Sunday, December 27, 2009

Anonymous - In dulci jubilo

Ice and freezing rain for the past two days: time to bring back memories of summer when working outside in the garden building ukes. And it's always time for the quiet jubilation of playing them.
This tune dates back to medieval times.
For low G tuning:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Galilei - Saltarello

By Vincenzo Galilei, the father of Galileo, this 16th century dance tune. Adapted for low G ukulele: tabs in TablEdit and PDF format.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mudarra - Pavana de Alexandre

This piece, also from Tres libros de Musica, was originally intended for the vihuela.
Here are the tabs for a High G uke version in PDF and one for low G tuning.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Küffner - Ländler

Joseph Küffner composed a number of those "ländler": a country or folk or rustic dance. They're a joy to play on the ukulele. Here is one rustic dance that is particularly "rüstig" (spry, nimble).
A TablEdited High G version with the Midi file and the PDF.
In another key, a Low G version with its PDF.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Anonymous - Prince Rupert's March

A Renaissance dance tune (see Playford's Dancing Master) for high G tuning.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Brayssing - Fantasie 1 ( des grues)

In 1553, Gregoire Brayssing published a book of tabs for the four-course Renaissance guitar. This is the first of six "fantasies", entitled "fantasia of the cranes".
PDF file (low G tuning).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mudarra - Fantasia del quarto tono

Another of those six pieces for the four-course Renaissance guitar from Mudarra's Tres libros in the original tablature (the notation corresponds to low G tuning for the uke).

Makes me think of Spain: I recently chanced upon web pics of Julio Romero de Torres' paintings. I had visited the museum that bears his name in Cordoba years ago. It left a powerful impression at the time, but I had forgotten all about it. You can see more of these on the museum's web site.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carulli - Rondo

A TablEdited adaptation for Low G tuning and the PDF file.

J-Hob, I hope you have fun with this one!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dufay - Adieu ces bons vins

A popular fifteenth century song - music composed by Guillaume Dufay.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mudarra - Pavana

In 1546, Mudarra published Tres libros de musica en cifras para vihuela, a book of tablatures mostly for the vihuela, but also including six pieces for the Renaissance guitar, a four-course instrument (six strings in pairs and a single) tuned... GCEA! Mudarra's tablatures look very much like what we use today (4 lines for the 4 strings, numbers for the frets) but the lines are in reverse order.
So, this is his Pavana in the original tablature, except with the lines as we are used to seeing them:

There's quite a bit of information on the Web on the Renaissance guitar (and eye-candy: it is a magnificent-looking instrument), learned discussion on the way it was tuned, lists of books with tablatures for the four-course guitar(tab systems vary: for instance, the French ones use letters instead of numbers), etc. A whole continent to discover, and the uke is providing our passport...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sor - Andante

TablEdited Low G adaptation with the Midi file and the PDF sheet.

Why Miro (painting)? Think Catalonia.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reuenthal - Meienzit

Autumn is knocking on our door, but thanks to the uke, it's always time for feeling "springy": here is a famous May song by 13th century minnesinger and otherwise interesting character Neidhart von Reuenthal.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gathering peascods

This tune appears in Playford's book of English country dances (1651).

Also in PDF format.

Seneca: "There is no delight in owning anything unshared."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Carulli - Country dance

Today is Thanksgiving day in Canada! What better way than to make music and lead a merry dance?

This is a low G adaptation (some would say shameless, but I prefer "unabashed") of Carulli's merry tune.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vallet - Bourrée

A sprightly bourrée by Renaissance lutenist Nicolas Vallet.

Three TablEdited adaptations for baritone, low G and high G tunings (I may be going overboard here...)

All three adaptations in PDF format: baritone, low G and high G.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I just figured out how to convert my TablEdited files to PDF files. So, here are yesterday's tabs for Bossinensis' Ricercare in PDF format:

Low G

High G

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bossinensis - Ricercare

One ricercare composed by Bossinensis.

This adaptation is dedicated to my brother who, like Bossinensis is also named Francis(cus) and with whom I saw all those stupendous Vermeer paintings at the MET this week.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ballard - Branle de village

Robert Ballard composed four of these for the lute; this is the first one.

A Low G adaptation for the ukulele with the Midi file.

The tablature for the baritone (regular DGBE tuning) is the same as for the low G version but the piece is played in a lower key of course. Since I've almost completed my first baritone ukulele, it's time to get some tunes to play on it.

The High G, re-entrant uke adaptation sounds pretty good as well.

Great fun to play in all three tunings.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Neusiedler - Wascha Mesa

Another tune by Hans Neusiedler, a real treat this one. The title is apparently a deformation of "Passamezzo".
Here is the adaptation for low G ukulele and the Midi file. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Une puce j'ai dedans l'oreille (low G)

A sixteenth century song by Claude Le Jeune, it translates as "A flea I have within my ear": hard to imagine anything more apt to characterize a uke player.

The low G adaptation and the Midi file.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Anonymous - Minuetto (low G)

A Tabledited adaptation for low G uke of this lovely minuet by an anonymous composer with the Midi file.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Couperin - Le petit rien (High G)

In a world much given to hyperbole (a side-effect perhaps of the omnipresent marketing mentality), "le petit rien", that mere trifle, offers a welcome respite, as does our unassuming instrument. Uke players do not need to be reminded of course that "c'est le petit rien qui fait toute la différence" -- "it is that little touch that makes all the difference".

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Marcello - Minuetto (Low G)

An TablEdited adaptation for low G ukulele of a Minuet by Benedetto Marcello, a Baroque Italian composer, with the attendant Midi file.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lute tune (anonymous)

An anonymous tune for the lute adapted for re-entrant and low G ukuleles with their respective Midi files : High G and Low G.
Use the "Comments" below and let me know how you like it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Susato - Saltarello

A High G adaptation of a Saltarello by this 16th century Flemish composer and the corresponding Midi file.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hans Neusiedler - A little Dutch dance

A sixteenth century lutenist, the prolific Hans Neusiedler was also the father of Melchior and Konrad, lutenists and composers in their own right.

TablEdited High G version and a Low G version as well.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wilson's Wilde (low G)

An anonymous Renaissance English dance adapted for low G ukulele, and the Midi file.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Gervaise - Pavane anglaise

16th century Claude Gervaise, a jolly good fellow.
Here is a TablEdit High G adaptation and its Midi file.
And a TablEdit Low G adaptation with its own Midi file.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mainerio - Schiarazula Marazula (low G)

ATablEdit adaptation for low G ukulele of this famous 16th century dance tune by Giorgio Mainerio and the Midi file.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Milan - Pavane # 1

Luis de Milan, 16th century grand-master of the vihuela.
Freely adapted version for re-entrant uke and the Midi file.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Paganini - La campanella (low G)

Here he is, the devil himself (the pic is Klaus Kinski playing Paganini in the film he directed himself). This is actually a charming little tune, perfect for our most excellent instrument.
The TablEdit low G adaptation and the Midi file.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Scottish dance (anonymous)

Put a/the spring in your step, guaranteed!

Version for re-entrant uke with the Midi file.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rameau - Menuet en rondeau

By seventeenth century French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau.
The adaptation for High G uke
and a low G version.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ay! luna que reluces

An anonymous Spanish piece from the 16th century. Adapted for low G ukulele.

TablEdit and Midi.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Machaut - Douce dame jolie

Now that I'm getting the hang of this blogging business (thanks Brad), we can get cooking!

Guillaume de Machaut is a fourteenth century composer. His is a great name in the history of music, but don't let that bother you: the man really rocks, as I'm sure you'll agree after you play this piece.
Here you have the TablEdited version for re-entrant ukulele and the Midi file.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


The old French "pucelette", referred to a very young girl (a diminutive of "pucelle"), but also to a little flea. I think it would provide a good translation of "ukulele" into French, since the word apparently means "jumping flea" in the Hawaiian language. At any rate, "pucelettes" is how I refer in French to the instruments I create (see my luthiery blog).
This little 13th century tune seems to be an appropriate way of starting this blog. The tabs for this particular tune are for high G or re-entrant ukulele.

Here is the TablEdit file that you can open by using the free TEFviewer:


and the MIDI file: PuceMidi