Music John Dowland
by
K. Dawn Grapes
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 October 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0081

Introduction

John Dowland (b. 1563–d. 1623) was an internationally known English musician of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. He was one of the most renowned lutenists of his time, and his compositions were disseminated widely. In modern scholarship, he is often listed second in importance only to William Byrd. Dowland spent most of his career coveting a musical position in the English court, but was passed over by Elizabeth I. In his early years, he served English Ambassador Sir Henry Cobham in France. Later, he traveled throughout the German- and Italian-speaking lands. His most noteworthy and well-paid position was as court lutenist for Christian IV of Denmark (1598–1606). In his declining years, he finally obtained a post of limited importance in the employ of James I. His access to diverse courts has led to speculation as to his participation in intelligence activities. Dowland is also often associated with a sort of fashionable melancholy of the time, as seen in his gloomy lyrics and affective musical settings. During his lifetime, four collections of Dowland vocal works were published in London, the first going through more editions than any other English musical collection of the time. He also produced a volume of instrumental consort music (Lachrimae or Seaven Tears) and an English translation of Ornithoparcus’s theoretical treatise Micrologus. Individual works appeared in other printed collections, both in England and on the Continent. Most of his solo lute music survives only in manuscript, and some pieces are found with many variants. Relatively little is known of Dowland’s personal life. He earned a B. Mus. at Oxford in 1588 on the same day as Thomas Morley. His son Robert became a respected musician in his own right, succeeding John as one of the royal lutenists and publishing several volumes that included some of his father’s music and pedagogical theories. In spite of Dowland’s ongoing popularity with performers and scholars, only one comprehensive monograph on his life and works in English is currently available in print. Foundational modern research on the composer, however, stretches back to the 19th century and a steady stream of journal articles and dissertations related to Dowland and his works have appeared since the mid-20th century. Recent scholarship tends toward more narrow focuses, such as textual and musical analyses of individual works and close examinations of the political and cultural contexts in which Dowland’s music was produced.

General Overviews

Several notable sources attempt wide coverage of Dowland topics, allowing for a more complete overview of both the composer and his compositions. Early-20th-century research on John Dowland and his music was done mostly within the larger context of English Renaissance music, as is the case with Fellowes 1948 and Warlock 1970. In the second half of the century, Diana Poulton and John Ward emerged as Dowland experts. They were prolific contributors to lute and early music journals. Many of Poulton’s articles were synthesized in Poulton 1982, which stands as the only full-length comprehensive overview of Dowland and his works. Some scholars criticized Poulton for a lack of depth in musical analysis and for biographical assertions, including Ward, who often disagreed with Poulton’s conclusions. By reading both Poulton 1982 and Ward 1977, a reader can gain an in-depth foundational knowledge of the composer’s life and works with sometimes differing viewpoints. Kenny 2013 provides examples of more recent trends in Dowland scholarship. Holman and O’Dette 2009, Greer 2004, and Caldwell 1991 are excellent short introductions for those new to the subject.

  • Caldwell, John. The Oxford History of English Music. Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon, 1991.

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    Includes a clearly written, concise biography and general description of works (pp. 425–437). Also provides a specialized section on instrumental works (pp. 481–484). Along with Holman and O’Dette, this resource is one of the best starting points for those unfamiliar with the composer who wish to obtain a general background.

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    • Fellowes, Edmund Horace. The English Madrigal Composers. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1948.

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      In spite of its title, this early tome examines all genres of English renaissance secular music. General, but important, information on Dowland and his works is scattered throughout. Mainly of historical interest; readers unfamiliar with more recent scholarship should use caution, as some biographical information is now deemed questionable. Originally published in 1921.

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      • Greer, David. “Dowland, John.” In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Oxford University Press. 2004.

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        With an emphasis on biographical information, this article presents a well-rounded overview of Dowland throughout defined periods of his life. Especially good for those who want a short but concise introduction to the composer. Subscription required.

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        • Holman, Peter, and Paul O’Dette. “John Dowland.” In Grove Music Online: Oxford Music Online. 2009.

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          A very concise, yet complete, biographical sketch and description of Dowland’s works. Includes a useful bibliography, some musical examples, and a listing of editions and complete works. This source serves as a quality introduction to the subject. Subscription required.

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          • Kenny, Elizabeth, guest ed. Special Issue: Dowland Anniversary. Early Music 41.2 (2013).

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            Since its inception, this journal has provided a platform for early music discussions, including those related to Dowland. This special issue is devoted to the composer in commemoration of the 450th anniversary of his birth. It opens with seven articles by recognized Dowland scholars related to Dowland’s life and works.

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            • Poulton, Diana. John Dowland. 2d ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982.

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              The only full-length monograph on Dowland, this detailed primary source–based book presents a biography and commentary on musical works. A photo section includes facsimiles, portraits, and maps. Essential for Dowland researchers at all levels. Some of the author’s viewpoints are criticized in Ward 1977. First published in 1972.

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              • Ward, John. Special Issue: A Dowland Miscellany. Journal of the Lute Society of America 10 (1977).

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                This entire journal issue is devoted to the author’s Dowland research, often addressing perceived gaps in Poulton 1982. Of special interest are appendixes of primary source material. Errata is found in the next issue (1978): 101–104. Many updates in the second edition of Poulton 1982 are a result of this work.

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                • Warlock, Peter (Philip Heseltine). The English Ayre. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1970.

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                  Interesting as a historical specimen, this book demonstrates how much was already known about Dowland at its early original date of publication. Contains a nice biography and overview of Dowland’s works. Reprint of 1926 Oxford University Press edition.

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                  Biographical Studies

                  While large studies such as Poulton 1982 and Ward 1977 (cited under General Overviews) take a comprehensive approach to Dowland’s life and works, much of the research on the composer’s life appears in general books on English music or as shorter journal articles, often devoted to more narrowly focused studies of specific aspects of the composer’s life.

                  Biographical Detail

                  Though biographical information on Dowland is limited and sometimes open to interpretation, Dowland himself provided most of it in his printed music collections’ introductions and in a letter written at the conclusion of his Italian travels addressed to Sir Robert Cecil. This letter is quoted in many Dowland articles. One of the earliest was Squire 1896, important as a historical record of early Dowland studies. For other implications of the Cecil letter, see also Biographical Studies: Politics and Intelligence. Scholars since have been lured by the mysteries surrounding the composer’s life, with repeated attempts at discovery of additional biographical information. Often these efforts have resulted in conjecture and assertion. Flood 1906 is an early example of genealogical sleuthing to ascertain Dowland’s heritage. Flood’s circumstantial argument sparked the consternation of the musicological community (see Poulton 1982, pp. 21–26, cited under General Overviews). Hill 1963 and Frank 1983 assess primary source documents to offer suggestions for details of Dowland’s life, including particulars of his birth and death. Henriksen 1997 is an example of an interest-evoking study for which absolute confirmation will likely never be obtained.

                  • Flood, William H. Grattan. “New Facts about John Dowland.” Gentleman’s Magazine 301.2109 (1906): 287–291.

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                    Asserts that Dowland was born in Ireland, an idea temporarily accepted by Fellowes and others. The suggestion, however, has since been generally repudiated. The article is of historical importance, as it is frequently cited and was the impetus for a good deal of later debate. May be difficult to locate.

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                    • Frank, Priska. “A New Dowland Document.” Musical Times 124.1679 (1983): 15–16.

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                      This article details a manuscript receipt signed by Dowland in 1612/3, offers information on the occasion for which the document was issued, and assesses other musicians mentioned in it.

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                      • Henriksen, Olav Chris. “A Possible Likeness of John Dowland.” Journal of the Lute Society of America 30 (1997): 1–7.

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                        A circumstantial, but intriguing, iconographical suggestion that an engraving found on a 1605 Danish musical anthology title page may include an image based on Dowland’s likeness. If so, it would be the only known extant image of the composer.

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                        • Hill, Cecil. “John Dowland: Some New Facts and a Quartercentenary Tribute.” Musical Times 104.1449 (1963): 785–787.

                          DOI: 10.2307/950152Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          A short Dowland biography that serves as cheerleader for Dowland as innovator. Most notable is the examination of birth and death records and suggested scenarios for date discrepancies. Diana Poulton responds to flaws she finds in Hill’s logic in “John Dowland: Diana Poulton Replies,” Musical Times 105.1451 (1964): 25–27.

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                          • Squire, W. Barclay. “John Dowland.” Musical Times 37 (1896): 793–794.

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                            Part one includes an early reprint of the famous Cecil letter. The continuation, in volume 38 (1897): 92–93, attempts to identify the many persons mentioned in the letter, though some identifications have since been questioned or corrected. Also includes an early account of Dowland’s later years.

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                            Patronage

                            Overviews of Dowland patrons are found in Poulton 1963 and Price 2009. Examinations of four very different influential people with whom the composer is linked are the basis of Rooley 1983, Knispel 1996, Taylor 1992, Alexander 2006, and Rooley 2006. As a set, these articles demonstrate the composer’s ability to infiltrate diverse circles both within and outside of Elizabeth I’s court. Rooley 1992 explores the artist-patron relationship of the era.

                            • Alexander, Gavin. “The Musical Sidneys.” John Donne Journal 25 (2006): 65–105.

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                              This article provides information on connections between the Sidney family and notable English composers, including the relationship between Robert Sidney and both John and Robert Dowland.

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                              • Knispel, Claudia. “The International Character of the Lute Music at the Court of Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse.” Lute: The Journal of the Lute Society 36 (1996): 1–16.

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                                One of the clearest portraits of the German leader whom Dowland visited at least twice. The article also explores Dowland’s connection to the Kassel court and examines a lute piece the Landgrave sent Dowland that later appeared in Varietie of Lute-Lessons (1610).

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                                • Poulton, Diana. “John Dowland’s Patrons and Friends.” Lute Society Journal 5 (1963): 7–17.

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                                  Much of the information found in this article is included in Poulton 1982, cited under General Overviews. However, the compact size of this article makes it useful for those looking for a succinct discussion and description of Dowland patrons.

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                                  • Price, David C. Patrons and Musicians of the English Renaissance. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

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                                    This pioneering work on early English patronage contains many references to possible Dowland sponsors throughout. Also contains a valuable section devoted to manuscripts of the late 17th century (pp. 196–201, 204) and excerpts from Dowland dedications (pp. 215–219). Reprint of the 1981 edition.

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                                    • Rooley, Anthony. “New Light on John Dowland’s Songs of Darkness.” Early Music 11.1 (1983): 6–21.

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                                      Places Dowland’s songs of darkness within the cult of patron Lucy Harrington Russell, Lady Bedford.

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                                      • Rooley, Anthony. “On Patronage: ‘Musick, That Mind-Tempering Art.’” In Companion to Contemporary Musical Thought. Vol. 1. Edited by John Paynter, Tim Howell, Richard Orton, and Peter Seymour, 226–247. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.

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                                        This chapter uses the book dedications of Dowland, among others, to highlight the art of rhetoric and to explain the place of artist and patron within a Neoplatonic, pre-ordained cosmic hierarchy. The content is especially scholarly and most suitable for upper-division undergraduate students and above.

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                                        • Rooley, Anthony. “Time Stands Still: Devices and Designs, Allegory and Alliteration, Poetry and Music and a New Identification in an Old Portrait.” Early Music 34.3 (2006): 443–464.

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                                          A fascinating portrait of Sir Henry Lee, Queen Elizabeth I’s champion, as told through Lee’s own texts that were set to music by Dowland and subsequently appeared in print during the composer’s lifetime. Built upon information found in Taylor 1992.

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                                          • Taylor, Andrew. “The Sounds of Chivalry: Lute Song and Harp Song for Sir Henry Lee.” Journal of the Lute Society of America 25 (1992): 1–23.

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                                            Reconstructs the events surrounding the possible first performance of “His Golden Locks Time Hath to Silver Turned,” a song eventually printed in the First Booke (1597). Restated and expounded upon in Rooley 2006.

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                                            Politics and Intelligence

                                            Two important pieces of extant correspondence have been used to comment on Dowland’s potential participation in intelligence activities for England. These include a 1595 letter from Dowland to Secretary of State Robert Cecil and a 1602 letter sent by English agent Stephen Lesieur to Dowland during his tenure at the court of Christian IV. The Cecil letter is quoted in many Dowland studies because of its biographical detail and intriguing tone. A full transcription is easily accessed via Pinto 2004. The letter is presented in transcription with an accompanying facsimile in Poulton 1982, cited under General Overviews, and is the basis for Pinto 1997 and Pinto 2002. Leach 2009 touches on this letter and suggests that Dowland used connections to distance himself from perceived Catholicism. Peter Hauge was the first to introduce the Lesieur letter, detailed in Hauge 2001. Dowland’s relationships to those associated with differing political factions, including the circles of Elizabeth I, the Earl of Essex, Anne of Denmark, and Christian IV, are explored in Gibson 2007, Pinto 1997, Ruff and Wilson 1969, and Hauge 2011.

                                            • Gibson, Kirsten. “‘So to the Wood Went I’: Politicizing the Greenwood in Two Songs by John Dowland.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 132.2 (2007): 221–251.

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                                              Analysis of themes in the airs “Can She Excuse” and “O Sweet Woods” as woodland tropes related to exile, providing possible connections to Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. Ties to the Sidney-Essex circle are explored further in Gibson 2013, cited under Texts: Texts as Literature.

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                                              • Hauge, Peter. “Dowland in Denmark 1598–1606: A Rediscovered Document.” Lute: Journal of the Lute Society 41 (2001): 1–27.

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                                                A detailed description of the 1602 Lesieur letter. Speculates upon Dowland’s intelligence opportunities and on his relationships to important figures in the English Court. Similar articles by the same author include “Was Dowland a Spy?,” Early Music Performer 6 (2000): 10–13 and “Et brev fra diplomaten Stephen Lesieur til Christian IV’s lutenist John Dowland,” Magasin fra Det Kongelige Bibliotek 15.2 (2002): 3–13.

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                                                • Hauge, Peter. “John Dowland’s Employment at the Royal Danish Court: Musician, Agent—and Spy?.” In Double Agents: Cultural and Political Brokerage in Early Modern Europe. Edited by Marika Keblusek and Badeloch Vera Noldus, 192–212. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV, 2011.

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                                                  A general overview of Dowland’s duties in Denmark, his printed works from that time, and his possible extra-musical activities at the direction of the English government. Asserts that Dowland’s role was much larger than just a musician.

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                                                  • Leach, Elizabeth Eva. “The Unquiet Thoughts of Edmund Spenser’s Scudamour and John Dowland’s First Booke of Songes.” In Uno Gentile et Subtile Ingenio: Studies in Renaissance Music in Honour of Bonnie J. Blackburn. Edited by M. Jennifer Bloxam, Gioia Filocamo, and Leofranc Holford-Strevens, 513–520. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009.

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                                                    This article suggests the opening song in Dowland’s First Booke was an effort by the composer to associate himself with the very Protestant figures Edmund Spenser and book dedicatee George Carey, Baron Hunsdon. Also addresses the Cecil letter.

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                                                    • Pinto, David. “Dowland’s Tears: Aspects of Lachrimae.” Lute: Journal of the Lute Society 37 (1997): 44–75.

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                                                      Casts the first seven pavans of Lachrimae as a coded message to Queen Anne, from one Catholic convert to another, created with the hope of gaining royal favor. Also re-examines the Cecil letter in light of religious loyalties and distancing.

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                                                      • Pinto, David. “Dowland’s True Teares.” Lute: Journal of the Lute Society 42 (2002): 1–26.

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                                                        An in-depth examination of the famous Cecil letter, highlighting Dowland’s perhaps conscious choice to use vague wording that could be interpreted multiple ways. This article is an expanded version of the author’s earlier “John Dowland: Tears and Equivocations,” Lute News 56 (2000): 8–10.

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                                                        • Pinto, David. “John Dowland: Letter to Robert Cecil (1595).” The Philological Museum, Updated 2004.

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                                                          A full online transcription, with commentary, of the Cecil letter and its supplements.

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                                                          • Ruff, Lillian M., and D. Arnold Wilson. “The Madrigal, the Lute Song and Elizabethan Politics.” Past & Present 44.1 (1969): 3–51.

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                                                            Part II of this article, “The Lute Song from 1596–1632” (pp. 24–50), includes one of the few discussions of Dowland’s representation in William Barley’s unauthorized publications. The article also explores possible allusions to Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex in Dowland’s published volumes.

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                                                            Musical Editions

                                                            There is no complete edition of John Dowland’s musical works, but individual critical editions of works collected by genre (lutesong-airs, instrumental consort music, solo or duo lute music, and psalm settings) are available. As with so much of the early English repertoire, Edmund Fellowes prepared the earliest editions of Dowland’s four volumes of lutesong-airs (The First, Second and Third Bookes and A Pilgrimes Solace) in the 1920s, but these do not adhere to more recent editorial standards and should be approached cautiously for score study. Fellowes’s volumes were updated, revised, and reissued in the 1960s by Thurston Dart and David Scott, but, as in the original, they present only the cantus voice and lute tablature and transcription. In 1952, Dart and Nigel Fortune prepared a version with all four voice parts, but omitted lute tablature. Greer 2000 is the first edition to present the lutesong-airs with all original parts represented. Multiple performance editions are available of the solo and duo lute works, both for lute and arranged for other instruments, but quality and completeness vary widely. The most comprehensive and scholarly collection of solo lute music is Poulton and Lam 1981. Poulton 1973 contains Dowland’s psalm settings, a group of works largely overlooked by both performers and scholars. Dowland’s instrumental consort music from Lachrimae (1604) is found mainly in performance editions, all of which have limitations. The most notable ones are represented here, but the scope is incomplete in Giesbert 1954 and tablature is missing in Hunt 1985 and Sayce and Pinto 2004. Of the three, Sayce-Pinto is the most scholarly and Hunt is the most comprehensive. All three, however, are appropriate for score study or adapted performance.

                                                            • Giesbert, F. J. Lachrimae oder Sieben Tränen. Nagels Musick-Archive 173. Kassel, Germany: Nagels, 1954.

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                                                              Includes only the seven pavans of Lachrimae. The title page indicates that the edition is for violins or recorders and lute, but the music is fairly straightforward with full score transcription of cantus, altus, tenor, quintus, and bassus viol parts, lute tablature, and reduction. Useful for performance or study.

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                                                              • Greer, David, ed. John Dowland: Ayres for Four Voices. Musica Britannica 6. London: Stainer and Bell, 2000.

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                                                                The first complete scholarly edition of Dowland’s lutesong-airs to present all four voice parts, lute tablature, and lute reduction in original note values. This revision of the 1953 Dart-Fortune Musica Britannica edition raises the volume to modern editorial standards with a clearly defined editorial policy and thorough textual commentary.

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                                                                • Hunt, Edgar, ed. John Dowland: Complete Consort Music. London: Schott, 1985.

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                                                                  Performance edition scored for violins or recorders that offers the contents of Lachrimae with nine additional pieces from other sources. Includes both full score with lute transcription only and individual parts for each instrumentalist. Introductory remarks in English and in German, but no critical commentary.

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                                                                  • Poulton, Diana, ed. John Dowland: Complete Psalms for SATB. London: Stainer & Bell, 1973.

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                                                                    The only modern edition devoted to Dowland psalm settings, this collection includes ten tunes and twelve translations set by Dowland for Sternhold and Hopkins’s Whole Booke of Psalmes (1592), Ravenscroft’s Whole Booke of Psalmes (1621), and Mr Henry Noell his Funerall Psalmes.

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                                                                    • Poulton, Diana, and Basil Lam, ed. The Collected Lute Music of John Dowland. 3d ed. Kassel, Germany: Faber Music, 1981.

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                                                                      The most complete edition of lute works from both print and manuscript sources. Includes both tablature and transcription. Variants and commentary are provided. Useful additions include a timeline and a list of biographical notes on those named in the titles of Dowland’s works. First edition published in 1974.

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                                                                      • Sayce, Linda, and David Pinto, eds. John Dowland: Lachrimae or Seaven Teares. London: Fretwork Editions, 2004.

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                                                                        Presents all viol parts and lute transcription for Dowland’s instrumental consort collection, but not the original tablature. Includes a detailed list of extant copies, a history of the work, sections on iconography and symbolism, observations on the lute part, and press variants and errors. Critical commentary is commendable.

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                                                                        Facsimiles

                                                                        Photographic reproductions of all of Dowland’s print collections and treatises are available both online and in print. For those with subscription access, Early English Books Online (EEBO) offers round-the-clock viewing and downloading of facsimiles that previously were available only on microfilm and provides extensive bibliographic information on each original source. Some reproductions are also available through International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP), though resolution quality varies. Many university library collections include print editions of facsimiles that offer an alternative for viewing original printed and manuscript materials in an easy-to-read format. Some, such as Hunt 1958, Rastall 1974, Reese and Ledbetter 1973, and the Lute Society series offer added editorial commentary. Items in the Performers’ Facsimiles series simply reproduce the original prints.

                                                                        • Early English Books Online (EEBO).

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                                                                          Database access to digital copies of all volumes related to Dowland printed during his lifetime, including the three books of songs or airs, Lachrimae, A Pilgrimes Solace, Micrologus, Robert Dowland’s Lute-Lessons and Musicall Banquet, and Ravencroft’s Sternhold and Hopkins psalter. Subscription required.

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                                                                          • The First Booke of Songs or Ayres of Foure Parts (1613); The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres; The Third and Last Booke of Songs or Aires; Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares; A Pilgrimes Solace; Varietie of Lute-Lessons; A Musicall Banquet. Vols. 127–129, 209, 195, 159, 59. New York: Performers’ Facsimiles, 1994–1998.

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                                                                            Selected issues of an early music facsimile series printed in the 1990s. Includes reproductions of prints found in the British Library, Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Library of Congress.

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                                                                            • Hunt, Edgar, ed. Robert Dowland: Varietie of Lute-Lessons. London: Schott, 1958.

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                                                                              This reproduction of the 1610 original features an introduction on the basics of 16th-century lute playing and tablature reading. The editorial additions may be useful for introducing undergraduates to the lute, a renaissance instrument with which they may not be familiar.

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                                                                              • John Dowland.” IMSLP Petrucci Music Library. 2012.

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                                                                                The “collections” section of this page provides easy, unrestricted access to photographic reproductions of original Dowland prints contributed by mostly unknown users. Quality varies greatly and EEBO access as an alternative source is recommended where available.

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                                                                                • The Lute Society Facsimiles. 7 vols. Albury, UK: Lute Society, 2000–2010.

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                                                                                  Volumes 3, 4, 6, and 7 include manuscript works attributed to Dowland. Of special notice is volume 3, The Folger “Dowland” Manuscript (V.b.280), with its extensive introduction and critical commentary. The manuscript only is also available in the Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection.

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                                                                                  • Poulton, Diana, ed. English Lute Songs 1597–1632. Vols. 14–19. Menston, UK: Scolar Press, 1968–1970.

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                                                                                    This series presents reproductions of volumes housed in the collections of the then British Museum (now British Library) and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Includes two editions of The First Booke, as well as the second and third books, A Pilgrimes Solace, and A Musicall Banquet.

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                                                                                    • Rastall, Richard, ed. John Dowland: Lachrimae. Early Music Reprinted I. Leeds, UK: Boethius, 1974.

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                                                                                      Copy of the print housed at the Henry Watson Music Library, Manchester. Includes commentary by Warwick Edwards on extant versions and on the historical and social context of the original print.

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                                                                                      • Reese, Gustave, and Steven Ledbetter, eds. Ornithoparchus/Dowland: A Compendium of Musical Practice. New York: Dover, 1973.

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                                                                                        Side-by-side facsimiles of Ornithoparchus’s Musice active micrologus (1517, 2nd ed.) and Dowland’s English translation, Andreas Ornithoparcus His Micrologus, or Introduction: Containing the Art of Singing (1609). Includes a historical introduction and a list of variant readings in nine Latin prints published in Leipzig and Cologne from 1517 through 1555.

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                                                                                        Source Studies

                                                                                        Articles on Dowland’s manuscripts focus primarily on physical descriptions, content analysis, and provenance. Studies of Dowland’s printed editions place more attention on the printing process and those involved, from printer to composer to bookseller.

                                                                                        Manuscripts

                                                                                        Manuscripts held an important place in the dissemination and preservation of musical works of this time period. Articles featured in this section examine a diverse cross-section of manuscripts containing Dowland-attributed works and autographs. Craig-McFeely 1994 discusses multiple Dowland lute manuscripts in depth and positions them in respect to others of the era. Poulton 1975, Spencer 1975, Spring 2001, and Charteris 2011 are physical descriptions of specific manuscripts and their contents. Ward 1976 and Greer 1987 introduce readers to issues of authenticity and provenance, while Hogwood 2006 is unique in that it describes manuscripts with keyboard transcriptions of known Dowland works.

                                                                                        • Charteris, Richard. “New Connections between Eastern Europe and Works by Philips, Dowland, Marais and Others.” In Giovanni Gabrieli and His Contemporaries. By Richard Charteris, 3–27. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2011.

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                                                                                          Description of three Kraków manuscripts not indexed in Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), including one from the 1590s that, although having only three of five parts, may be the earliest known consort version of Lachrimae.

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                                                                                          • Craig-McFeely, Julia. “English Lute Manuscripts and Scribes 1530–1630.” PhD Diss., University of Oxford, 1994.

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                                                                                            A rich, well-rounded thesis that examines the contents of and scribal and dating issues related to 16th- and early-17th-century lute manuscripts, including those by Dowland. Especially useful are the appendixes, which contain valuable lists of Dowland manuscripts and their locations. Available via online open access.

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                                                                                            • Greer, David. “A Dowland Curiosity.” Lute Society Journal 27 (1987): 42–44.

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                                                                                              Introduces a manuscript once in the possession of Sir Hamilton Harty that includes an arranged version of a song attributed to Dowland, likely copied from a no longer extant manuscript. Serves as an example of the issues surrounding interpretation and authentication of manuscript sources.

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                                                                                              • Hogwood, Christopher. “The Keyboard Music of John Dowland.” In De Clavicordio: Proceedings of the VII International Clavichord Symposium, Magnano, 7–10 September 2005. Edited by Bernard Brauchli, 195–211. Magnano, Italy : Musica Antica a Magnano, 2006.

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                                                                                                Includes a valuable list of Dowland music found in 17th-century manuscripts as keyboard arrangements. Highlights that many musicians of the time were proficient both on lute and keyboard. Adapted from introduction and appendixes of Hogwood, ed. John Dowland: Keyboard Music. Laundon, UK: Edition HH, 2005.

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                                                                                                • Poulton, Diana. “Checklist of Some Recently Discovered English Lute Manuscripts.” Early Music 3.2 (1975): 124–125.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/3.2.124Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Descriptions of six manuscripts containing lute music, mostly held in private collections, that were “discovered” in the 1970s. The article contains different manuscripts than those found in Appendix I of Poulton 1982 and Ward 1977, both cited under General Overviews.

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                                                                                                  • Spencer, Robert. “Three English Lute Manuscripts.” Early Music 3.2 (1975): 119–124.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/3.2.119Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Introduction of three manuscripts, two then in the author’s possession and one in a private collection, all of which include works attributed to Dowland or works possibly written in the composer’s own hand.

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                                                                                                    • Spring, Matthew. The Lute in Britain: A History of the Instrument and Its Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                      This monograph on the history of lute playing in England and Scotland includes a succinct description of many manuscripts containing Dowland music (see especially pp. 111–138).

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                                                                                                      • Ward, John. “The So-Called Dowland Lute Book in the Folger Shakespeare Library.” Journal of the Lute Society of America 9 (1976): 4–29.

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                                                                                                        Study of Folger Shakespeare Library Ms. V.b. 280, which includes six possible Dowland signatures and tablature possibly copied by the composer. Addresses original ownership and provenance.

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                                                                                                        Printed Sources

                                                                                                        Dowling 1932, Smith 2003, Murray 2014, and Gibson 2007 each explore different aspects of Elizabethan print culture, the first three paying special attention to controversies surrounding the printing of Dowland’s Second Booke. Together they illuminate the environment in which Dowland promoted and presented his lutesongs to the public.

                                                                                                        • Dowling, Margaret. “The Printing of John Dowland’s Second Booke of Songs or Ayres.” The Library 12.4 (1932): 365–380.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1093/library/s4-XII.4.365Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          An early account, based on primary documents, of the legal battle between publisher George Eastland and printer Thomas East over the number of available copies of Dowland’s second song book. Cited in multiple later Dowland studies. The issue is further explored in Smith 2003, which should be read concurrently.

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                                                                                                          • Gibson, Kirsten. “‘How Hard an Enterprise It Is’: Authorial Self-Fashioning in John Dowland’s Printed Books.” Early Music History 26 (2007): 43–90.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/S0261127907000216Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Discusses use of the print medium by Dowland to create his own unique artistic persona, strengthen his reputation, and control quality of his works. Builds on the cultural tenets of print culture established in Smith 2003.

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                                                                                                            • Murray, Tessa. Thomas Morley: Elizabethan Music Publisher. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2014.

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                                                                                                              Dowland plays a prominent role in this Morley-centered monograph through demonstrated biographical and career parallels and comparisons of the two composers. Several sections revisit data from the Second Booke publishing.

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                                                                                                              • Smith, Jeremy L. Thomas East and Music Publishing in Renaissance England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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                                                                                                                The authoritative resource on the printer of Dowland’s second volume of lutesongs. Most notably re-examines, clarifies, and updates the actions surrounding the legal issues presented in Dowling 1932 (see pp. 41–43 and 108–110), providing a representative picture of the publishing process in Elizabethan England.

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                                                                                                                Works

                                                                                                                Dowland primarily composed three types of works: lutesongs (also called airs), instrumental consort music, and music for lute only. In terms of musical analysis, the first two of these categories have received the bulk of attention. Researchers interested in overviews and analyses of specific Dowland genres should also consult the entries in General Overviews.

                                                                                                                Vocal Works

                                                                                                                Dowland is often credited with setting the standard for the English lutesong-air, songs that were simultaneously set for solo voice with lute accompaniment and for up to four voices with or without lute accompaniment. Scholarship surrounding the four volumes of lutesong-airs published during his lifetime ranges from general descriptions to in-depth analyses. Spink 1974 is a good general overview of the genre and offers straightforward examples of work analyses, making it an apt place to start an exploration of the topic. Fellowes 1929 focuses on the compositions in their solo voice with accompaniment format (lutesong), which is representative of most early studies. Greer 1967 examines the songs as multi-voice partsongs (airs). Iovan 2013 serves as a comparison of the two types of textures. Leech-Wilkinson 1991 and Kelnberger 2010 pay special attention to Dowland’s use of the “lachrimae” theme within songs, while Rooley 2011 compares a Dowland setting with those by other composers. Analyses centered on the symbiosis of words and music are found in Texts: Musical-Textual Relationships.

                                                                                                                • Fellowes, Edmund Horace. “The Songs of Dowland.” Proceedings of the Musical Association 56 (1929): 1–26.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1093/jrma/56.1.1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  This article includes some of the earliest analyses of many Dowland lutesongs. Serves as an excellent general, historical introduction to the accompanied solo lutesong. Those inexperienced with early music theory should note that some analytical techniques are anachronistic and may want to consult Meyer 1999, cited under Theory and Pedagogy.

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                                                                                                                  • Greer, David. “The Part-Songs of the English Lutenists.” Proceedings of the Musical Association 94 (1967): 97–110.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/jmra/94.1.97Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    Transcript of a proceeding paper that examines songs published to be sung either as solo with accompaniment or alternately with parts for multiple singers, including those of Dowland. The article focuses on possibilities for multi-voice parts, which to the time of the paper had been largely overlooked.

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                                                                                                                    • Iovan, Sarah. “Music and Performative Poetics in Early Modern English Lyrics.” PhD Diss., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013.

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                                                                                                                      This dissertation presents some evocative ideas involving the lute as a musical voice separate from the human one. In wonderfully deep textual analyses, the author uses Dowland songs to illustrate differences between the accompanied solo voice and partsong. See especially pp. 38–54.

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                                                                                                                      • Kelnberger, Christian. Text und Musik bei John Dowland. 3d ed. Passau, Germany: Karl Stutz Verlag, 2010.

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                                                                                                                        Includes in-depth textual-musical analysis of songs found in Dowland’s four lutesong-air collections, with some focus on connections to members of Elizabeth I’s court and special emphasis on Dowland’s “lachrimae” motive. Also provides German translations for many Dowland lyrics.

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                                                                                                                        • Leech-Wilkinson, Daniel. “My Lady’s Tears: A Pair of Songs by John Dowland.” Early Music 19.2 (1991): 227, 229–233.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/XIX.2.227Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Includes analysis and comparison of Morley’s and Dowland’s settings of “I Saw my Lady Weepe” and places Dowland’s setting as an introduction to “Flow my Tears” in The Second Booke (1600). The main thesis is questioned in David Pinto, “Dowland’s Lachrymal Airs,” Early Music 20.3 (1992): 525.

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                                                                                                                          • Rooley, Anthony. “‘I Must Complain’: A Comparative Study in Variant Settings.” In Essays on Renaissance Music in Honour of David Fallows. Edited by Fabrice Fitch and Jacobijn Kiel, 233–248. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2011.

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                                                                                                                            Compares and contrasts three lutesong settings and one monodic setting of a Thomas Campion poem, including the one found in Dowland’s Third Booke. Also includes information on the Campion-Dowland relationship. Appropriate for undergraduate students, performers, and a general audience.

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                                                                                                                            • Spink, Ian. “John Dowland and the Lutesong.” In English Song: Dowland to Purcell. By Ian Spink, 15–37. London: B. T. Batsford, 1974.

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                                                                                                                              In this chapter, the author uses Dowland’s four volumes of lutesong-airs to demonstrate the development from partsong emphasis to solo voice vehicle in English vocal works with lute. He also claims a specific Englishness for Dowland’s music, discounting foreign influence. Very useful for those new to the genre.

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                                                                                                                              Lachrimae

                                                                                                                              The musical motive with which Dowland is most closely connected is four descending notes known as the “falling tear” or Lachrimae motive. Though the theme is used in multiple Dowland works, its most frequently analyzed appearances are in “Flow My Tears” (both the lutesong and solo lute versions) and as the basis of the seven opening pavans of Lachrimae (1604), Dowland’s only collection of instrumental consort music. Mies 1950 provides a solid overview of the Lachrimae theme and its use and is a good starting point for interested researchers. Gale and Crawford 2004 expands upon Mies 1950 and traces the motive throughout its many appearances. The most substantive examination of and only monograph on the Lachrimae collection is Holman 1999. Pinto 1997, Hauge 2001, and Pinto 2002 offer alternative readings of the 1604 collection to those of Holman. Rooley 1992 compares the setting of one of Dowland’s Lachrimae pieces to that of one of his contemporaries.

                                                                                                                              • Gale, Michael, and Tim Crawford. “John Dowland’s ‘Lachrimae’ at Home and Abroad.” Lute: Journal of the Lute Society 44 (2004): 1–34.

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                                                                                                                                A preliminary examination and comparison of the many appearances of the “Lachrimae” theme, from English manuscripts and prints to Dutch sources of the 1620s and even later German sources. Pairs well with Mies 1950.

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                                                                                                                                • Hauge, Peter. “Dowland’s Seven Tears, or the Art of Concealing the Art.” Dansk Årbog for Musikforskning 29 (2001): 9–36.

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                                                                                                                                  A systematic organizational, numerological, and philosophical analysis of the works in Lachrimae (1604), as well as a detailed musical analysis of its seven pavans.

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                                                                                                                                  • Holman, Peter. Dowland: Lachrimae (1604). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511605666Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    This short book offers background information on the Lachrimae collection and provides analyses of both the pavans and the other dance types included. The author theorizes that the pavans are a spiritual cycle based on different kinds of melancholy. Aimed at a general readership.

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                                                                                                                                    • Mies, Otto Heinrich. “Dowland’s Lachrymae Tune.” Musica Disciplina 4.1 (1950): 59–64.

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                                                                                                                                      This essay is foundational to later articles that examine the appearance of the “Lachrimae” theme in more depth, such as Gale and Crawford 2004, and should be read first.

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                                                                                                                                      • Pinto, David. “Dowland’s Tears: Aspects of Lachrimae.” Lute: Journal of the Lute Society 37 (1997): 44–75.

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                                                                                                                                        Analytic portions of this very intellectual article focus mainly on the Lachrimae pavans, exploring possible source material and inherent meaning. Presents new theories as to the origins of the Lachrimae collection.

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                                                                                                                                        • Pinto, David. “Dowland’s True Teares.” The Lute: Journal of the Lute Society 42 (2002): 1–26.

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                                                                                                                                          Offers an alternative hermeneutic reading of the seven pavans to that of Holman 1999.

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                                                                                                                                          • Rooley, Anthony. “A Portrait of Sir Henry Unton.” In Companion to Medieval & Renaissance Music. Edited by Tess Knighton and David Fallows, 85–92. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                            Includes an analytical and historical comparison of “Sir Henry Umpton’s Funeral” from Lachrimae and Anthony Holborne’s “The Countess of Pembroke’s Funerall,” providing suggestions for similarities, both musical and social.

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                                                                                                                                            Lute Solos and Duos

                                                                                                                                            There are remarkably few studies of Dowland’s solo lute music. His many extant lute works are primarily found in manuscripts, at times with uncertain authorship and often in many variants. Ward 1992 is a useful tool for placing Dowland’s lute works in historical context. Tayler 1992 is the most complete study of the lute works. Meadors 1981, Sheptovitsky 2010, and Nordstrom 1979 provide reconstructions and/or transcriptions of specific lute works. For descriptions of the sources, see Source Studies: Manuscripts.

                                                                                                                                            • Meadors, James. “Dowland’s ‘Walsingham.’” Journal of the Lute Society of America 14 (1981): 59–68.

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                                                                                                                                              Analysis and reconstruction of a work found in Cambridge University manuscript Dd. 9.22(C).

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                                                                                                                                              • Nordstrom, Lyle. “A Little Duet of John Dowland.” Journal of the Lute Society of America 12 (1979): 43–48.

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                                                                                                                                                Presents the theory that the piece “Complaint” is one part of what was originally a duet. The author provides a reconstructed realization for the supposedly missing part. Of interest to performers looking for new lute small ensemble repertoire.

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                                                                                                                                                • Sheptovitsky, Levi. “Two Chromatic Fantasias by John Dowland: Were They Composed as a Pair?” In Across Centuries and Cultures: Musicological Studies in Honor of Joachim Braun. Edited by Kevin C. Karnes and Levi Sheptovitsky, 291–314. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                  Examines common affect and thematic variants in Farewell and Forlorn Hope, even though the two pieces are not placed together in primary sources. The value of this article is in the analyses provided of the two works and the author’s transcriptions.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Tayler, David Stanley. “The Solo Lute Music of John Dowland.” PhD Diss., Berkeley: University of California, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                    One of the few sources that probes with great depth the authenticity and style of Dowland-attributed solo lute music. Contradicts many of the assumptions of Poulton 1982, cited under General Overviews.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Ward, John M. Music for Elizabethan Lutes. Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                      This volume presents an overview of solo lute music and lute song found in English manuscripts from 1558 to 1594. Dowland’s work is not featured, but this book is useful for understanding the historical-musical context in which Dowland created his early works.

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                                                                                                                                                      Texts

                                                                                                                                                      Dowland’s lutesong-airs hold interest not only for musicians, but also for scholars of English renaissance literature. While musicians often study Dowland lyrics in relation to their musical settings, others confine their focus to assessment of the verse alone as a literary subset.

                                                                                                                                                      Texts as Literature

                                                                                                                                                      Fellowes 1967 includes Dowland lyrics in a collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean secular English vocal work texts. Edward Doughtie was the first to concentrate on the texts of English lutesong-airs as a separate genre. Those new to Dowland lyrics should begin with Doughtie 1970, which provides not only textual transcriptions, but also commentary. Dowland did not name the authors of the texts he set, and most remain anonymous, though some lyrics have successfully been attributed to well-known poet-courtiers of the time, such as Fulke Greville and Philip Sidney. Clayton 1974 is an example of an author attribution argument. More recent articles range from those concerned with authorship to those analyzing poetic meter and form. Schleiner 1984, Fischlin 1998, Gibson 2012, and Gibson 2013 examine Dowland lyrics within the literary and social cultures of the time, while Davie 1981 provides possible additional lyrics for a printed Dowland song.

                                                                                                                                                      • Clayton, Thomas. “‘Sir Henry Lee’s Farewell to the Court’: The Texts and Authorship of ‘His Golden Locks Time Hath to Silver Turned.’” English Literary Renaissance 4.2 (1974): 268–275.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.1475–6757.1974.tb01301.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Argues that Henry Lee himself wrote the text of “His Golden Locks,” set in Dowland’s First Booke (1597) and found in subsequent sources.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Davie, Cedric Thorpe. “A Lost Morley Song Rediscovered.” Early Music 9.3 (1981): 338–339.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/9.3.338Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          Introduces a newly found setting, presumably by Thomas Morley, of “White as Lilies.” Regardless of authorship, this new version provides a possible concluding line of verse for one missing in Dowland’s Second Booke.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Doughtie, Edward. Lyrics from English Airs, 1596–1622. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.4159/harvard.9780674330306Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            Useful volume that contains an insightful introduction to airs of the era, a short biography of Dowland, and transcriptions of introductory texts and song lyrics from the first three books of songs (1597–1603), A Musicall Banquet (1610), and A Pilgrimes Solace (1612). Especially useful as an overview.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Fellowes, E. H. English Madrigal Verse 1588–1632. 3d ed. Revised by Frederick W. Sternfeld and David Greer. Oxford: Clarendon, 1967.

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                                                                                                                                                              Presents all of the texts of compositions contained within Dowland’s four print volumes of airs and Robert Dowland’s A Musicall Banquet. Also includes critical commentary. Useful to examine all texts side by side. First edition printed in 1920.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Fischlin, Daniel T. In Small Proportions: A Poetics of the English Ayre. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                A literary, non-musical approach to placing the English air within the history of English literature. Of use to those solely interested in textual components of Dowland lyrics. Caution is noted in the few instances of passing musical inference, as musicological foundation is at times lacking.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Gibson, Kirsten. “The Order of the Book: Materiality, Narrative and Authorial Voice in John Dowland’s First Booke of Songes or Ayres.” Renaissance Studies 26.1 (2012): 13–33.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.1477–4658.2011.00788.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  This article asserts that Dowland organized the works in his first songbook in a specific sequence in order to appeal to an elite audience of potential patrons.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Gibson, Kirsten. “John Dowland and the Elizabethan Courtier Poets.” Early Music 41.2 (2013): 239–253.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/em/cat024Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Discusses the attribution of selected Dowland lutesong-airs to members of Elizabeth I’s inner court and places each in its historical-political context. It would be especially helpful to read this source with Doughtie 1970 close at hand.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Schleiner, Louise. The Living Lyre in English Verse from Elizabeth through the Restoration. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1984.

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                                                                                                                                                                      This article includes several analyses of the poetic meter of Dowland texts and compares them with verses by other poets of the era.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Musical-Textual Relationships

                                                                                                                                                                      The relationship between Dowland’s music and his lyrics is a popular research topic that has been approached from multiple angles. Pattison 1969 and Maynard 1986 are good introductions to Dowland’s song settings within the context of the era in which he composed them. Brown 1968 and Doughtie 1986 examine the influences of other musical genres from England and the Continent on Dowland’s musical texts. Davis 1962 and Meyer 1999 offer specific musical-textual analyses. Jorgens 1982 and Wells 1984 are concerned with rhetorical gesture in Dowland songs.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Brown, Patricia. “Influences on the Early Lute Songs of John Dowland.” Musicology Australia 3.1 (1968): 21–33.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/08145857.1969.10414984Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        A reading of the symbiotic textual and musical structures within the songs of Dowland’s First Booke. Also comments on the influences that earlier English musical genres, especially the consort song, as well as French forms may have had on the composer’s earliest works to appear in print.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Davis, Walter R. “Melodic and Poetic Structure: The Examples of Campion and Dowland.” Criticism 4.2 (1962): 89–107.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Provides general musical-textual analyses for five Dowland songs, focusing on Dowland’s overarching method of thematic development rather than use of madrigalisms. Contrasts Dowland’s word-setting methodology with that of Thomas Campion.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Doughtie, Edward. “John Dowland and the Air.” In English Renaissance Song. By Edward Doughtie, 122–141. Boston: Twayne, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Re-examines the lutesong-air in relation to the French voix-de-ville and air de cour. Also presents musical-textual analysis of several Dowland songs to contend that the air was a better text vehicle than the consort song or madrigal. Should be read alongside Jorgens 1982. Written for a general audience.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Jorgens, Elise Bickford. The Well-Tund’d Word: Musical Interpretations of English Poetry 1597–1651. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                              An in-depth examination of the 17th-century English solo song as exhibitor of “musical humanism” and the capacity of well-set lyrics to transport texts to a higher realm through rhetorical gesture. Includes many examples using Dowland songs. Of interest to both musicologists and literature scholars.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Maynard, Winifred. “Dowland, Ferrabosco, and Jonson: Ayres and Masque Songs.” In Elizabethan Lyric Poetry and its Music. By Winifred Maynard, 113–149. Oxford: Clarendon, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                This source provides a good general overview of Dowland’s song-setting style. The book as a whole helps place Dowland among other poets and musicians of the era. Foundational for later more in-depth studies on specific works.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Meyer, Jeffrey Thore. “The Tonal Language of John Dowland’s Lutesongs: Character of the Airs and Constructive Use of Gestures.” PhD Diss., University of Minnesota, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the few studies of the musical-textual relationship of Dowland songs approached from a mathematical perspective deeply rooted in music theory. See especially pp. 207–226. Also includes in-depth musical analyses of six Dowland airs (pp. 344–434).

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Pattison, Bruce. Music and Poetry of the English Renaissance. Folcroft, PA: Folcroft Press, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Presents Dowland as the leader of the air school of composition and provides some general textual analyses of selected works. A good introduction to musical-textual relationships. Reprint of 1948 edition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Wells, Robin Headlam. “The Ladder of Love: Verbal and Musical Rhetoric in the Elizabethan Lute-Song.” Early Music 12.2 (1984): 173–189.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/12.2.173Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      An excellent introduction to Elizabethan rhetorical ideals as related to musical text setting. A perceived poetic-musical language is illustrated through works by Dowland, Rosseter, Campion, Daniel, and Jones. Reiterated in Wells 1994, cited under Melancholia.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Theory and Pedagogy

                                                                                                                                                                                      Dowland spent his career as a practicing performer, composer, and teacher. Therefore, it seems that there would be special interest in his philosophies of theory and pedagogy. Yet to date, these topics have received little attention from modern scholars, even though primary source material is available. Main sources include Dowland’s English translation of Ornithoparcus’s treatise Micrologus and his Other Necessary Obseruations belonging to the Lute, found in Robert Dowland’s Varietie of Lute-Lessons (1610) (both available as Facsimiles). Gale 2013 is a recent contribution on Dowland’s teaching methods. Kenny 2012 is a more general examination of music copying as a pedagogical tool. Meyer 1999 and Iovan 2013 are commendable dissertations that comment on Dowland’s musical theory. The items included in this section may serve as a starting point for future scholarship.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gale, Michael. “Dowland, Celebrity Lute Teacher.” Early Music 41.2 (2013): 205–218.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/em/cat027Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        This article uses two manuscripts to comment on possible Dowland pedagogical methods and the relationship between student and music master.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Iovan, Sarah. “Music and Performative Poetics in Early Modern English Lyrics.” PhD Diss., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          This well-organized dissertation includes a general overview of Dowland’s translation of Micrologus and its place in early-17th-century English musical treatises (pp. 9–17). Accessible writing style makes the document appropriate for a non-musical audience.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kenny, Elizabeth. “Revealing their Hand: Lute Tablatures in Early Seventeenth-Century England.” Renaissance Studies 2.1 (2012): 112–137.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1111/j.1477–4658.2011.00792.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            This source explores the effects of the dissemination of lute music, including Dowland’s, through manuscripts used as teaching aids.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Meyer, Jeffrey Thore. “The Tonal Language of John Dowland’s Lutesongs: Character of the Airs and Constructive Use of Gestures.” PhD Diss., University of Minnesota, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Presents some interesting ideas regarding the analysis of Dowland songs in a consciously non-anachronistic manner based on theoretical musical principles of the era. The author’s methods are informed by earlier writings of Jessie Ann Owens, Harold Powers, and Cristle Collins Judd, here applied to Dowland’s music.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Melancholia

                                                                                                                                                                                              The topics of melancholy and darkness have long been associated with Dowland’s musical compositions. Individual authors have addressed the subject in different ways, some reading the condition into his music, some believing the composer suffered from the malady, and others discounting these ideas. Manning 1944 is an early general commentary on Dowland and melancholy. Rooley 1983, through the use of primary source writings and images, lays out the background of the malaise culture that enveloped Elizabethan-Jacobean England. Rooley’s contention that melancholy did not mark Dowland’s personality, but was an artistic choice, is disputed in Poulton 1983 and supported in Rupp 2003. Wells 1985 and Wells 1994 challenge some of Rooley’s ideas of Hermeticism. Pinto 1997 examines the medical beliefs surrounding melancholy, while Pinto 2002 reads the condition specifically into Dowland’s Second Booke. Researchers interested in this topic will also want to consult Holman 1999, cited under Works: Lachrimae.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Manning, Rosemary J. “Lachrymae: A Study of Dowland.” Music & Letters 25.1 (1944): 45–53.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1093/ml/XXV.1.45Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                An early article addressing Dowland’s tendency toward melancholy, especially as related to the Lachrimae collection. Though much of the article is based on personal assertion, the author presents some interesting points from a biographical perspective.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Pinto, David. “Dowland’s Tears: Aspects of Lachrimae.” Journal of the Lute Society 37 (1997): 44–75.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Appendix II of this article (pp. 67–71) deals specifically with “Dowland and Melancholy.” The longer article probes Elizabethan medical beliefs about passions and humors, and the author argues why these were not the basis of Dowland’s pavans.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Pinto, David. “Dowland’s True Teares.” Lute: Journal of the Lute Society 42 (2002): 1–26.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    An appendix of this article presents a parallel reading of the Second Booke and parts of the biblical book of Job.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Poulton, Diana. “Dowland’s Darkness.” Early Music 11.4 (1983): 517–519.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/11.4.517Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      A short rebuttal of Rooley 1983, using additional primary source material to assert that Dowland was a life-long depressive.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Rooley, Anthony. “New Light on John Dowland’s Songs of Darkness.” Early Music 11.1 (1983): 6–21.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/11.1.6Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        An important primary source study of the cultural embrace of melancholia in Early Modern England and the malady as associated with Dowland’s music. Contends that melancholy was a consciously chosen artistic persona of Dowland. Partially disputed in Poulton 1983, reflected upon in Wells 1985, and accepted in Rupp 2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Rupp, Suzanne. “John Dowland’s Strategic Melancholy and the Rise of the Composer in Early Modern England.” Shakespeare-Jahrbuch 139 (2003): 116–129.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Argues that Dowland’s efforts at publishing and performance were marketing tools used in hopes of securing a court position and that his adoption of a melancholic persona was a sort of self-fashioning undertaken to raise public recognition of his works.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Wells, Robin Headlam. “John Dowland and Elizabethan Melancholy.” Early Music 13.4 (1985): 514–528.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1093/em/13.4.514Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A fresh look at Neoplatonic mysticism and its influence (or lack thereof) on the music and textual relationships in Dowland songs. Counterbalances some of the views expressed in Rooley 1983, placing Dowland’s lyrics within established conventions of the time.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Wells, Robin Headlam. “Dowland, Ficino and Elizabethan Melancholy.” In Elizabethan Mythologies. By Robin Headlam Wells, 189–207. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Considers Dowland’s melancholic output in light of the philosophical writings of Marsilio Ficino (b. 1433–d. 1499), as opposed to the Hermetic tracts proposed in Rooley 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Performance Practice

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Recent discussions of Dowland performance practice have focused on lute playing, as exemplified in Kenny 2013. Barbour 1953 addresses early temperament and lute tuning. Articles intended for singers interested in historically informed performance include Toft 1993, Kenny 2008, and Rooley 2007. McColley 1997 is a good general introduction for singers to the poetic settings of the era. Pilkington 1989 is useful as a bibliographic resource for vocalists assessing Dowland repertoire. Rastall 1997 is one of the few sources that directly addresses consort performance considerations of Lachrimae.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Barbour, J. Murray. Tuning and Temperament: A Historical Survey. East Lansing: Michigan State College Press, 1953.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Contains one of the few succinct descriptions of John Dowland’s tuning system (pp. 153–156), as described in Robert Dowland’s A Varietie of Lute-Lessons (1610).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Kenny, Elizabeth. “The Uses of Lute Song: Texts, Contents and Pretexts for ‘Historically Informed’ Performance.” Early Music 36.2 (2008): 285–300.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1093/em/can045Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Explores professional public performance possibilities for lutesongs in the 16th and 17th centuries, as opposed to use within private domestic settings.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kenny, Elizabeth, ed. Special Issue: Performing Dowland. Early Music 41.2 (2013): 295–329.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This special issue, offered in honor of the 450th anniversary of Dowland’s birth, includes five articles on lute playing that span topics from expressive playing to Dowland’s repertoire preferences. Each article is written by a well-respected contemporary lutenist.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • McColley, Diane Kelsey. Poetry and Music in Seventeenth-Century England. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Intended for those with an interest in poetry, but may be useful for performers who seek understanding of poetic-musical relationships. Dowland is only selectively referenced, but the author’s commentary can be applied to most of the composer’s lutesongs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Pilkington, Michael. Campion, Dowland and the Lutenist Songwriters. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This useful bibliographic resource is intended primarily for singers. Includes ranges, voice and accompaniment descriptions, modern edition placement and errata, and original voice placement for all songs found in Dowland’s printed collections. Part of the English Solo Song repertoire guide series.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Rastall, Richard. “Spatial Effects in English Instrumental Consort Music, c. 1560–1605.” Early Music 25.2 (1997): 269–290.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/XXV.2.269Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Part two of this article examines the most musical physical configurations for groups performing Lachrimae. Those interested in Dowland instrumental consort music will also want to consult Holman 1999, cited under Works: Lachrimae.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Rooley, Anthony. “Practical Matters of Vocal Performance.” In A Performer’s Guide to Renaissance Music. 2d ed. Edited by Jeffery Kite-Powell, 42–51. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Uses “Go Christall Teares,” from Dowland’s 1597 songbook, to introduce singers to performance practice considerations surrounding Elizabethan part-singing. Intended for performers with little experience singing Renaissance music.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Toft, Robert. Tune Thy Musicke to Thy Hart. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A volume for modern performers who aim to perform Elizabethan-Jacobean songs in a historically informed manner. Though the entire book is of value, the final section (pp. 127–154) is specifically dedicated to Dowland songs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reception and Influence

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Dowland’s influence on other artists appears in a wide variety of guises. Teo 1990 postulates that Dowland influenced at least one of his contemporaries who composed in a different genre. Subsequent generations recognized Dowland’s contribution to the nation’s musical heritage. Brown 2006 and Dwyer 2012 demonstrate the impact Dowland had on more recent famous Englishmen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brown, Richard. “Joyce’s Englishman: ‘That Het’rogeneous Thing’ from Stephen’s Blake and Dowland to Defoe’s ‘True-Born Englishman.’” In Joyce, Ireland, Britain. Edited by Andrew Gibson and Len Platt, 33–49. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                An illuminating reminder of James Joyce’s interest in John Dowland and Elizabethan music, citing instances of Dowland references in Joyce works.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Dwyer, Benjamin. “‘Within It Lie Ancient Melodies’: Dowland’s Musical Rhetoric and Britten’s Songs from the Chinese.” Musical Times 153.1919 (2012): 87–102.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Compares the compositional gestures used by Dowland and Britten, suggesting either conscious or unconscious influence of the earlier composer on his much later countryman.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Teo, Kenneth S. “Chromaticism in Thomas Weelkes’s 1600 Collection: Possible Models.” Musicology Australia 13.1 (1990): 2–14.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/08145857.1990.10420651Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Briefly posits Dowland as a model for Weelkes’s compositional choices, along with Thomas Morley and some of the Italian madrigalists. Directly compares several Dowland and Weelkes songs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Recordings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dowland is widely popular with performers, so many quality recorded performances of his compositions are available. Yet, in spite of the appearance of Dowland works in varied collections, there have been relatively few attempts to record complete sets of his works, even within genres. Collected Works (Dowland 1997) is the only comprehensive collection that encompasses all Dowland genres. The set includes a substantial booklet with liner notes and lyrics. Several significant collections of lute solos are available, including notable ones by Nigel North, Jakob Lindberg, and Paul O’Dette, all available through subscription access in Naxos Music Library. All these recordings feature multiple discs, aim for complete coverage of one or more given genres, and are available in both CD and mp3 format. There are many fine single-disc complete recordings of Lachrimae that are easily accessed. The one included here was chosen because of the leadership of Peter Holman, an expert on the collection. Sting and Karamazov 2007 is a documentary that offers performances and commentary for a lay audience. Savage 2013 traces the history of recorded Dowland music.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dowland, John. Lachrimae or Seaven Teares. Peter Holman, Paul O’Dette, and The Parley of Instruments. London: Hyperion, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A complete recording of Lachrimae that also includes three Dowland works not found in the original collection. Uses violins rather than viol consort, an option provided in the composer’s title. The order of pieces is altered from the original for aesthetic reasons explained in accessible liner notes by Holman.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dowland, John. Complete Solo Lute Music. Jakob Lindberg. 4 CDs. Djursholm, Sweden: BIS, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jakob Lindberg’s issue of ninety-two works was the first attempt at a complete Dowland recorded lute solo collection.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Dowland, John. Complete Lute Works. 5 CDs. Paul O’Dette. Los Angeles: Harmonia Mundi, 1995–1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Paul O’Dette performs 111 Dowland lute works. Includes quality liner notes by O’Dette and fellow lutenist Robert Spencer.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Dowland, John. The Collected Works. 12 CDs. London: Editions de l’Oiseau-Lyre, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This most complete Dowland collection includes lutesong-airs, consort music, sacred music, keyboard transcriptions, and lute only compositions. The set was compiled mostly from 1970s recordings by Anthony Rooley and the Consort of Musicke, but also includes performances by others including lutenists Anthony Bailes, Jakob Lindberg, Nigel North, and Christopher Wilson.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Dowland, John. Complete Lute Music. Nigel North. 4 CDs. Hong Kong: Naxos, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Eighty-six Dowland solo lute works edited from original sources and recorded in Canada from 2004 to 2007 by Nigel North. Available as a set or as individual thematic CDs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Savage, Roger. “This Is the Record of John: Eight Decades of Dowland on Disc.” Early Music 41.2 (2013): 281–294.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1093/em/cat031Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A valuable historical overview and assessment of Dowland recordings from the 1920s into the 21st century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sting, and Edin Karamazov. The Journey and the Labyrinth: The Music of John Dowland. DVD/CD. UMG-Deutsche Grammophon, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Intended for a wide, general audience. Places Dowland’s music as the popular music of its age with performances by a popular singer of today. Songs performed both as solo lutesongs and as airs and interviews with Anthony Rooley and David Pinto make this documentary useful for the undergraduate classroom.

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