Synopses & Reviews
Thomas Robinson's New Citharen Lessons is one of the most important collections of citharen music printed during the late English Renaissance. Now available in a modern edition, Robinson's work contains a collection of pavans, galliards, almains, grounds, fantasias, instrumental psalms, and arrangements of popular tunes for the four-course cittern and the archcittern, a larger instrument with additional strings.
The present edition is based upon the work of Dr. William Casey, who transcribed all of Robinson's cittern pieces from the composer's tutor for the instrument. It presents the music in both tablature and modern keyboard notation and also includes information concerning the life of Thomas Robinson and the role of the cittern in the English Renaissance.
Designed and produced to lie flat on the music stand, this edition will appeal to performers and scholars of Elizabethan music. In addition, since some of the pieces are based on popular broadside melodies, the appeal will extend to folklorists and students of English literature.
From the original dedicatory epistle of the 1609 work:
Gentlemen, ... at last I have given you the sweetest Cornell of my conceited Cithering. For first, you shall have strange lessons with strange tunings for the foure stringed Citharen, the like neuer found out before for sweetnes and goodnes to play... alone, also lessons for two to play together, & withall a third Citharen; (which invention was first begun by an Italian in Italy, but altered, and strings augmented by me.) Containing fourteene course of strings: most full, sweete and easie.... Your musicall friend.