Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Dowland: Loth to depart (P 69)

Edward Matthew Ward: Sir Thomas Moore says goodbye to his daughter
(I admit that this image is anachronistic – the event took place about 75 yrs before Loth to Depart was written.)

A bit sooner than I promised in my previous post, here is a ukulele version of Dowland’s lute composition Loth to Depart, P 69 (in Gm). It is possibly the most difficult that I have arranged –Diana Poulton refers to it as a graduation piece for lutenists. I have maintained the native fingering as much as possible, so this ukulele version is set in Am.

Structure: the piece consists of a 16-bar theme followed by 6 variations, each deviating further from the original.

Harmony: the piece makes much use of the Emajor chord (in this version) but, as we don’t have a low E available, the voicings I have used are necessarily unrooted, using either G# or B in the bass. You may find a few discords elsewhere, but I have checked back and they seem to have been intended by Mr D.

I have mostly omitted LH fingerings (information overload!), but there are a few indicated where it is more efficient to deviate from the ‘defaults’.

Where there are overlapping runs of notes (divisions) I have tried to distinguish them in the notation, but this is not always feasible in the tabs; nevertheless, I have tried to make the tabs as full as possible, so that they can be used independently.

Some notes may be shown longer than it is possible to play (especially where an open string on the lute is represented by a fingered note on the uke), so just regard them as something to aspire to.

Bars 65 and 67: the divisions were distressingly fast, so I have used simplified versions in the main score, and added more complete versions at the end. Good luck!

Available to download in the following formats:
pdf (notation + tabs), 8pp
pdf (tabs only), 5pp
MIDI (60 bpm - sounds slow at first, but just wait...)

I wish you joy.


  1. Thanks again. There's no way I can play this now, but I have a folder of things I'd like to play someday.


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