Adrian Le Roy - Premier Livre (1551)

Adrian Le Roy (1520 - 1598) composed for both the lute and guitar.  Le Roy was also a music publisher, along with Robert Ballard, in Paris.  Le Roy and Ballard were the Royal music printers for Kings Henri II, Charles IX, Henri III and Henri IV.  4 books of Le Roy's guitar music were printed in the 1550s, including his Premier Livre de Tablature de Guiterre... in 1551.  Premier Livre is a book of 4-course guitar music, and includes fantasies, pavans, galliards, almans, and bransles by Le Roy.  The book also includes Le Roy's guitar settings for several chansons by other composers.  The music is written in French Tablature. 

Contents of Le Roy's Premier Livre de Tabulature de Guiterre (1551)

See below for some of the music from Le Roy's Premier Livre, including recordings of the music, facsimiles of the original pieces, and a video of me playing one of Le Roy's Branles de Bourgongne.  I've also included my transcription of the Branle to staff notation and modern guitar tablature.  Also, just in case you play hammered dulcimer... there's a hammered dulcimer arrangement of the Branle below, just for you!

Fantasie Seconde - Adrian Le Roy (1551)

Click on the player above to hear Le Roy's Fantasie Seconde from my SCA guitar album (Whilst My Guitarra Weepeth Gently) or check it out on Bandcamp.

Facsimile of Le Roy's Fantasie Seconde from Premier Livre (1551)

Quatriesme Branle de Bourgongne - Adrian Le Roy (1551)

Facsimile of Le Roy's Quatriesme Branle de Bourgongne.  The bransle begins on the bottom half of the first page and continues on the first line of the second page. 

Here's a little video of me playing Quatriesme Branle de Bourgongne.

Transcription of Le Roy's Quatriesme Branle de Bourgongne to staff notation and modern guitar tablature, by Johann von Solothurn.  Note in the second measure (and a couple of other places in the piece) that playing the high C and A notes on the first two strings,  while holding the bass F note on the 4th string is quite a stretch, especially while playing quick passages on the modern guitar (the modern guitar has a longer string length than the renaissance guitar).  The options for dealing with this stretch are 1) capo up a few frets to where fret spacing becomes more manageable, or 2) play the C note on the third string.  Since I frequently lose capos, I often go for option #2!  See the video above where I do, in fact, use option #2.

Hammered dulcimer arrangement of Quatriesme Branle de Bourgongne.  I collaborated with Mistress Azza, who actually plays hammered dulcimer, to produce this arrangement.

Johann von Solothurn

Johann is a bard and Court Musician in the Kingdom of Atlantia.  Johann enjoys sharing his art.  If you would like Johann to assist you in organizing or judging bardic/music competitions, teaching classes, or if you would like him to drop by your camp and perform, just send him a note (email below).  

Johann von Solothurn

Barony of Black Diamond

email/contact Johann here