you enjoy playing this piece.

Direct links to: pdf version (preview), pdf auto download, and  Tabledit version

facsimile of renaissance guitar music 'Fantasie' by le Roy published 1551
Original of first page of Fantasie by Le Roy

image of tablature transcription for ukulele of renaissance guitar music 'Fantasie' by le Roy published 1551
Interpretation of Fantasie by Le Roy

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Adrien Le Roy: Branles de Bourgongne

Adrien Le Roy was a prolific French fretted instrument player and music publisher who flourished in the second half of the 16th century. These pieces were written for the Renaissance 4-string guitar, so all I had to do was transcribe the tabs from a, b, c ... to 0, 1, 2 ..., but for the notation I had to guess at the duration of the notes. The branle was originally a French rustic dance ('branle' means 'sway') which was adopted by the toffs. In English it was called a 'brawl' (typical boozy Brits), and was referred to by Shakespeare and Pepys.

These pieces fall easily under the fingers, and provide plenty of practice in the key of G; a lot of the bass lines include the open third and fourth strings. They sound a bit ploddy and predictable at first, especially when played on MIDI, but they were meant for dancing to so I suppose that puts a burden on the player to bring them to life: try imagining a load of pickled peasants hopping around in a barn.

I have posted a quick preview of the tabs below. As usual, links to these transcripts in various formats can be found via the links in the right-hand column.

Contents page of Le Roy's Premier livre de tablature de guiterre.
These transcripts were made from a facsimile on that excellent resource Early Music Online.

Transcription for low G ukulele of Branle de Bourgongne by Adrien Le Roy

Transcription for low G ukulele of Branle de Bourgongne by Adrien Le Roy

Transcription for low G ukulele of Branle de Bourgongne by Adrien Le Roy

Transcription for low G ukulele of Branle de Bourgongne by Adrien Le Roy



Monday, 19 December 2016

Dowland: Mrs Winter's jump (P 55)

A frisky little dance by JD.

The first 16 bars (in D maj) are a direct transcription (as far as possible) of the lute original, which is quite easy to perform. Bars 17 – 32 are a version in G maj, which has more work in the base line. The final bars are my attempt at divisions (short runs) to add variety, with graces following JD's MS, which I must admit I find a challenge to play to time.

The images below give you an idea of the music, and can be copied.

Direct links to tabs and score in png (p1), png (p2), pdf (preview), pdf auto download, and TablEdit formats.
Music tablature Dowland Mrs Winter's jump
Arrangement of Dowland: Mrs Winter's Jump for low-G ukulele from lute tabs

Music tablature Dowland Mrs Winter's jump
Arrangement of Dowland: Mrs Winter's Jump for low-G ukulele from lute tabs



Saturday, 17 December 2016

Dowland: Lady Laiton's Allemande (P 48)

Yet another short lute piece by my hero, arranged for uke.

Downloads to full-size tabs are available in png (p1), png (p2), pdf (preview), pdf auto download, and TablEdit formats. The images below give you a copyable preview.

FRET POSITIONS
Positions are shown in Roman numerals thus: [ II, and terminated either by the next position or thus:  II].

FINGERING SUGGESTIONS
Bars 14, 18 and 22 look a bit daunting at first (at least they did to me), but it’s just a matter of getting the finger to string allocation correct at the beginning of the bars. The suggested fingering is indicated in bar 14.
Start by making this chord: a 4th barre on strings 1 – 3, little finger on string 1 fret 7, second finger on string 1 fret 5 (ready for the third note), ring finger on string 4 fret 6. This gives you the first 2 notes. The rest should follow reasonably naturally.
I find it helps to lift the left elbow so that the end finger joints are perpendicular to the fingerboard.

Music: John Dowland's allemande for lute, arranged for low G ukulele: tabsand notation


Let me know how you get on.

Music: John Dowland's allemande for lute, arranged for low G ukulele: tablature
John Dowland's allemande for lute, arranged for low G ukulele.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Dowland: A coy toy (or 'A coy joye') (P 80)

A nice easy one! Bouncy and good fun.

Note added 1/10/2017: This seems to be a simplified (or early) version of  Mrs Vauxes Gigge, which you can see here.

Download:  pngpdf (preview), pdf auto download, and TablEdit files, or just copy the image below.

Ukulele tabs for John Dowland's A coy toy
John Dowland's lute tune arranged for low G ukulele

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Byrd & Dowland: Fortune my foe (P 62)

A popular old song. Words are available on Lyrics Mode.

The first 16 bars are transcribed by me for the uke from a choral version by William Byrd, and the remainder is John Dowland's variation on this theme. There's quite a bit of position playing which helps once you get used to it (I almost have!)

Download the png (p1), png(p2)pdf (preview), pdf auto download, and TablEdit files via the links in the right-hand column, or just copy the image below.



Music tabs Dowland Fortune my foe arranged for ukulele

Music tabs Dowland Fortune my foe arranged for ukulele
John Dowland's lute arrangement of the old air, transcribed for low G ukulele

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Dowland: Go from my window (P 64)

Another Dowland arrangement of a traditional old song, arranged for low G ukulele. The first two verses are quite easy, and then it starts to be a bit of a challenge. Good luck!

You can see the words here:
 http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/song-midis/Go_From_My_Window.htm.

You can download the png. pdf and TablEdit files via the links in the right-hand column, or just copy the image below.

Music Tabs John Dowland's arrangement of Go from my window for lute, transcribed for low G ukulele

John Dowland's arrangement of Go from my window for lute, transcribed for low G ukulele

John Dowland's arrangement of Go from my window for lute, transcribed for low G ukulele
John Dowland's arrangement of the old air for lute, transcribed for low G ukulele


Monday, 12 December 2016

Dowland: Mr Dowland's Midnight (P 99)


An old favourite: the first piece I tried to play on the lute. Transposed to Gm. I have had a go at writing some simple variations which should fall quite easily under the fingers.

Note added 10/10/2017: I have posted a simpler version here.

You can download the png, pdf and TablEdit files via the links in the right-hand column, or just copy the image below.

Music Tabs Dowland Mr Dowland's midnight

Music Tabs Dowland Mr Dowland's midnight





Dowland: Come Again, Sweet Love or Come Away (P 60)

John Dowland's bittersweet air in his arrangement originally for lute, arranged for low G uke.
You can see the words here in Wikipedia.
You can download the png. pdf and TablEdit files via the links in the right-hand column, or just copy the image below.

Transcription for ukulele of lute tabs Come Again by John Dowland p1

Transcription for ukulele of lute tabs Come Again by John Dowland p 2
Dowland's arrangement for of this typical melancholic song, transcribed for low G ukulele.