Clear or Cloudy

The song "Clear or Cloudy" by John Dowland was originally published in 1600, in Dowland's Second Book of Songs or Ayres.  The piece was originally published as a lute song, with staff notation for the vocal part, and french tablature for the lute accompaniment.  I arranged the piece in a five-course guitar alfabeto arrangement, in the style of Montesardo (1606).  This alfabeto arrangement represents my interpretation of how a Dowland piece might have been played on the five-course guitar, in period, by a capable musician who could read lute/vihuela tablature in addition to playing the guitar.

Facsimile of "Clear of Cloudy" from John Dowland's second book of lute songs, published in 1600.

Alfabeto Arrangement of Clear or Cloudy, in the style of Montesardo (1606)

Below, is the alfabeto arrangement of Clear or Cloudy.  The top line is the voice part, lower line is the guitar part in modern staff notation.  Beneath the guitar staff notation is the alfabeto arrangement, in the style of Montesardo (1606).  See my guitar/lute/vihuela notation page for more information on reading Montesardo's alfabeto,  With a simple line, chord names (upper and lower case), Montesardo indicated the chord to be strummed, the rhythm of the strum, and whether the strum was an upstroke or downstroke.  

Clear or Cloudy Alfabeto Arrangement (p.1)

Alfabeto arrangement by Johann von Solothurn

Original Lutesong by John Dowland (1600)



Clear or Cloudy Alfabeto Arrangement (p.2) 

Alfabeto arrangement by Johann von Solothurn

 Original Lutesong by John Dowland (1600)

To read the alfabeto notation above, an alfabeto chart is required.  Each alfabeto book or manuscript usually had its own alfabeto chart.  My arrangement of "Clear or Cloudy" uses the alfabeto chart and notation of Montesardo (1606).  The images below depict Montesardo's alfabeto.

Facsimile of Montesardo (1606) alfabeto chart

Staff notation and modern guitar tablature of Montesardo (1606) alfabeto chart.

 Transcribed by Johann von Solothurn.

Additional Documentation for "Clear or Cloudy" Alfabeto Arrangement
If you're really interested in more info about this song, feel free to download the document below. Additional information about period tablature and alfabeto-style arrangements can be found in the guitar/lute/vihuela notation section of this website.
Documentation for Clear or Cloudy Alfabe
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.1 MB

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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