Guillaume Morlaye - Quatriesme Livre (1552)

Guillaume Morlay was a French composer for the lute and renaissance guitar.  Morlaye was also a music publisher, and three of his books for renaissance guitar survive today.  Morlaye's guitar books were printed in a series, along with the guitar book by Simon Gorlier (discussed here).  Morlaye's Quatriesme Livre...en Tabulature de Guyterne... was published in Paris in 1552.  The book contains renaissance guitar instrumental music, including various fantasies, dance music and Morlaye's guitar settings of chansons (instrumental only).  Quatriesme Livre also includes several renaissance guitar pieces composed by Morlaye's teacher, lutenist Albert de Rippe (de Rippe's pieces are properly credited within the book).  The book is mostly dedicated to the 4-course guitar, but the final 9 pieces in the book are written for the cittern (cistre).  The majority of the pieces in Quatriesme Livre use the same set of tuning intervals as the top 4 strings of the modern guitar (described by Bermudo in 1555 as temple a los nuevos/"new tuning"), although there are a few pieces that require the 4th (lowest) course to be tuned down a whole step (Bermudo's temple a los viejos/"old tuning").  The pieces requiring the "old tuning" are marked as  a corde availed.  To play the "old tuning"  pieces on the modern guitar, the 4th string of the guitar should be tuned to C.  The music printed in Morlaye's book is in French Tablature.  

Cover page of Morlaye's Quatriesme Livre (1552)

Branle - Guillaume Morlaye (1552)

Facsimile of one of Morleye's branles, from Quatriesme Livre (1552).  Note that the branle is in an AABB form, with a 16-measure A section and 8-measure B section.

Transcription of branle referenced above, from Quatriesme Livre (1552).  Transcribed to staff notation and modern guitar tablature, by Johann von Solothurn.

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

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