The widespread dissemination of this piece is unsurprising for two reasons; firstly, Dowland travelled extensively as one of the most sought-after lute virtuosi of his age, holding various posts in Germany and Denmark and, secondly, the vogue for English dance music spread rapidly throughout the German-speaking courts of Northern Europe during the later years of the sixteenth century. The aim of this study, then, is to collate as much of this material as possible and present some preliminary hypotheses regarding in particular the transmission of this piece across mainland Europe. These can be subdivided according to their tonality and warrant a brief summary. Although it is by no means a certainty, there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that a G minor setting preserved in a number of English manuscript sources may have originally emanated from Dowland himself. The earliest sources for this setting are Dd.
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The widespread dissemination of this piece is unsurprising for two reasons; firstly, Dowland travelled extensively as one of the most sought-after lute virtuosi of his age, holding various posts in Germany and Denmark and, secondly, the vogue for English dance music spread rapidly throughout the German-speaking courts of Northern Europe during the later years of the sixteenth century. The aim of this study, then, is to collate as much of this material as possible and present some preliminary hypotheses regarding in particular the transmission of this piece across mainland Europe.
These can be subdivided according to their tonality and warrant a brief summary. Although it is by no means a certainty, there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that a G minor setting preserved in a number of English manuscript sources may have originally emanated from Dowland himself.
The earliest sources for this setting are Dd. See Example 1. For instance, rhythms are often dotted in later sources especially throughout bars 11aa , cadential formulae slightly varied, and pitch inflections and chord voicings are occasionally the subject of minor alterations.
In some later sources, the piece has been adapted for an instrument with additional bass strings. Unusually, the divisions on each strain of the pavan are reproduced with great consistency, the only exceptions being ML which has some added flourishes and which omits the divisions altogether. Furthermore, FD contains a very closely related version of the piece which differs only in that it features an alternative A division and a variant of the final four bars of the C division.
Since this source includes five pieces signed by Dowland and is thought to have belonged to a student of his, it seems plausible that this version may be another of his own creation. It is also worth noting that the earliest firmly datable version of this piece, that printed from wood-blocks in Barley , is a G minor setting of a similar ilk to those already discussed.
It is not always clear whether the many variants contained in this print arise from typesetting errors or constitute genuine attempts at recomposition. See Figure 2.
The problem of enforced registral displacement of the bass line between bars 13 and 14 of the G minor versions the low F is not available on a six-course lute is avoided in A minor settings Example 2 , although this key requires higher hand positions throughout and generally asks more difficult stretches of the player.
Certainly, there were A minor versions dating from at least the same time as the early G minor sources, with a unique A minor setting with divisions also occurring in Dd. Two sources, Hirsch and the fragmentary , preserve another, possibly earlier, A minor setting.
It is interesting to note that there are no surviving Continental sources of the early English A minor lute setting. In fact, there are no Continental lute versions in A minor at all; even the lute part to LoST , which constitutes a perfectly respectable solo setting in its own right, is not amongst those LoST parts reprinted by Van den Hove in his Delitiae Musice.
The G minor version, however, fared slightly better, being both directly copied although, curiously, without the divisions so popular in England and used as the basis for further recomposition. The version in Thysius compiled? The adjacent page to this includes another lute part apparently in D minor; it is presumably a duet part for a different sized instrument pitched a fifth lower or a fourth higher, unless it is a simple consort part for a D minor setting analogous with those in Morley and Cambridge Consort.
These pieces a two-part vocal version in D minor, a cittern piece in D minor and a lute setting in G minor were clearly not intended for simultaneous performance, since they all carry the melody with varying degrees of elaboration and differing harmonic detail.
Simon Groot has recently shown that much of the music in this print is taken from printed sources either from England or with strong English connections, and has suggested that the cittern parts were produced either by Valerius or by someone within his circle, since they are derived from the vocal versions of the melodies. There can be little doubt that the lute version is a second- perhaps third- generation derivative of the English G minor setting, being replete with printing errors bar 3 opens with an incorrect chord and recompositions the flourish from bar 2iii, or the ornamented sequential passage from bar 12 , yet clearly a close relative.
Whilst the melodic contour of the English piece has been both eroded bar 4 and elaborated bar 6 in places Example 3 , the Romers version is largely harmonically consistent with its probable model, and displays the characteristically English auxiliary note in bar 2. There are some odd substitute chords in bar 9 and bar but these, in all likelihood, result from a scribe attempting to make corrections when copying from an exemplar in which some of the bass notes have been positioned on the wrong strings, rather than representing a genuine harmonic innovation Example 4.
Another instance of a Continental lute arrangement derived from the English G minor version can be found in Fuhrmann , ascribed to V[alentin] S[trobel]. Most notably, this would appear to be an example of a Continental version being exported back to England, since, as well as the south-German copy in Haslemere , it appears alongside a good deal of other Continental music in Cosens, 36v , which is certainly of English provenance.
An interesting approach to the English G minor setting can be found in the Thesaurus Harmonicus of the French lutenist Jean-Baptiste Besard Cologne, , who spent much of his career in Germany as a lute teacher. To single out just one instance, the highest pitch of the very first chord is carelessly omitted, thus ruining the famous descending tetrachord.
See Figure 3. This process would have been exacerbated by the copying of flawed printed versions into manuscript anthologies with all errors intact; the direct copy of this one in Nauclerus serves as an excellent case in point. Besides the derivatives of the English G minor version that were in circulation on the Continent, there were a number of interesting lute settings with no apparent connection with surviving English sources.
Example 6 The somewhat intriguing rubric attached to this piece seems to suggest that it is an intabulation of a lost consort setting, something which is further supported by the fact that a point of melodic imitation disappears from the texture during bars However, one should take care not to assume that this is necessarily a successful intabulation of its model, nor that it is an intabulation of a good arrangement.
Indeed, the clumsy attempt at an inner voice suspension in bar 4iii-iv perhaps a misprint? This is a disparate group, with no clear sequential relationship discernible between them although this is perhaps unsurprising when one considers that their period of compilation spans approximately 35 years.
Nevertheless, a number of salient features are shared between these versions and Rude , none of which are encountered in the English transmission s. To give only a handful of examples, all four feature a substitute chord an inserted IV in bar 2 unseen in any English sources Example 7a. Montbuysson was based at Kassel from to , where he might well have encountered either in manuscript or performance English versions of the piece stemming from Dowland himself who had been employed there in The two closely-related settings in this source were not committed to paper until , and thus might well represent a composite of a number of English and Continental versions known to Montbuysson.
There are some exterior indications that there may be a connection between these two versions, since both are in G minor, are coupled with triple-time versions, and use the unusual formal scheme AAiBCBiCi. Furthermore, close examination of the undivided strains reveals a greater similarity between the two versions than initially meets the eye or ear, although the divisions are largely unique.
The undivided strains employ essentially the same structural pitches throughout, suggesting that they are derived from a common harmonic template. Both settings also exhibit a penchant for virtuosic writing in parallel thirds and sixths and, on occasions such as between bars even duplicate passagework more-or-less verbatim Example 8a. Another interesting feature almost unique to these two versions only the version for violin and bass instrument in Schermar has it too is the dominant chord substituted into bar 10 Example 8b.
These musical details suggest very strongly that the Herold setting is also the work of Van den Hove, something which is further supported by the fact that many of the pieces located nearby in Herold are either ascribed to him or were included in Florida a year before Herold was copied from its exemplar. Even at this early stage, the melody of the English version is disappearing and the piece is beginning to be treated as a chord sequence , serving as a basis for further elaboration.
However, by the time Van den Hove added another setting to the Schele lutebook dated 16th February , he had obviously experimented with other models, since the unorthodox AAiBCBiCi layout has been replaced with a more conventional AAiBBiCCi and the contrapuntal template differs somewhat.
Virtuoso passage-work remains prominent throughout however; this setting is one of the most elaborate of all lute versions. Example 9. There are perhaps two main reasons for this, the most obvious of which is the size of its print-run; one thousand copies was immense for this period and the publishers presumably expected to sell every copy.
As we shall see, the simple two-part reduction offered great potential to both composers and performers. An early example of the exploitation of this model stems from none other than Dowland himself. Several clues suggest this dependancy upon the song, not least a handful of melodic details which mirror the syllabic patterns of the texted cantus part e. Valerius , for instance, included a double-texted 2-part version in D minor.
Although the cantus in particular is highly ornamented, it bears a close resemblance to the Wigthorpe outer parts in the same key which, of course, would appear to stem from 2nd Booke.
Valerius could have based his parts directly on 2nd Booke , or one of any number of derivatives that may have been circulating in manuscript. Camphuysen gives another 2-part version, this time with a devotional Dutch text, supplied with instrumental divisions for both cantus and bassus by one Joseph Butler, a Londoner working in Amsterdam. A number of interesting European instrumental versions also survive from the mid-seventeenth century. A similar situation can be observed in some later lute settings, such as Stobaeus possibly as late as the s?
A keyboard setting by Schildt survives in three sources, one of which Clausholm - possibly autograph? These settings, along with that attributed to another Sweelinck pupils, Scheidemann , are particularly flamboyant, each featuring complex and unique divisions.
However, the keyboard composers are able to exploit a contrapuntal dimension unavailable to Van den Hove and lutenist-composers in general , allowing them to make imitative interplay of paramount importance in their settings. Schildt and Scheidemann also experimented with sesquialtera passages, something Van den Hove himself dabbled with briefly in the final division of Schele , and which is briefly foreshadowed towards the end of Dd. Unfortunately, such are the huge number of settings, derivatives and imitations it spawned that only a small sample can be fruitfully discussed here.
Furthermore, we are undoubtedly left with an incomplete picture of what was once in circulation. Several perplexing unica serve to emphasise the incompleteness of the surviving picture, not least the fascinating F minor lute setting in Eysertt , which, although tangential to the patterns of transmission identified in this paper, nevertheless seems to be a good, error-free version. Dowland, of course, was in Nuremburg in , so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that this piece may have originated from him in some sense.
This study has only scratched the surface of a large topic and would be hugely enhanced by similar research into the multitude of similarly-transmitted English pieces that were popular across late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century Europe. Although this research was carried out within the context of a computer-assisted electronic corpus-building project  , the analysis of the musical material has been carried out entirely manually.
The kind of detailed comparative examination we have begun here on a modest subset of this corpus would only be feasible on the full collection let alone larger corpora with the aid of computer analysis software tools. A principal aim of this work has been to identify the types of comparison and analysis that might in future be done by machine and to define the limits beyond which machine-analysis can, or should, not venture , and to provide some kind of benchmark against which such development might be assessed.
It is our belief that the work reported in this paper represents about the limit that could be undertaken manually within a reasonable period of time. For larger-scale repertory studies, such as a long-overdue assessment of all English instrumental music in 17 th -century Continental sources, the laborious work of bar-by-bar comparison could be much eased by intervention from analysis software. This means that the intense human labour could be devoted to the major task of data-entry and subsequently to the subjective interpretation of the results of the analysis.
Some notable Continental lute arrangements Besides the derivatives of the English G minor version that were in circulation on the Continent, there were a number of interesting lute settings with no apparent connection with surviving English sources. Directions for Further Research This study has only scratched the surface of a large topic and would be hugely enhanced by similar research into the multitude of similarly-transmitted English pieces that were popular across late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century Europe.
Dowland: Lachrimae or Seven Tears CD review – exquisite subtlety
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