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Wednesday, 17 February 2021

"Dowlandia": A new e-book anthology of John Dowland's music

Here at last for the discerning ukulele player.

A compendium of 15 beautiful solos for low-G ukulele, based on John Dowland's lute solos.

Only $15 US per download, and all proceeds go to two wonderful charities.

Update 20 March 2021: total monies dispersed equally between the two charities is now £470 UK! 

Heartfelt thanks to our kind purchasers.                           


How to buy

Click HERE or on the "Buy Dowlandia" tab above.


All about Dowlandia

In this blog over the last few years I have been making arrangements of compositions of the late Renaissance so that they can be played on the low-4th ukulele and Renaissance guitar. 

They were originally made for my own use as a learning project. I have posted quite a few of them, in draft, here on this blog, both for the interest of other players and to seek helpful comments.

At the end of 2020 fellow uke enthusiast Hugh McElveen made me an offer I couldn't refuse – to use his book design skills to make an e-book of more polished arrangements, to be sold for charity. 

If you are familiar with this blog, you will not be surprised to learn that we settled on John Dowland's lute solos, in the fullest possible settings. 

And here it is ...

The contents page
You can see the first line of each piece HERE

We had two aims: to make the music more accessible to the ukulele player in a convenient format, and to benefit two charities close to our hearts:
  • Oxfam, the worldwide charity that needs no introduction, and
  • The Survivor Girl Ukulele Project, which helps girls rescued from distressing circumstances to recover through playing the ukulele. More info here: www.sgub.org

So, by buying and downloading this book (we hope to publish in a few days) you'll have 68 pages of fun, and help two great charities too. 

How to buy

Click HERE or on the "Buy Dowlandia" tab above.

This is a new adventure for me, so: fingers crossed!

You can hear Paul Mansell playing a wonderful version of one of the pieces on his Ukulele Sessions HERE. Look for Episode 29.

Paul Mansell

Here are some reviews of an earlier draft from gifted ukulele luminaries

Brandon Acker

" Although Dowland was one of the most famous lute virtuosos of his day, most music-enthusiasts are still woefully unaware of his wonderful and often melancholic music.  I think this is largely due to the fact that the lute itself, the instrument on which Dowland wrote, is still relatively obscure. That is why I'm thrilled to see this well-arranged compilation of some of Dowland's "hits" arranged for the ukulele, which has become increasingly popular over the last decade.  I hope this edition will bring this wonderful Renaissance music into many more homes so more may appreciate its charm!"

Rob MacKillop

"I have nothing but the highest praise for what you have achieved here! I am astonished at how much of the original scores you have retained. I have played all of these pieces on the lute, and they are mostly easier to play on the ukulele in your settings. No mean feat. I have been against using a Low 4th string, which often turns a good ukulele into a poor guitar, but here you make excellent use of it, placing this volume in the No.1 spot for Dowland ukulele arrangements. I am very happy to endorse it."

Paul Mansell

Dowlandia by Harry Thomas is an excellent addition to the now growing repertoire of Lute music arranged for the Ukulele.  It takes a wonderful mixture of Dowland's well known pieces (such as Tarleton's Resurrection and Mr Dowlands Midnight) and mixes them with less known pieces such as Coranto and Farwell Fantasie.  All of the pieces are cleverly arranged for Low G Ukulele, in such a way that they are playable and enjoyable, without veering too far from the originals. Harry clearly understands both the lute and ukulele, their limitations and their advantages, and has written a book that I am sure any ukulele player will enjoy."

Tony Mizen

"Harry has done a brilliant job in creating these clear, easy- to- follow arrangements. I enjoyed playing through them, knowing that they are not only making a valuable contribution to the ukulele repertoire but also directly improving the lives of others through two wonderful humanitarian charities."

Sam Muir

" The book is beautifully presented and packed full of music and information about the music. The arrangements are skilfully crafted to suit the ukulele while maintaining the essence of Dowland. While not easy to play this collection is sure to become an essential resource for classical ukulele players." 

More reviews here