Complete Solo Lute Works of John Dowland

Just got this yesterday and it’s a beauty! Nothing new, it’s a 1998 edition but I didn’t get around to buying until now. It’s an expensive one but I love reading right off the French tablature and couldn’t pass up getting the complete solo works of John Dowland (1563–1626) [see Dowland’s wiki]. Note that this edition (Diana Poulton & Basil Lam) is the solo works not the songs and consort music. I was worried because it said paperback but it’s super nice quality and will certainly hold up. If you’re interested you can see some pictures below of the cover and some of the tablature/notation. I’ve also added some vids at the end.

If you’re not familiar with French tablature it’s somewhat the same as modern tab but letters are used instead of numbers. ‘a‘ is the open string, ‘b‘ is the first fret etc etc. This edition also gives the music in keyboard grand stave so it’s ultra clear what the notes are. The notation also aids in understanding, more precisely, what is happening in the various voices and how long notes might sustain if fully realized.

Note for guitarists: If you haven’t played much Dowland, make sure to tune the 3rd string to F# and add a capo to the 3rd. The capo will put you in the correct tuning/pitch register and it gives the modern guitar a mellow shimmer and sound that blends well with the music, you don’t get those bright open-strings.

“This is a comprehensive and exhaustive collection of Dowland’s compositions for the Lute, with critical commentaries, lists of sources and biographical notes, as thoroughly compiled and edited by Diana Poulton and Basil Lam.

The music is presented in both keyboard notation and Lute tablature.” via Amazon

You can buy it via Amazon Collected Works of John Dowland, it’s pricy but well worth it!

The Collected Lute Music of John Dowland
Diana Poulton (Editor), Basil Lam (Editor)
343 pages,Faber & Faber; 3 Reprint edition (December 1998)

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