Thomas Robinson – lutenist, composer and teacher to the Royal family – was one of the most prominent musicians of his time. In 1603 he published his lute method ‘The School of Musicke’, one of the greatest works of its kind, which helped advance lute technique in England during the Renaissance period. I’m not sure what the title Grisse His Delight means, but it may have been a dedication to a patron or possibly something personal. Whatever its meaning it is a lute fantasy: more specifically, a two-part canon.
I don’t want to go into too much detail on matters of form, but in a canon the harmony is derived from a single melodic line cleverly arranged among the different voices. You can see this more clearly by looking at the score. When the bass voice enters at the end of the first bar it plays exactly the same melody as the top voice, but one octave lower. This overlapping of the same melody forms the harmony as the piece continues. The bass stops following the top voice in bars 6 and 7 to prepare for the cadence in bar 8. The opening section is repeated at the end of bar 8. Here, the use of passing notes in the top voice gives a slightly different feel; the bass line remains virtually the same as before. In strict canons the melody is kept exactly the same, but this piece is a fairly free canon where the second voice does not repeat exactly the first voice but ‘imitates’ it. This kind of looser treatment is more evident with the introduction of a new theme in bar 17. As the piece progresses the writing becomes much more florid, with imitation occurring at intervals other than the octave.
One of the most difficult sections of the piece is in bars 23 and 24. In bar 23 the 2nd and 4th fingers are required to jump across strings simultaneously. To make this jump more secure, remember when placing the chord on the first beat of bar 23 to also place the 1st finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string even though it’s not to be played – see the main illustration. This will give the left hand an anchor when making the jump to the chord on the second half of the second beat and is required in the next chord anyway – see picture 2. Note also the 3rd Finger hovering over the 3rd fret of the 5th string. The 3rd finger simply frets the C on the 5th string, the 4th finger is lifted and you have the C major chord on the third beat – picture 3. Picture 4 shows the first chord of bar 24: the 1st finger is still down and the 3rd finger moves into position over the 3rd fret of the 6th string. The 3rd finger frets the G on the 6th string on the second beat of bar 24 and the 4th and 1st fingers are released together on the third beat. The 3rd finger remains down until the end of the bar – picture 5.
Picture 3: Forming the C major Chord
Picture 2: Place The first finger on C
Picture 4: Move your third finger to the low G
Picture 5: Keep the third finger down
It’s just a part of Thomas Robinson Grisse His Delight guitar tab and music sheet.
Through the link below you can download a full transcription of
Thomas Robinson Grisse His Delight with full track
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