Parthenia

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    This is an English country dance tune, which I have learned from Dave Swarbrick's album 1983 album "Flittin", as transcribed by Maartin Allcock for his epic book "Dave Swarbrick Fiddle Tunes". Like Swarb, I am playing the tune rather stately, more like a slow air than a country dance.

    The provenance of the tune is unclear to me: Maart says it's from Playford's Dancing Master. However, while Playford does indeed have two tunes with the title "Parthenia", neither of them is at all similar to this one. The tune is listed as an English country dance at tunearch.org, but the only source given is a 1986 book by Peter Barnes, which postdates the Swarbrick recording.

    "Parthenia" was the title of a 17th century broadside ballad associated with the Playford tunes. It was also the title of the first ever printed volume of music published in England in 1611 by William Byrd and Thomas Tallis -- the title is a pun on the name of the keyboard instrument "virginals", as Parthenia is another name for maidenhead.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar



    Martin
  2. Robert Balch
    Robert Balch
    Wow, that's a really cool tune and so well done Martin. Thanks for the post.
  3. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, Robert, also for your comments on the other tunes I recorded over the weekend.

    Yes, I really like this tune, and Swarbrick's 1983 recording of it (link). The Swarb tunebook is copyrighted, of course, but since making my recording I have found a really nice three-part setting for two violins and cello at Musescore:

    https://musescore.com/user/6980656/scores/1650411

    If I had seen this earlier, I might have used that harmony for my own recording. However, I am pretty happy with how the tenor guitar arpeggio backing I've used turned out.

    Martin
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A very interesting tune and arrangement, Martin. You have been busy lately! Quite a productive period for you, I think.
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