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Renaissance Music For Guitar

LuteWilsons's Wilde ( c1590)

Like much of the music of the Rennaissance the composer of Wilson's Wilde is unknown. The song comes from a 16th century lute book known as the "Folger Manuscript." It is currently held at the Folger Shakespeare Library. It was owned by James Dowland. He seems to have been a descendent of lutenist composer John Dowland. Many of the pieces are signed by John Dowland. Two are signed by lutenist composer John Johnson. Since Johnnson passed away in 1594, the date of printing has been placed as approximately 1590. A facsimile of the entire manuscript has been placed online at the Dowland MS. Project.

For this arrangement, the piece has been transcribed for the standard tuning of the guitar. Lute tablature is tuned to "G" instead of "E." The original had no time signature. It has been rendered to both 3/4 and 6/8 time. It feels more like 6/8. The tune is pretty straightforward. With the exception of one note the entire piece can be played in the first position.

Syncopation is a process in which music is played ahead of the beat. By delaying the bass notes in Wilson's Wilde an interesting syncopation occurs. If we were reading this in 3/4 time the bass would be played on the second half of the beat. This effect is what puts the swing in ragtime and jazz. Play both pages together, return to play the original first eight measures.

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