The Lute Society: Towards Lute Grades

Towards a lute grade syllabus, by Martin Eastwell

(first printed in Lute News)

The question of whether there should be grade exams for the lute has been much discussed over the years. The concept of lute exams raises many philosophical and practical questions. Nobody would say that one had to play both baroque and renaissance lutes to gain grade exams, but would one be allowed to specialise further, say, playing only 6-course lute? How many different tablature systems would one be required to be able to sight read? And what about reading from staff notation, or realising a figured bass? If accreditation from one of the national examining bodies were sought, they would insist on theory exams at least at grades 5 and 8—but what is the point of theory exams based on knowledge of 19th century orchestral music? Surely a knowledge of renaissance modal theory would be more to the point. What are grades trying to measure in any case? Is a player who plays simple music beautifully a lesser lutenist than someone who plays technically more challenging music but without much musical feeling?

Yet there is clearly merit in the idea of at least a notional grade syllabus—not least in that it would help beginners find out repertoire of a suitable level for them, and would force intermediate and more advanced players to confront their technical problems. Martin Eastwell, and a number of other lute teachers, sketched some ideas for a syllabus in Lute News 43 and 44. Now, at Chris Goodwin’s request, Martin Eastwell has suggested grade syllabus lists, starting by grading the Lute Society’s own student publications, the works of Dowland, and some of Francesco’s fantasias. Martin insists that if children are to be encouraged to take lute grade exams, much more very easy material would need to be specified. For the benefit of overseas members, the grades commonly administered by the UK examining boards run from grade 1 to grade 8; a distinction in grade 8 is the basic qualification to undertake a performance degree at music college.

Does anyone have any comments on these suggested gradings?

Grade 1

58 Very Easy Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 1999):

1. Calleno
2. The Owld Man
3. The Bagpipes
4. A Hornepippe
5. The Motlye
6. Buffons

40 Easy to Early Intermediate Pieces (The Lute Society, 2002)

2. Passomezzo Antico
23. Madonna Katerina
24. Christ ist Erstanden
29. Ich Traw der Lieben Woll

Hans Newsidler, Das Erst Buch, 1544 (The Lute Society, 1998)

3. Ein Niderlendisch tentzlein
5. Willing und trew an alle rew

Grade 2

58 Very Easy Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 1999)

7. Sellingers Round
8. O What it is to Love
9. The Blacksmith
10. The Hunt’s up
11. Robin Reddock
12. Robin Hoode
16. The Hay
18. I am my Lordship’s Grees Man
28. Trenchmore
29. Trenchmore
32. La Conciera
33. Lightlie Love Ladies
34. The Spanish Pavan
35. The Earl of Darbyes Caraunta
36. Passa Measure Galiarde
46. Pauls Galiarde
52. The Passe a Mesures Pavion

40 Easy to Early Intermediate Pieces (The Lute Society, 2002)

1. Lo Spagnoletto
3. Il Villanicco
7. La Pavaniglia
2. Il Bianco Fiore
11. A Jigge
13. Il Tordiglione
25. Und Wer Er Nit Erstanden
26. Zart Schoenste Fraw
27. Der Hoffdantz [Schwartz Knab]
28. Der Hofdantz [Nachtanz to Schwartz Knab]
30. Nach Willen Dein
33. Von Edler Art

70 Easy to Early Intermdediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2009)

1. Primum Fundamentum
7. Volte Jungker Hans
21. Ballet

114 Early to Intermediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2010)

3. Courante
40. Dantz Meidlein - Nach Dantz
46. Ick claeg Venus Dieren
72. Daer is een Leeuwerck doot gevhallen
79. Daer is een Leeuwerck doot gevhallen
93. Passamezzo
96. Met dat shcuijtgen al over dat meertgen
98. Met dat shcuijtgen al over dat meertgen

Hans Newsidler, Das Erst Buch, 1544 (The Lute Society, 1998)

1. Hastu mich genumen
2. Unser koechin kan auss der massen kochen wol
4. Entlaubet ist der Walde
6. Ein guter Hofftantz
7. Wo gehnd die Bamberger Meidlein hin wo gehns sie hin nach gras
8. Es wolt ein jeger jagen wolt jagen vor dem holtz
10. Unser koechen kan auss der massen kochen wol
11. Ich klag den tag
12. Lieblich hat sich gesellet
16. Der Zeiner Tantz
17. Der Petler Tantz
24. Ich het mir ein Annelein fuer genumen

Lessons for The Lute (The Lute Society, 1983)

1. Greensleeves, duet
2. Pastyme
3. Galliard, Rocha el fuso
4. The Antycke

Grade 3

58 Very Easy Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 1999)

13. Larouse
14. All Floures in Brome
15. Bella Gioiosa
18. Baloo
19. Passe Velours
20. La Rocha el Fuso
21. Il Conto dell Orco
22. La Tirantine
23. Passamezzo d’Italie
24. Passamezzo
25. Quadro Pavin Galliard
26. Rogero
27. Wilson’s Wile
31. El Bataino
37. Blame not my Lute
38. The Paduane
39. Tiente Alora
40. Fortune
41. Tu andera col bochalon
42. La devota del cormio
44. La Lonbarda
45. Tantarra Chomartello
47. Canson Englesa (Lusty Gallant)
48. The Hunte Ys Uppe
49. Greene Sleves
50. La Bertonicha
51. A Galiard
53. Will ye go Walk the Woode so Wilde
54. Passemeze
55. The Passemeze Pavin
56. La Bressanina
57. Lost is my Liberty
58. A Toy for Monica Bishop

40 Easy to Early Intermediate Pieces(The Lute Society, 2002)

4. A Pavan
5. A Gallyard
6. Il Cesarino
9. De La Courte
10. Robin
12. La Bassa delle Ninfe
15. Hast du Mich Genumen
16. Il Canario
20. Curranta [La Volta]
22. Zucht er und Lob
31. Wo Soll Ich Mich Hin Keren
32. Nach Lust
34. Il Pastor Leggiadro
37. Go Merely Wheele
38. King’s Maske

70 Easy to Early Intermdediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2009)

2. Schaefer Tantz - Toden Tantz
3. Pompernickell
6. Branles
8. Branle de Village
10. Las Las Porquoy
11. Margraffen Dantz
12. Spagnoletta
13. Currente
15. Gott Behuet Dich Herchen
16. Hoffdantz Pfaltsgraff Friderichs
18. Fortune A Bien Couru Sure Moi
19. J'Attends Secours
22. Fortune Helas Pourquoy
23. Ballet
24. Corrente
27. Galliarda
29. Balletto
34. Ruggiera Ballet
40. Corrente
41. Dantz Meidlin Dantz
48. Prelude
59. Der Rolandt

114 Early to Intermediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2010)

9. Ballet
21. Courante
28. Ballet
29. Passamezzo moderno
30. Pavana Hispanica
32. Untitled
42. Recercar
49. Butz beiss mich nicht - Nachdantz
50. Courante
58. Galliard on passamezzo moderno
62. Dact Unse grete
63. Courant L'Onesta
67. Preambulum
69. Courante - Packington's Pound
70. Ballet
71. Galliard - Gregory Huwet
74. Studenten Dantz
75. Ach Amor Dantz
77. Bei mir mein Hertz
103. Galliarda on Passamezzo moderno
105. Passamezzo antico
108. Les Bouffons

Hans Newsidler, Das Erst Buch, 1544(The Lute Society, 1998)

9. Scaramella
13. Ich wais mir ain stoltze Muelnerin
14. Der Ziegler in der ave mit seiner hawen
15. Der Nunnen Tantz
18. Der Hund mir vor dem Licht umb gat
19. Mein gmued und pluet
20. In liebes prunst
21. Elslein liebstes Elslein mein
25. Es taget vor dem Holtze
26. Nach willen dein nich dir allein
28. Auff Erd lebt nit ein schoenes Weib
29. Ic sega din
31. Je suis ami aux
34. Languir Mefais
41. Adieu amours de fons suis lus trop

Lessons for The Lute (The Lute Society, 1983)

5. Pavane
6. Galliarde, Pierre Attaingnant
11. Der Kuenigen Tantz
12. Der Hupff auff
13. Untitled
14. Francesco da Milano, fantasia Ness. no. 31
16. Francesco da Milano, fantasia Ness. no. 41

Francesco da Milano fantasias / ricercars

Ness nos. 4, 7, 11, 10, 31, 41

Solo lute works of John Dowland
(Poulton and Lam numbers)

P 61 Orlando sleepeth
P 62 Fortune
P 79 What if a day?
P 80 A coy joy
P 83 Dowland’s Galliard
P 84 Hasellwood’s Galliard

Grade 4

58 Very Easy Pieces for Renaissance Lute(The Lute Society, 1999)

27. The Division of Rogero before
43. La Castalda

40 Easy to Early Intermediate Pieces (The Lute Society, 2002)

14. L’Alemana d’Amore
17. Leggiadra Marina
18. La Biscia
19. Allmane R. Allison
21. La Cortesia
35. Curranto
36. Jigg by John Bull
39. Downeright Squyre
40. La Catena d’Amore
32. Glori armi
33. In te domine speravi

70 Easy to Early Intermdediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2009)

4. Baurenn Dantz - Schaffer Dantz
5. Ballet Albo
9. Ballet
14. Branle de Poitou
17. Balletto
20. Jungfrauw Catherin Dantz
25. Branle d'Arras
26. Ballet Rutteno - Ballo Polacho
28. Die Alte Schwiger - Nachdantz
30. Corrente
31. Fundamentum
32. Balletto de Florenza
35. Tant Que Vivray
36. Benzenauwer
37. Jungfrauw Christina Dantz
39. Ballet
43. Branles
45. Fantasia
46. Ballet
47. Bohemisch Stuecklein
49. Bergamasca
51. Piva in Soprano
53. Junkeren Dantz
54. A Little Fantesie for the Tuning of the Lute
55. Ballet
57. Fantasie
60. Herzog Augusti Dantz
62. Galliard Graff von Swartzenburg
63. La Souris
64. Der Hessen Dantz
65. Balletto - Spagnoletta

114 Early to Intermediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2010)

1. List und Neid
2. Courante
4. Wir lieben sehr
5. Allemande
6. Gar lustig ist spazieren gehen
7. Untitled
10. Courante
13. Courante Sa beaute extreme
14. Galliard Minor
18. Lady Rich Galliard - John Dowland
20. Galliard
22. Ballet
24. Margraff Carle Dantz
26. Courante
31. Ach was seindt
39. Soll sich den in lieb
41. Ach wie bin ich von hertzen betrubt - Bara Fosters Dream
43. Courante La Signolle
55. Praeludium
60. Anglica Doy - Wilson's Wilde
65. Untitled
65. Untitled
66. Balletto - Charles Lespine
76. Courante Schaefferin
78. Chorea Anglica
87. Courante
89. Ballo Francese
90. Courante
91. Mascarade Englesa
100. Padoana La Forze de Hercule
104. Passamezzo moderno
106. Galliard Rocha el Fuso
109. Fuchse beiss mich nicht
111. Les Bouffons

Hans Newsidler, Das Erst Buch, 1544 (The Lute Society, 1998)

22. Ein Meidleyn sagt mir freuntlich zu
23. Nun gruess dich Gott mein truserlein
27. Ach lieb mit Leid wie hast den bscheyd
30. Du Fiensla
35. Las sil Covent

Lessons for The Lute (The Lute Society, 1983)

7. Pavana alla Ferrarese
10. The Honsok, duet
15. Francesco da Milano, fantasia Ness no. 40
17. Rogero
19. The Queen’s Treble

Francesco da Milano fantasias / ricercars

Ness nos. 2, 3, 6, 8, 12, 14, 22, 23

Solo lute works of John Dowland
(Poulton and Lam numbers)

P20 Dowland’s Galliard
P 21 John Dowland’s Galliard
P 22 Dowland’s First Galliard
P 43 The Lady Rich’s Galliard
P 50 Mrs White’s Thing
P 52 Mrs Nichols Almain
P 55 Mrs Winter’s Jump
P 56 Mrs White’s Nothing
P 63 Complaint
P 65 Lord Strang’s March
P 78 A Piece without title
P 81 Tarleton’s Jig
P 85 Galliarda Dulandi 39
P 99 Mr Dowland’s Midnight
P 100 Coranto

Grade 5

Hans Newsidler, Das Erst Buch, 1544
(The Lute Society, 1998)

36. Fons perte
37. O dulx Roveoir
38. En sperant
39. Dame de Beaulte
40. Mon petit Nose
42. Lede partir

Lessons for The Lute
(The Lute Society, 1983)

8. Calata ala Spagnola
9. Piva, Joanambrosio Dalza
18. Zouch his March

70 Easy to Early Intermdediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2009)

38. Exercitium
42. Hennen Dantz
44. Praeludium
50. Courante
52. Heckherlin
56. Ce Facheux Forz
58. The Third Branle of Malte
61. Branles de Bourgoingne
66. Bathori Tantz
67. Balletto La Pace
68. Branles Double Francese
69. Galliard Anglesa
70. Galliard

114 Early to Intermediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2010)

8. Ballet
11. Fresch'e Galliard
12. Courante L'Avingnonne
15. Courante
17. Wie solstu doch mein liebstes sein
19. Courante
23. Courante - Julien Perrichon
25. Balletto
27. Praeludium
33. La Venetianella
35. Aenhoort mijn geclach o bloeijen de Jeucht
26. Wie nach einer wasser quelle - Psalm 42
38. Mein gemuth ist mir
44. Courante
45. Galliard
48. Courante - Mercure d'Orleans
51. Ih gehe Schon
52. Ballet
53. Praeludium
54. Ballet
56. Ade ich muss mich schneiden
57. Ain Adelisches Bildelein - Proportio
59. More Palatino - En me revenant
61. Galliard gantz beruembt - The Frog Galliard - John Dowland
68. Allemande
73. Allemande
82. Praeludium
83. Der Churlander Courante
84. Jungfrauw Grettas Dantz
85. Courante
86. Gagliarda on Passmezzo moderno
88. Courante
94. Der Scharer Dantz
95. Entre vous viellardt
97. Ein Schoener Dantz
99. Salterello il Bergantin
101. Saltarello on passamezzo antico
102. Bettler Dantz - Nach Dantz
107. Saltarello Bergantin
110. Passmezzo antico - Saltarello
112. Fantasia
113. Fantasia bellissima - Giovanni Pacaloni
114. Fantasia

Francesco da Milano fantasias / ricercars

Ness nos. 5, 9, 13, 15, 16, 17, 20

Solo lute works of John Dowland
(Poulton and Lam numbers)

P 16 A Pavan
P 26 Sir John Souch’s Galliard
P 27 A Galliard
P 30 A Galliard
P 32 Mrs Vaux Galliard
P 35 A Galliard
P 39 Round Battle Galliard
P 42 Can She Excuse
P 48 Lady Laiton’s Almain
P 49 An Almain
P 60 Come Away
P 77 Mrs Norrish’s Delight
P 88 Piper’s Galliard
P 90 The Frog Galliard
P 92 Galliard Fr. Cutting
P93 Del Excellentissimo Musico Jano Dulando
P 97 The Queen’s Galliard

Grade 6

70 Easy to Early Intermdediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2009)

33. Fantasia 5

114 Early to Intermediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2010)

16. Wo soll ich mich hinkehen
47. Courante
64. Englischer Leufherger - Mal Sims
80. Bergamasca
92. Le content est riche

Francesco da Milano fantasias / ricercars

Ness no. 1, 18, 19, 21

Solo lute works of John Dowland
(Poulton and Lam numbers)

P1/1a A Fantasie
P 4 Farewell (an In Nomine)
P 9 Semper Dowland Semper Dolens
P 10 Solus cum sola
P 12 Dr Case’s Pavan
P 13 Resolution
P 15 Lachrimae
P 17 The Lady Russell’s Pavan
P 23 The Frog Galliard
P 24 Galliard
P 25 Melancholy Galliard
P 29 Giles Hobie’s Galliard
P 31 A Galliard on Walsingham
P 41 The Most Sacred Queen Elizabeth her Galliard
P 45 The Right Honourable The Lady Clifton’s Spirit
P 46 Galliard to Lachrimae
P 58 The Shoemaker’s Wife
P 59 Tarleton’s Riserrectione
P 65 Lord Strang’s March
P 70 Robin
P 74 A Fancy
P 75 A Dream
P 76 A Galliard
P 82 A Galliard
P 91 Suzanna Galliard
P 95 La Mia Barbara
P 96 And Almand
P 98 Preludium

Grade 7

114 Early to Intermediate Pieces for Renaissance Lute (The Lute Society, 2010)

34. Passomezzo antico - Variatio - Charles Bocquet
37. Ballet
81. Praeludium

Solo lute works of John Dowland
(Poulton and Lam numbers)

P 5 A Fancy
P 8 Piper’s Pavan
P 11 Mrs Brigide Fleetwood’s Pavan alias Solus sine sola
P 14 Mr John Langton’s Pavan
P 18 A Pavan
P 19 Captain Digorie Piper’s Galliard
P 23a The Frog Galliard
P 28 A Galliard on a galliard by Daniel Bacheler
P 33 Mr Langton’s Galliard
P 34 Mignarda
P 38 The Right Honourable The Lord Viscount Lisle, His Galliard
P 42a The Right Honourable Robert Earl of Essex, His Galliard
P 44a The Right Honourable Ferdinando Earl of Derby, His Galliard
P 53 Mrs Clifton’s Almain
P 54 Lady Hunsdon’s Puffe
P 64 Go Form My Window
P 68 Aloe
P 89 Can She Excuse
P 94 Pavana Johan Douland

Grade 8

Solo lute works of John Dowland (Poulton and Lam numbers)

P 2 Forlorn Hope Fancy
P 3 Farewell
P 14a Sir John Langton’s Pavan
P 40 The Most High and Mighty Christianus the Fourth, King of Denmark, His Galliard
P 47 Sir John Smith, his Almain
P 47a Smythes Allmayne
P 67 Walsingham
P 69 Loth to Depart
P 71 A Fantasia
P 72 A Fancy
P 73 A Fancy