Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Adrian 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


  1. hi: I am looking for a arrangement of Francisco Tarrega's Lagrima for Ukulele with a low g. Can't seem to find that one or any arrangements of his music for low
    g uku. any suggestions?

    Also I am going to work on some of y our arrangements starting with the easier ones.

    1. Hi

      Thank you for your interest.

      There is an arrangement of Lagrima in Mark Nelson's "Favourite Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele" (Melbay); it is for the re-entrant tuning, but very similar to the guitar original, and works perfectly well on the low G uke. I have modified it a little for myself, mainly in bar 10 by moving the notes on the 3rd to the 4th string. (I don't generally post arrangements of already-published pieces for low-G unless I have made substantial changes, following the originals more closely.)

      I have an arrangement of Tarrega's Adelia on file, (taken from an old guitar tutor), and I'll try to post it before Christmas.

      I hope you enjoy playing the arrangements. If you have any problems or comments , just ask.


I hope you enjoy these arrangements. I would welcome your views, and comments on possible errors or improvements.