Music for Guitar Including Ancient Music from Ireland and
Scotland Newly Revised
Finale on Youtube
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"Renaissance Music for Guitar"
contains 34 pieces
Dance of the Washerwoman - Hans Neusidler This is the tune
that started me playing the lute. I heard a recording of Julian Bream
performing this, and I never forgot it. I remember the day I found
the sheet music. I played it over, and over, and over. It's one of
the reasons I bought a lute. In addition to the first cut on the CD,
I have also included an example of me playing this tune on the lute
at cut 35.
- I Lie Alone - Anonymous This is a beautiful lute piece
from Scotland. It's extraordinary, and fairly easy to play.
- Ballet - Michael Praetorius This Ballet is from a book
published in the renaissance titled "Terpsichore". The
dances were collected by Michael Praetorius. This is an arrangement,
as the original was set for five voices. It's often played by recorders
- Robinson's May - Thomas Robinson Thomas Robinson was a
lutenist/composer in the renaissance. He published a book titled
"Schoole of Musick" which contains many lute pieces and
also instructions for singing.
- Packington's Pound - Anonymous This is actually two
versions combined into one. The first version has an unknown
composer. The second is attributed to Thomas Cutting. Many versions
exist and it is said to be one of the most popular pieces of the renaissance.
- Canaries - Anonymous One of the interesting things about
renaissance lute music is the number of countries in which it was
popular. This piece is another from Scotland. It's really lovely,
though quite short, so I wrote two variations for it.
- Medieval Dance - Anonymous This selection is earlier than
most pieces in this book. The harmonies are simple and the piece is haunting.
- Kemp's Jig - Anonymous Will Kemp was bet a hundred pounds
that he couldn't jig a hundred miles. As the story goes, he won the
bet and this tune was written to celebrate the event. Kemp's Jig is a
well known piece from the renaissance originally written for lute.
- Kathrine Bardi - Anonymous I just love the music from
Scotland for the lute. The harmonies are charming and the melodies addictive.
- Greensleeves I - Anonymous It is amazing that a piece
could survive all this time and still retain its popularity. I added
a variation to make it a little longer.
- Greensleeves II - Anonymous There were a few popular
versions of Greensleeves during the renaissance. This one in 4/4 was
actually more popular than the previous one that we are more familiar with.
- La Volta - Michael Praetorius A "Volta" or
"Volte" is really more a type of piece than a specific
piece. This one is another that is from the Praetorius
"Terpsichore" collection. It's one of my favorites.
- Duo - Miguel de Fuenllana This music has just two voices.
It's quite syncopated and you can hear the imitation of the bass in
the treble. I find it to be very interesting and fun to play.
- Courante - Michael Praetorius This is the last of the
Praetorius pieces included in this book. I felt this was another tune
that needed a variation to fill it out. I love this little dance.
- Christ Has Risen - Hans Judenkunig Sometimes I will come
across a piece of music that is relatively easy but powerful. This is
one of those pieces.
- Bransle charlotte - Thomas Arbeau Thomas Arbeau published
a book during the renaissance title "Orchesography." In
that book is a splendid collection of melodies, plus instructions for
the dances that accompany them. This piece had to be harmonized as
the original was just a single melody line. Since it was short, I
added two variations. Writing variations for melodies was quite
popular during the renaissance.
- Bransle - Anonymous A Bransle (pronounced brawl) is a
French dance. This one in particular is simple but haunting. I wrote
a variation since the tune is short..
- O Venus Bant - Alexander Agricola This is another medieval
melody. I harmonized it and then wrote a variation. I find it quite a
bit of fun to play.
- Daphne - Anonymous Daphne is from an early collection of
recorder music. I harmonized the melody and since I liked it so much,
again wrote a variation. I see some similarity between this and Greensleeves.
- Canaries II - Anonymous In this piece we had to tune the
6th string down to D because it's a lute piece and many renaissance
lutes had at least 7 courses (pairs of strings). This note could then
be played as an open string. It's nice to have the lower range in
- Fayne Would I wed - Richard Farnaby The Fitzwilliam
Virginal Book is a huge collection of music written for (not
surprisingly) the Virginal. This instrument was a precursor to the
harpsichord, but smaller and without as much volume. I loved this
piece by Richard Farnaby, and it went quite naturally on the guitar.
- Haulberrys - Pierre Attaingnant The majority of the pieces
in this book are arranged with a normal guitar tuning, or with a low
D, which is a common change of tuning for the guitar. Many of these
tunes are original lute music and it often makes the pieces much
easier to play if we retune the guitar so the intervals of the
strings are like that of the lute. If you have trouble with the fact
that the third string is now an F#, then you can read the tablature
and the pieces should be fairly easy to learn. This tune is
pleasantly syncopated and an interesting example of renaissance music
written specifically for the lute.
- Fantasia - Anonymous The renaissance Fantasia was a
precursor to the fugue, which was a popular form later in the baroque
period. I remember learning this tune years ago. It took at least a
week for me to make any sense of this music. It will be easier for
you now because of the enclosed CD. This is really a phenomenal
piece. I love the imitation between the voices.
- Mr. Dowland's Midnight - John Dowland Often there are
several sources for a piece of lute music. Mr. Dowland's Midnight had
only one, a book titled "Margaret Board's Lute Book," which
was only discovered in the last 30 years. Think of what it would have
been like to open this book and play a piece of John Dowland's that
had not been heard for more than 400 years.
- Alman - Robert Johnson Robert Johnson wrote music for
Shakespeare's plays and held down several jobs at once during the
renaissance. He was well paid and must have been quite the musician.
This is a lovely, sweet piece that shows off his use of multiple voices.
- Der Judentanz - Hans Judenkunig This piece is lively and
exciting and not too hard to play. Near the end of the CD there is
also an example of me playing this tune on the lute.
- Ronde Tielman Susato This tune has always fascinated me. I
just love it. I first heard it by a renaissance ensemble and just had
to play it. There is a simple version by Hans Neusidler which I have
included, but it wasn't enough. So I made an arrangement of Susato's
version of the piece. The latter is from a collection called "Danserye."
- Ronde II - Tielman Susato Here is another example of a
short Ronde by Susato. It can withstand many repeats.
- Lute dance - Allan Alexander Eventually I am looking for
some sounds that I can't find the music for. The only alternative is
to write a piece, and this is an example of the sort of piece that I
really like. It's syncopated and a pleasure to play.
- Ricercare - Francesco da Milano Francesco da Milano was
one of the most significant composers of the renaissance. He wrote
many Ricercare in which the melodies are imitated. This is one of my
favorites. He was quite adept at utilizing syncopation.
- Merry Ronde - Allan Alexander This was another piece that
I wrote when I was seeking something that I just couldn't quite find elsewhere.
- Fantasia - Alonso Mudarra If it's possible for me to have
a favorite piece from the renaissance, this is it. Alonso Mudarra
never wrote anything else that resembles this tune, and it really
remains a "one of a kind" piece from the early fifteen hundreds.
- Two Bransles - Jean Baptiste Besard These are two dances
that are from a large volume of lute music titled "Thesaurus
Harmonicus." You may have heard them before as Resphigi used
them as a source on which he based a part of the three suites titled
"Ancient Airs and Dances."
- Lady Gay's Alman - Allan Alexander This is really a sweet
syncopated piece. Since it was written by me for the lute, the lute
tuning makes it much easier to play. I perform this one on the lute
on the CD. It has such a pleasant sound on the lute... and who knows,
maybe someday you too will play both the lute and the guitar.
- Finale - Albert Dlugoraj This is a piece from Poland, and
like the Mudarra Fantasia, it stands alone. It uses only the first
three frets, and the first five strings. It is really an amazing
composition. I love the way it sounds on the lute and the guitar, but
I choose to include the lute version on this recording.
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Presented in both Tablature and Music Notation
The music is presented in both music notation and guitar TAB (for
people that do not read music). The music notation is clear and
crisp. It contains complete clear fingerings for the guitar. These
will help you to learn the tunes quickly whether you depend on the
tablature or the music.
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Comes With a Compact Disc of the Pieces Performed
by Allan Alexander
The CD, played by Allan Alexander, gives the musician the advantage
of being able to hear how these songs can be played and will make the
learning process easier. This is a high quality Digital recording
(DDD). In addition to helping the player become familiar with the
music, it will also be a source of listening pleasure. The CD is
almost 70 minutes in length.
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A High Quality Collection of Music The
Renaissance and Medieval Times including Ancient Music from
Ireland and Scotland.
Renaissance Music for Guitar is a book that will appeal to many types
of guitarists. First, the book provides a quick overview of the
history of the guitar and lute, plus examples of early tablature for
the lute. For the intermediate student who wants to build up their
repertoire with high quality pieces while exploring renaissance
music, the book is perfect. Most of the pieces are readily accessible
by an intermediate student. These are tunes you will want to play
over and over, so learning them is a pleasurable experience. For the
professional that is looking to expand their repertoire for jobs,
this book is ideal. Allan has played professionally for years and
understands the constant need for new material. Although most of
these pieces are readily accessible to the professional, they are
very high quality and will withstand repeated performance. The book
comes with an optional CD. This Compact Disc contains almost 70
minutes of digitally mastered music. All the pieces in the book are
performed by the author, a few of them on the lute. This is
important. It's an easy way to find the music that you like, and at
the same time, it speeds the learning process.
Book $15.95 Book/CD $22.95
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