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Lachrimae Pavan

John Dowland

Here is an arrangement of John Dowland’s renowned Lachrimae pavan, following the version in the ‘Dowland’ manuscript in the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington.

Rather than simply adapt the lute tablature directly to the guitar (assuming a renaissance lute in G, this would produce a version in E minor) I’ve chosen to set the piece in A minor. This approach uses the range of the guitar effectively, particularly in the third strain of the pavan, and allows the use of the 6th string as the lowest note on the 7-course instrument which the setting in the Folger manuscript requires. It also has the happy effect of reproducing the key of the vocal setting in Dowland’s Second Book of Songs (1600).

Lachrimae Pavan - cover Lachrimae Pavan - sample page
3 pages