I wrote this piece for Queen Kara while I was Baronial Bard for the Barony of Black Diamond. William and Kara promoted dance throughout Their reign, which inspired my idea to compose a period-style dance piece for both of them. I composed Queen Kara's Galliard for the five-course guitar/vihuela, and set the piece to French Tablature, as would have been done in Period. Elements of the Galliards of John Dowland and Adrian Le Roy served as inspiration for the meter and some stylistic elements of the piece. I based the melody on a bardic piece I had written some years earlier, "Atlantia, My Home." This is in keeping with the tradition of John Dowland, who often composed dance pieces for the notables of his day, and also frequently used melodies from his dance pieces as melodies for separate lute songs, and vice versa (for example, Dowland's lutesong "Now O Now I Needs Must Part" shares its melody with his Frog Galliard). After completing the staff notation and French Tablature, I asked my Lady, Helena Isabelle de Soleure, to do a more presentable version of the period notation. Helena then took my Tablature notation and made it into a work of art. Helena's scribal work is shown below (top image) along with the staff notation (lower image). Lady Helena and I presented the scribal work to Queen Kara in Court at King's Assessment in 2014. This piece is also included in my guitar CD (click on the music player above to hear it, or check out my Bandcamp page).
Queen Kara's Galliard (in French Tablature)
Music and French Tablature by Johann von Solothurn
Scribal work by Helena Isabelle de Soleure
Layout of the piece is inspired by the mid-1500s printed french guitar books by Adrian Le Roy and Guillaume Morlaye. The piece is set to French Tablature, which is the period style guitar/lute notation used by Le Roy, Morlaye, Dowland, etc. The presentation above includes additional artistic elements (e.g. heraldry) added by Lady Helena to personalize this gift to Queen Kara.
My "composer's draft" of the period style French Tablature for Queen Kara's Galliard. Note how the bar lines aren't straight, and the lettering is subpar. It should be pretty obvious that my scribal skills are practically nonexistent... This is the draft that Lady Helena worked from to create the color version above. Her finished work is a significant improvement over my composers draft!
Queen Kara's Galliard (staff notation)
By Johann von Solothurn, for 5-course guitar/vihuela