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Pavan Sans Per by Francis Cutting (Euing, f.32v.)

I had been aware of this piece long before I took up the lute, because it appeared in a selection of five pieces by Cutting arranged for the guitar by Brian Jeffery, but it’s only recently that I’ve looked at the sources and played it on the lute.  For details of the other sources and biographical information on Cutting,

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Ut re mi fa so la

The most basic materials for a composer to work with – the hexachord. The first piece is by Alfonso Ferrabosco, from the Hirsch lute book (BL MS Hirsch M 1353, f.64v. and also found in Dd.2.11, f.54v.).

The second is something of a blockbuster by Diomedes (Cato) of Venice,

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Courantes and Voltas

Courante by Monsieur Saman, and a related Volta.

René Saman (fl. 1610-31), lutenist to Louis XIII, is known to us only from a few courantes in publications by Robert Dowland, Robert Ballard, Jean-Baptiste Besard, and Lord Herbert of Cherbury’s lute book.  This is perhaps his best known piece, as it appeared in Robert Dowland’s Varietie of Lute Lessons (1610).

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