Publication's Style: Soft Cover
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate
General Description: Fantasies and Dances of the Renaissance
Catalog Number: 74437
Adrian Le Roy was a prominent French composer and an accomplished plucked-string virtuoso. However, his legacy and greatest influence on musical taste of the day was as co-founder of the famous publishing firm Le Roy and Ballard. From 1551 he ran the publishing firm in partnership with his brother-in-law Robert Ballard, of which he was artistic director and whose productions included many volumes of chansons and airs de cour. The firm was virtually without competition in France from 1551 to 1598. He was a friend of many composers, including Lassus, most of whose works he printed. In addition, he was author of long-popular pedagogical books for plucked-string instruments. Le Roy had great skill in arranging vocal music for the lute, and his Instruction book of 1568, describes how to do this, using Lassus's chansons as examples. He was a composer of chansons, accompanied songs, and pieces for cittern, lute, and (4 course) guitar.
The following twenty-four pieces (some with variations titled ‘otherwise') are from Le Roy's A Briefe and easye instruction to learne the tableture an eighty-page lute instruction book. In this book the first thirty-two pages are devoted to instruction (e.g. technique, tablature, scales, short music examples) and the remaining pages are short performance pieces. I have transposed these pieces down a minor third for guitar so performers may choose to use a capo on the third fret to replicate the original lute keys. With the exception of the first two Fantasies, these pieces are of easy to intermediate difficulty and are most often in first or second position. I have not included any left hand fingering; however, it should be noted that the third string of the renaissance lute was a half step lower than the modern guitar. These pieces are also playable with standard tuning.