Dear Ron and All,

I wasn't really questioning attribution, because attribution is just what we have (though sometimes conflicting, sometimes absent). I'm quite sure that "Lady Laiton's Almain" is a Dowland piece, also quite sure that Dowland composed and played lute solos. What is uncertain is whether the tablature versions we have represent what he composed/played.

Dowland's borrowings are another matter entirely - and very interesting. For example, Paul O'Dette has pointed out that one of Dowland's fancies borrows material from a keyboard setting of Felix namque by Thomas Tallis. And of course "Would my conceit" in the first book of songs is a borrowing from/tribute to Marenzio.

Best wishes,


On 16/09/2016 22:30, Ron Andrico wrote:
    Dear Martin and all:

    Interesting point of view, and one that seems to be based upon the
    theme that if the surviving evidence is scant, then we are obliged to
    discount the premise.  In in thesis, David Tayler posed a similar
    question of how much of the surviving music, mostly in manuscript form,
    can be firmly attributed to Dowland, and the answer was not much.

    Of course Dowland composed for the lute - and he sang and he most
    likely wore shoes although there is no firm evidence of any of the
    above.  But anyone who wades through the "collected works" will detect
    a musical personality that emerges, mainly via signature riffs (such as
    the Lachrimae motif) and cadential events.

    Whether the actual notes written in ms  or printed in his books were
    those Dowland meant to write, we'll never know for sure.  We do know
    that all players took inspiration (or purloined tunes) from diverse
    sources and I think the question might be stated, "where did Dowland
    filch his source material for the surviving lute music that was written
    down mostly by others?"


    From: <> on behalf
    of Martin Shepherd <>
    Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 3:01 PM
    To: Lute List
    Subject: [LUTE] composed for the lute?

    Hi all,
    You might find my latest blog interesting:
    Best wishes,
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