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Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares

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Title: Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares  
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Subject: John Dowland, Anne of Denmark, Fretwork (music group), Flow My Tears, 1604 in music, John Windet, Early Music (Lachrymæ Antiquæ)
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Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares

Lachrimæ or seaven teares figured in seaven passionate pavans, with divers other pavans, galliards and allemands, set forth for the lute, viols, or violons, in five parts is a collection of instrumental music written for five viols, or violins (that is, members of the violin family) and lute composed by John Dowland. It was published by John Windet in London in 1604 when Dowland was employed as lutenist to Christian IV of Denmark. The publication was dedicated to Anne of Denmark.

The title page of Lachrimæ is adorned with a Latin epigram: 'Aut Furit, aut Lachrimat, quem non Fortuna beavit' ('He whom Fortune has not blessed either rages or weeps'). Dowland points out in his dedication that there are different types of tears. “The teares which Musicke weeps” can be pleasant: “neither are teares shed always in sorrow but sometime in joy and gladnesse”.

Lachrimae Pavans

The seven pavans may not have been intended for dancing. These intense pieces are variations on a theme, the Lachrimæ pavan, which Dowland had already made well known as a lute solo and a song.[1] It begins with a "falling tear" motif of four notes.

Each of the Lachrimæ pavans was given its own title by the composer. There has been speculation that they form some sort of narrative, though the meaning of such a musical journey is uncertain.

  • Lachrimæ Antiquae (Old tears) already existed as a lute solo and a song.
  • Lachrimæ Antiquae Novæ (Old tears renewed) is a harmonic parody of Lachrimæ Antiquæ.
  • Lachrimæ Gementes (Sighing tears)
  • Lachrimæ Tristes (Sad tears)
  • Lachrimæ Coactae (Forced tears) is a harmonic parody of Lachrimæ Tristes.
  • Lachrimæ Amantis (A Lover's tears)
  • Lachrimæ Veræ (True tears)

Other compositions

The "divers other" compositions included in the Lachrimae publication are: "Semper Dowland semper Dolens", "Sir Henry Umpton's Funeral", "M.John Langton's Pavan", "The King of Denmark's Galliard", "The Earl of Essex Galliard" (dedicated to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex), "Sir John Souch his Galliard", "M.Henry Noel his Galliard", "M.Giles Hobies his Galiard", "M.Nicholas Gryffith his Galliard", "M.Thomas Collier his Galliard with 2 Trebles", "Captain Digorie Piper his Galliard", "M.Bucton's Galliard", "Mistress Nichol's Allemand" and "M.George Whitehead his Almand".

References

Notes

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