Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Dowland: Fantasie (P 6)

Facsimile of the first four lines of P 6 in the Matthew Holmes Lute Book in Cambridge University Library.
Not an easy read: all respect to the transcribers own whose work I have drawn.

Well, there seems to be quite a theme developing in recent posts: transcribing fantasies by Dowland that are not amongst the easiest to play. This is the last fantasie that I'll do for a while: in future I'll search Mr D's oeuvre for pieces that are less challenging and more fun (?).

If you are at all familiar with Dowland's work, you will notice a motif that he used in many pieces transcribed here in bars 5/6, 7/8, 14 and 40.

The first 22 bars fitted well onto the ukulele, but in later sections I had to do some jiggery pokery. So, in bar 23 I had to end with a rising scale so that I could then start the 2-octave descending scale in bars 24 and 25 an octave higher than the lute version and fit the full run on the uke. Then, in arranging bars 30 – 35 I had to mess around with the octaves and swap the voices, and I must admit that I'm not too enamoured of the result.

As in the previous fantasie we have a section (pp 37 – 39) of arpeggios (or partial ones), although they do not always lend themselves to being played by just holding down a chord. In bar 44 I am very tempted to leave out the second voice, as the piece concludes with a sort of cadenza all on the top string, before ending on an A-major chord.

Available free in the following formats:
  • pdf (quick preview.)
  • pdf (instant download)
  • TablEdit
  • MIDI (very unsubtle, but don't let this spoil your appreciation of Dowland's composing.)
Good luck!

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