Other UK Composers   

[Richard Allison now has his own page]


Baruch Bulman (fl. c1600) is known only for this fine pavan from the Euing Lute Book and May be the author of some choral works (Evans and Humphries, 1997).

Pavan [PDF] [MIDI] [XMLBulman Grade 07


Cuthbert Hely (fl. c1630)
 is the author of 8 pieces that appear in Lord Herbert of Cherbury’s Lute Book, all for 10-course lute in renaissance tuning. Little is known of his life (there is speculation that he may have been Lord Herbert’s Lute tutor), but the pieces (all but one preludes and fantasias) are of considerable beauty and complexity. The arrangements are made from the modern edition by Spring (1993).

Saraband [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Hely Grade 04
This piece (Sarebrand in the source) is a shorter and simpler piece than the others and makes an effective guitar solo. In the tablature source the piece is notated thus [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] with a one beat anacrusis, so that the strong beat is the first beat in each bar. I have re-notated the piece by making the first note beat 1 of the first bar; this is now the more usual way or notating sarabands, which are then played with the second beat as the strong beat.

Fantasia 4 [PDF] [MIDI] [XMLHely Grade 10
Four of Hely’s eight pieces are fantasias, and this one is no. 4 in
Spring’s (1993) collection. Spring describes Hely’s pieces as “…polyphonic in texture and harmonically and rhythmically complex. The fantasias…are mono thematic to an unusual degree and have unusual angular themes.” This arrangement succeeds in transferring the piece almost intact from 10-course lute to 6-string guitar; a few chords have been thinned out but most of the ‘hold’ signs in the tablature have been respected.

There is a recording of Jakob Lindberg playing these two pieces on his CD Jacobean Lute Music [BIS: BIS2055]; and Paul Odette plays several of Hely’s works on his CDs The Art of the Lute and Lord Herbert of Cherbury’s Lute Book (Harmonia Mundi).


William Hollis I can find no information about this musician whose name appears as the composer of a single pavan in the Cosens Lute Book. The title of the piece, written by the scribe in flowing Chancery script, looks like ‘John Blundcuills Last Farewell’ but, comparing the ‘c’ with the two letters ‘e’ in ‘Farewell’ I think the name is more likely to be ‘Blundeuills’. This is supported by a Soenmez (1993) who mentions this spelling and suggests it is cognate with the name ‘Blundeville’ that was fairly well-known in mediaeval and renaissance England. I notice also that Anthony Rooley (1975) evidently reached the same conclusion in compiling his 2010 CD of music from the Cosens Lute Book so I will adopt his usage and refer to the rather fine pavan as:

John Blundevilles Last Farewell [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Hollis Grade 07


William Lawes
William Lawes, English composer of the Civil War period. [More about…… ]

Mr Lawes Flat Tune [PDF] [MIDI] [XMLLawes Grade 06
This short piece was composed for viol consort, but transfers well to the solo guitar; the viol version can be found in Pinto (1995).

Sarabande  [PDF] [MIDI] [XMLLawes Grade 05
This is a transcription of a keyboard piece found in the Henry Playford’s collection Musick’s Handmaid (1678).


Martin Peerson (or Pearson) 
Martin Peerson (or Pearson) c1571 - 1651 was an English organist and composer. He was a choirboy of St Paul’s Cathedral under Thomas Mulliner in the 1580s and studied at Oxford University then worked at Canterbury Cathedral and became, in 1624 or 1625 organist and choirmaster of St Paul’s Cathedral (Jones and Rastall, accessed 03/01/2005; Whent, accessed 05/06/2008). The arrangements below are of his only known keyboard pieces which appear in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. The changes required to create guitar arrangements were simplifying and revoicing chords and condensing the octave span of the keyboard pieces.

Alman [PDF] [MIDI] [XMLPeerson Grade 08

The Fall of the Leaf [PDF] [MIDI] [XMLPeerson Grade 07 
There is a guitar arrangement of this piece by John Duarte (Duarte1965) which was for many years a favourite piece of mine. Duarte arranged it in the original key of D minor and omitted bars 17 - 24. To my mind it sounds better in E minor and seems easier to play; and in this key the missing section is incorporated without too may changes. To me this piece beautifully evokes the swirling winds of autumn, bringing leaves down from the trees.

Pipers Pavan [PDF] [MIDI] [XMLPeerson Grade 08
The John Dowland version of this piece is perhaps more familiar to guitarists and lutenists.

The Primrose [PDF] [MIDI] [XMLPeerson Grade 07 


John Whitfield 
A lutenist thought to have been active between 1588 and 1620. Only three of his works are known, two in the Pickering Lute MS (Daphne and Corridon and The English Hunt’s Up) and one in the Matthew Holmes MS Dd.2.11 (with the rather odd title Mr. Strangs Gregory hitts).


Other Pieces

Fansye (Newman) [PDF] [MIDI] [XMLNewman Grade 06

The piece is one of two in the Mulliner Book named as being by ‘Newman’ but not otherwise identified. The Fansye is written out as an organ piece, starting in two parts and mostly alternating between two and three parts, with a brief moment at bar 14 where it has four parts. This thinness of texture, the distribution of the parts and the limited note range in the piece made me think that the original may have been a fantasy for six course lute and led me to arrange it for guitar.

Subsequently, when I joined the Lute Society I discovered John Robinson's compilation of The Complete Lute Music ascribed to Master Newman in Lute News June 1996 . The first piece in the supplement is a Fancy from the Marsh Lute book by Newman - and it is this same piece. Robinson includes a longer, more elaborate, anonymous version of the same fantasy, also from the Marsh Lute Book and a similar fantasia from Italian manuscripts. He comments that the keyboard source in the Mulliner Book is in fact earlier than the lute sources and speculates (inconclusively) about the identity of Master Newman, based on evidence from 16th century court records

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