I composed this piece for Queen Thora, on the day before she stepped down as Queen of Atlantia. Thora was Princess of Atlantia at the end of my tenure as Royal Bard. I have a habit of waiting until the end of a reign to compose instrumentals for our Royal patrons of the performing arts, as a sort of thank you for their service. I was particularly busy with mundanity toward the end of Queen Thora's reign, and unintentionally almost let the opportunity of composing a piece for Queen Thora pass me by. I remember dabbling with a number of different themes and dance forms in an effort to come up with an idea for a piece that captured a bit of Thora's personality. I finally decided on an upbeat bransle for the four-course (renaissance) guitar, and while 'noodling' around in the Dorian mode, the initial sequence of this piece materialized, and the rest of the composition came strangely quickly. The piece is an energetic bransle in D Dorian, that incorporates the semi-polyphonic style of the mid-1500s French guitarists, and ends with a Picardy third resolution (for an example of a Picardy third resolution in the renaissance guitar literature, see my transcriptions page for Adrian Le Roy's Quatriesme Branle de Bourgongne from 1551). The piece is in an AABB form with 8 measures per section, which is common among the bransles by the mid-1500s guitar and lute composers.
Queen Thora's Bransle (guitar solo)
Music by Johann von Solothurn (for renaissance guitar)
Staff notation and modern guitar tablature of Queen Thora's Bransle, by Johann von Solothurn
Staff notation for Queen Thora's Bransle, by Johann von Solothurn