A version without tablature is still available at:
Both versions take up two pages but the one without is of course less cramped. Oh, I've also included lyrics to the tune - not original ones (they're long lost if there ever were any) but some 19th century verses written for the tune.
As usual, any kind of feedback is highly appreciated!
If there was a prize for the tune with the maximum amount of music with the fewest possible notes, “Adew Dundee” would have been a strong candidate.
The earliest known source of the tune is the “Skene manuscript”, a Scottish collection of music for baroque mandola dating back to c. 1620. It was first published more than 200 years later (in 1848 or 1849) in G. Farquhar Graham’s “Popular Songs of Scotland with their appropriate melodies”. Farquar Graham’s version was arranged for voice and piano with newly written lyrics by Lord Charles Neaves (1800-1867). There may have been original lyrics to the tune but if so, they are long lost.
The tune was first brought to my attention by Jack Campin (http://www.campin.me.uk/) who has an amazing ability to find beautiful tunes like this. Jack recommends a tempo of about 56 bars per minute which sound good although I personally prefer it a little bit slower.
The theme in this guitar version follows Jack’s transcription of the Skene manuscript fairly closely. The changes I have made is to translate it into modern notation (the original is in tablature), transpose it to a range suitable for the guitar and add some extra basses notes (the ones in parentheses) and the fingering indications.
The variation is from an anonymous abc file I found at the abc notation web site (http://abcnotation.com/) I’m not sure if it too is from the Skene manuscript but Rob MacKillop, one of the world’s foremost experts on 17th century Scottish stringed instruments music, included it in his lute transcription (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGKakTaYF1Y). I have added some extra bass notes to the variation (the ones notated in parentheses). The abc file includes a note suggesting the eight notes should be played in a dotted rhythm. Not sure if that’s a good idea but it would be in style so please feel free to do so if you like.
The capo indication is to bring the tune back to the original key. It will still be an octave below the original though. The exact pitch and key of the tune isn’t that important for a piece like this anyway, so unless you play it with others, it’s up to you whether you choose to use a capo or not. Personally I prefer to use a capo, not on the fifth fret but as high as I can (around 8th fret, depending on the guitar) to get the brightest possible sound.
Btw, here is Rob's lute transcription. It's not identical to mine but very close: