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RitchieDark 01-19-2021 07:59 AM

Question on Dowland's time signatures
In the piece 'Can She Excuse'


the time signature is given as 3/4. However many bars, eg bar 5, make little or no sense unless read as 6/8. My edition is 'Dowland's Dozen' (Ricordi) by Chris Kilvington. The recording sounds as though the sections mentioned are played in 6/8 (without the accents?).

Does anyone have any info on this? Was it common for composers in Dowland's time to switch between 3/4 and 6/8 without indicating it?

Your help is much appreciated!


cdkrugjr 01-19-2021 08:52 AM

That's REAL common in Dowland, a contrasting pulse between the A and B sections.

smwink 01-19-2021 08:19 PM

Yes, so common there's even a name for it: hemiola.

RitchieDark 01-20-2021 08:14 AM

Nailed it, thanks!
This link is pretty exhaustive -

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