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Renaissance Solos for Mandolin

By John Holenko

Mandolin - Beginning-Intermediate
Composed by John Holenko. Early Music / Renaissance, Saddle-stitched, Style, Solos and Duets. Early Music/Renaissance. Book. 64 pages. Mel Bay Publications, Inc #98222. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.98222).

Item Number: MB.98222

ISBN 9780786651207. 8.75 x 11.75 inches.

Most of the music in this book comes from editions or manuscripts from England in the late 1500's. There are also a few French pieces. The cittern was popular in Italy, England and France. Aside from various tunings, there were two main kinds of instruments being played during the 16th and 17th centuries: the 4 course (four sets of doubled strings), and the 6 course cittern with several editions of music to go along with both. The pieces I have chosen for this book were all written for the 4 course instrument and fall into three main categories: dance music, song arrangements and free pieces. The free pieces are basically preludes that explore the melodic range of the instrument. As the title suggests these pieces can be played very freely and need not have a very strict tempo. The dance pieces are not really meant to be danced to, but rather take their form and rhythm from the popular court dances of the time. These can be played with a wide range of overall tempo, but once a tempo is chosen, should be strictly adhered to. The song arrangements are settings of popular songs of the time as well as more formal vocal settings. Care should be taken in making the melody clear and singing. Since the range of the cittern and mandolin are the same, John Holenko has kept the melodies intact. Because of the difference in tuning however, the voicing of the harmonies have been changed so as to fit on the mandolin.

  • A French Toy   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • A Horne Pype   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • A Jyg   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • A Psalm   Performed by Thomas Robinson
  • Bonny Sweet Robin  Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Branle de Bourgogne II   Performed by Adrien Le Roy
  • Callino  
  • For Two Citterns   Performed by Thomas Robinson
  • Gaiarde La Royne d Escosse   Performed by Hortulus Cytharae
  • Galliard  Performed by Richard Allison
  • Galliard Passemezo   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Galliard to the Pavane Passamezo   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Go From My Window  Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Grimstock 
  • I Lift My Heart To Thee   Performed by Thomas Robinson
  • Kemp's Jig 
  • Maister Earles Pavane   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Old Hunt is Up  
  • Passing Measures Galliard   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Pavane  Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Pavane Passemezo   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Prelude 1  Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Prelude Ii  Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Prelude Iii  Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Prelude IV   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Pretty Nancy  
  • Rogero 
  • Sick Sick and Very sick   Performed by Thomas Robinson
  • The Frogge   Performed by Thomas Robinson
  • The Miller  Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • The Voyce   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Tinternell  
  • What You Will   Performed by Anthony Holborne
  • Wilson's Wilde 
  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 4

    Mike McBride
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    Difficulty Level:
    Early intermediate
  • December 13, 2007 Renaissance Solos, needs CD to go with it.

    I wish they would have a CD with the book so I knew how the songs were supposed to sound. I read music, but if I have never heard a sond, I can never get the timing right from the written notes alone. I think this would be a very...

    excellent book if it could have a soundtrack accompanying it.

    Read More
    18 of 37 people found this review helpful.
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  • 5

    Albert Wang, D.M.A.
    Chicago, IL
    Difficulty Level:
  • June 14, 2007 Outstanding early music transcriptions!

    This collection of early music transcriptions for mandolin would be a required addition to any mandolinist interested in early music. The transcriptions are idiomatic and sound authentic. If you play mandolin at Renaissance fairs, you should be armed with this book!

    18 of 38 people found this review helpful.
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