Duet: Toy for Two Lutes by Robinson

Original Tab Included in this Edition.

Original Tab Included in this Edition.

Toy for Two Lutes
Thomas Robinson (c.1560–1610)
Arranged for two guitars (originally for two lutes)
Source: The Schoole of Musicke (1603)

Free PDF Edition:


  • Fingered Edition
  • Un-fingered Edition
  • Original Tab Attached at End

The fingered edition tunes the 6th string to D and the 3rd string to F#. The F# on the 3rd string (as it would have been on a lute) is well worth it as many of the chords can be played with ease when played on the open 3rd string. Please consider donating to the site to help me keep the free sheet music coming.  


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  1. Hi – Thanks! This looks like a fun piece and I know a couple of people who might want to try it out with me. I am currently studying Dowland’s “The Shoemaker’s Wife, a Toy,” and have been wondering exactly how a “Toy” is defined from the viewpoint (I’m assuming it’s a musical form) of Renaissance music. I’ve been all over the web and unable to find an answer.. hope you can fill me in… again thanks,


  2. I’ve checked various sources as well and none of the address the “toy” as a musical form. Several toys I know of are in different meters, so it’s not likely a dance form.

    I think a literal interpretation of the word is valid here. A “toy” may just be a thing to play and to play with. It may represent a typical, lightweight piece of musical whimsy. Not to be confused with the more serious works of a composer. That’s my best guess.

    • Thanks, Steve for trying to answer my question. I suspect your guess is as good as I’m going to get – and will take it into account while learning my part for it.


  3. Well, you asked a great question that’s gotten my curiosity. I’m still going to continue to look into this and see if there are better explanations for “toy” and “dump” and various other descriptors found in English lute tabs.

    I’ll post if I find anything of interest.

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