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Flow, my Tears

( John Dowland )

This is one of the best known songs by the sixteenth century English musician and composer John Dowland (1562 - 1626).

He held a position with the English ambassador in Paris, was invited at the royal courts in Wolfenbüttel and Cassel, travelled through Italy, served as a lutenist at the court of Christian IV of Denmark and finally took a position as a lutenist at the English court. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge granted him bachelorships in music.

Although Dowland composed lots of lute pieces, he is better known for his songs. Many of these songs or "ayres" have two versions, one for solo voice and lute and one for a four voice ensemble, where the first voice has the melody and the remaining voices provide the harmonies of the lute accompaniment.

His greatest song compositions are characterised by a lute part that is often more than an accompaniment, it is possible to perform these pieces as a lute solo.

Setting the melody a bit higher, this piece appeared suitable as a guitar duo. Play it with a slow and melancholic approach.