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Corants by John Sturt and Jacques Gaultier

The ML lute book, (c.1610-40) is a major source for the music of John Sturt (fl.1612-1625) and he may even have been the main scribe (apart from the formation of the letter “e” the writing of tablature, final flourishes and text are very similar to the scribe of Berlin 40461 who apparently signed his name at the end of this corant).  

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Dowland’s ‘Tremolo’ Fantasia: What’s wrong with it?

Dowland’s famous “tremolo” fantasia is familiar from many performances, starting with Julian Bream in the 1970s and continuing to be a favourite piece amongst modern lutenists.

This piece appears in the Collected Lute Music of John Dowland (London: Faber. 3rd edition, 1981; edited by Diana Poulton and Basil Lam;

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A tastar de corde, recercar, and calata by Joanambrosio Dalza

It is now over 500 years since the publication (on the last day of  December 1508) of  Dalza’s Intabulatura de lauto.  It was the fourth lute book published by Petrucci, the first two being the two volumes of Spinacino and the third the (lost) book of Giovanni Maria Alemani.  

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Almains by John and Robert Dowland

The Margaret Board lute book, written c.1620 and unknown until it was offered for sale in 1970, is a fascinating source, not least because it contains a substantial quantity of John Dowland’s handwriting.  He wrote a theoretical table showing the Gam ut on f.1v. and two pieces: an Almande by Robert Dowland on f.12.v.

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Fantasia by Benedict de Drusina

Benedict de Drusina (c.1520 – after 1573) published his Tabulatura at Frankfurt an der Oder in 1556.  It starts with four fantasias: the first and second appear in publications by Matthäus Waissel (the second also in various other sources including Besard’s 1603 anthology).  The third is cognate with a piece by Melchior Newsidler and a version is also found in the Siena Lute Book (without title,

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[Prelude] by Anon. (CUL Add.3056, f.10v.)

Cambridge University Library MS Add.3056 probably dates from around 1610, but most of the music is for a seven-course lute.  The copyist drew on a number of continental and English sources, including John Danyel’s song book of 1606.  This unusual piece, untitled and anonymous, is not found in any other source,

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A Recercata possibly by Francesco da Milano?

A manuscript of Bavarian origin, now in Paris (Bibliothéque du Conservatoire, Ms. Réserve 429) includes seven pieces attributed to Francesco da Milano (Ness numbers 67, 87a, 88-91, and 95).  There is also a piece on f.109 headed Recercata which has many features of his style.  I have made many small changes,

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Rogero

Rogero or Ruggiero is an Italian ground bass which was popular from at least the middle of the 16th century (and on into the 17th) as a basis for sets of variations and songs. There are several versions for solo lute in English manuscripts, of which two are presented here.

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Dump by Anon. (Dd.2.11, f.12v.)

The first of the lute books copied by Matthew Holmes in the 1590s is about to be published in facsimile by the Lute Society.  Dd.2.11 is the largest of these manuscripts with around 300 pieces.  Alongside well-known pieces by Dowland, Johnson, Ferrabosco and others there are many anonymous pieces, some very substantial and clearly the work of a serious composer.  

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Pavan by Daniel Bacheler (CUL Add.3056, f.80v.)

The three sources of this piece (the others are Herbert f.4v. and Dd.9.33 f.70v.) give very similar texts.  In Add.3056 it is followed by a galliard with the text “Ga: to the pavan before” but the galliard is in D major and elsewhere (Dd.5.78.3 f.58) it is associated with a different pavan in D major which seems a more likely pairing.  

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