William Bryd (1540-1623)   :  
Sellinger’s Round  

- Recorder Quartet: SATB
- Score (with original keyboard version) + 4 Parts
- Level: Upper Intermediate +

Transcription for recorder ensemble of Byrd’s complete set of variations originally for keyboard instruments.
Arranged by Charles Coldwell.

Sellinger’s (or Sellenger’s) Round was quite popular in the 16th and 17 centuries, and was sometimes known as “The Beginning of the World” or “St. Leger’s Round.”  Many ballads were set to it, and it is mentioned in numerous literary and dramatic text of the time.  As a dance tune, it was a popular tune for dancing around a Maypole, and also it appeared in Playford’s Dancing Master.

William Byrd’s nine variations on Sellinger’s Round survive in two manuscript collections of music for virginals or harpsichord: My Lady Nevells Booke and the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.   In Byrd’s original keyboard setting, the melody moves between the upper two parts, sometimes lost within Byrd’s elaborate figurations.  What is noticeable is that the inner-voices seem very “part like,” as if they were condensed from a version for instruments.  Some variations are quite homophonic, like an instrumental dance piece; while other variations are more contrapuntal, with imitative entrances or passages. 

Our transcription of Sellinger’s Round is based on the original versions from two manuscript collections of music for virginals, or harpsichord: My Lady Nevells Booke and the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.  It retains the original key and includes all nine of Bryd’s variations.  This work is most suitable for Upper Intermediate or Advanced players (rapid eighth-note passage work in some variations, and high range, to e’’’, in alto part).  The tenor and bass parts include ossia passages in one variation to be played when there is more than one instrument playing the bass line.  The score includes the original keyboard version for comparison of transcription with the original.  While the alto recorder part requires facility playing in its highest register, it can be played on a Baroque or modern style F alto, or on a late Renaissance (Ganassi) style G alto.

Also available from Editions Dolcimelo is our arrangement of Sellinger’s Round, for recorder orchestra (9 parts).

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BYRD – Sellinger’s Round (Recorders SATB)

  • $16.00

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