Thursday, 2 March 2017

De Visee: Three pieces, from Suite en La mineur

Image of low-G ukulele tablature of Bourree by De Visee
A tabs-only version of one of the pieces, to give you a feel for the music.
You can download full versions (tabs plus dots) following the links below.

The three guitar pieces transcribed here are two gavottes and a bourée, published in 1682 as part of Suite en La mineur (i.e. Am – although the ukulele tabs are in Dm).

Robert de Visée was, according to Wikipedia:

   a lutenistguitaristtheorbist and viol player at the court of the French kings Louis XIV and Louis XV, as well as a singer and composer for lute, theorbo and guitar.

I admit to a level of deceit as the music is about a century later than the Renaissance (i.e. Baroque), but a correspondent on the previous post suggested I look at his work, so I did. The first transcriptions I lighted on (here) rarely used a string lower than the 4th, so I couldn't resist transcribing three of the easier ones for the low-G ukulele. This was easier than usual as the transcriptions were very clear, and all I had to do was imagine that the uke was a guitar, and enter the fingerings.

These pieces feel to me more chordal (and therefore familiar) than the Renaissance pieces I have earlier transcribed, and I observe that a new chord form, the dominant 7th has crept in (e.g. Gavotte 1, bar 8).

Thanks to Gilles T for suggesting the composer, and to the transcriber of these pieces for doing all the hard work.

Available in the following formats: pdf (preview), pdf auto download, TablEdit and MIDI.

Happy playing!


  1. Dear Sir,

    It's my turn to thank you very much; I'm honnored that you found my suggestion good enough to delve so rapidly (and brillantly) in the wonderful repertoire of De Visee. I put a link to your site on the Delcamp guitar forum here :

    I would gladly contribute to your site but unfortunately my OS doesn't seem to support TablEdit. So keep on posting and I hope to have the pleasure to meet you someday.
    Best regards,
    Gilles T.

  2. Thank you again, Gilles, for your kind and helpful comments.

    I believe that TablEdit is available for Windows as well as for Mac OS. I publish tef format files so that others can edit and format as they wish.

    Might it be an idea if you wrote a blog, too? The more transcribers he merrier. It's pretty simple with Google Blogger; and, as I'm sure you, know there are other (free) music-setting programs available.

    I have only been studying this music for 3 months, but I have found that putting the transcriptions on-line has made me concentrate wonderfully, and produce something more rigorous than the scruffy pencilled MSS I started with.

    Best wishes, Harry

  3. Dear Harry,

    Thank you for your precious insights. I'm currently trying to make something out of the Tuxguitar software but with no satisfying results at the moment. Well, I'll "try again, fail better" as the great Sam Beckett put it...
    BTW : the portrait dispatched on the Visée page is not de Visée but Charles Mouton by François de Troye.
    Kind regards,

    PS : I made another mention of renaissance-ukulele.blogspot on the french Delcamp forum, see the thread "excellentes transcriptions pour low g" in the ukulele corner section.

  4. Thank you again, Gilles, for correcting my mis-attribution of the image (you can't believe everything you read on the web) – I have replaced it with a png of the tabs of one of the pieces, which his probably of more use to the reader. Also, thanks for posting the Delcamp link - I'm flattered.

    When I started blogging transcriptions last year I raised a question on the Ukulele Underground New Tabs page about music-setting software. The one I use is tabs driven, and not really wisiwyg, but probably most appropriate for my way of working. Another suggestion on the forum was MuseScore2 (free), which is wisywig-notation driven, but has a tabs option and really well-organaised help pages. They all seem to have a steep initial learning curve, though.

    Now, I must spend more time trying to play these pieces, rather than compulsively transcribing - but what better way to spend a wet winter's day when it's too nasty to garden? No doubt my activity on this blog will be directly proportional to the dreadfulness of the weather.

    With all best wishes, Harry

  5. Dear Harry,

    This mis-attribution is quite common for at least two reason in my opinion :
    1. Very little is known about the biography of de Visée, and there is no known portrait of him. Which is quite strange regarding his high rank at the court. The most reliable sources are to be found on Gerard Rebours' site :
    2. de Visée wrote a wonderful "Tombeau de Mouton", which may have triggered some confusion about the portrait of Mouton by François de Troy.

    Anyway, keep on playing and gardening, both are noble activities !
    By the way, is there any way to send you personnal messages ?

  6. Dear Gilles

    Firstly, humble apologies for the slow reply – we have been out and about visiting friends and family, and my phone is too primitive to permit web browsing.

    Thank you for the information and for the link: there is so much I have to learn. He is certainly a composer I must explore more fully in the coming months.

    I can be contacted at (replace the percent sign with a curly at-sign / escargot) should you wish to drop me a line. (Sorry about the subterfuge -– just trying to confuse bots.)

    All best wishes



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