Fair Phyllis – Sheet MusicView Craig McLeish's Full Store
The English madrigal scene in the late 16th and early 17th centuries was huge, and we have a wealth of material of all sorts at our disposal which has survived the centuries. There is a lot of fairly hum drum stuff to be honest but also plenty of gems, and we feature a couple of the best here in our first collection.
Fair Phyllis has all the attributes of a cracking madrigal. A love story with a happy ending; some quite obvious but amusing “word painting” (up and down he wandered), and some tight and playful imitative counterpoint that is such fun to sing. It works very well at a steady pace too, which is good for starting off.
Once it’s learned you can have lots of fun racking up the speed! One important thing to watch is the change of metre in the “then they fell a kissing” section. The pulse remains the same but what was a minim now becomes a dotted minim and then it changes back again – it takes a bit getting used to and we have taken care to demonstrate this correctly in the learning tracks, but you will find all sorts of other interpretations if you search Spotify!
A fun madrigal that was easy to read and the learning tracks proved very beneficial as it was a bit complex to sight read for some – as the pulse shifts around within the meter quite a bit!
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