Monday, 2 October 2017

Dowland: Mrs Vauxes Gigge, preceded by A Coy Joy (P 57, P 80)

Will Kemp dancing a jig (gigge) from Norwich to London, 1600
(From Wikipedia)

Well, my last four postings were pretty hard to play, so I thought I'd go for a few Dowland pieces that were more accessible. When I played through the lute tabs of the first, Mrs Vauxes Gigge (on an old uke with the 3rd string lowered a semitone to match the intervals on a lute) it all seemed rather familiar. Looking back through my transcripts, I found that it was an elaboration of A Coy Joy, aka A Coy Toy, which I had posted here earlier.

So, what I have done is to combine the two pieces to make it clear how Mr D developed a simple piece by adding new divisions (runs of short notes) and by varying the harmonies. I have made a stab at indicating the main chord names above the tabs, which may be anachronistic but does help analysis of the harmonic structure.

There are two main themes:
a, a 4-bar theme, set in Dm,
b, a 4-bar theme, set mainly in the relative major (F), and
c, a 6-bar theme mostly in F but ending in D.
In A Coy Joy we have sections a1, b1 and c1
In Mrs Vauxes Gigge we have sections a2, a2', b2, b2', c2, c2'.
(The primes indicate variations.)
In the score I have indicated section names above the notation.

Please don't let this analysis put you off. The Joy is pretty easy, and the Gigge not too bad as one knows where it comes from. As usual, one has to work finding the most efficient fingerings, which are not always obvious. I haven't indicated them here as we all have different preferences, and I must admit that I find it hard enough to take in the notes without looking at all those extra little numbers in the score.

You can find the transcriptions here:

I hope you have fun playing them.

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