Adapted to banjo in C tuning from the book "25 Tunes from 17th-Century Scottish Lute Manuscripts arranged for Tenor Banjo in Fiddle Tuning (GDAE) Volume One" of Rob Mackillop. You can find this book (digitally) and some selected performances on:

Thanks Rob! These tunes are just lovely :)

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Comment by thereallyniceman on March 23, 2013 at 16:03

Hi German,

I have difficulty understanding the need to do an arrangement for 5 string banjo from a piece in "fiddle tuning" arranged for tenor banjo previously arranged from music originally composed for medieval lute.

Why not just select one of the almost 700  original "Classic Banjo" compositions in the music library?

Comment by Trapdoor2 on March 23, 2013 at 17:13

One could say the same for the recent Balaliaka, Ian? ;-)

Comment by Mike Moss on March 23, 2013 at 17:19

Just for the sake of argument... you might want to read this ;-)

"Mr Bailey explained how he came to play the balalaika - a Russian equivalent of the banjo"

Comment by Mike Moss on March 23, 2013 at 17:45

Actually this could turn out to be a really interesting discussion. I'll open a new thread when I've got time. There is more to this than meets the eye...

Comment by Jody Stecher on March 23, 2013 at 17:56

A triangular banjo? If there was a Russian equivalent of the banjo ( and I think there is not) it might be the domra. At least it's round. The balalaika might be considered a very distant cousin of the zither-banjo because it combines soft and hard strings but that's really a stretch. Back to the original topic, many of the scores in the library were not originally composed for banjo. Some were for brass band, some for piano, some were songs. Do they make better banjo music than the Skene lute pieces do? *I* think so but that's neither here nor there. 

Comment by thereallyniceman on March 23, 2013 at 18:43

I am only attempting to help. As we know German is fairly new to Classic Banjo and I feel that to get used to the way the "classic style specific" compositions are both written and played he may be better playing from original scores rather than arranging his own at this stage. The way notes "roll" and chords flow together are all part of learning. You may be getting the correct note but not at the optimum position in relation to the preceding and following notes.

Jody points out that many scores in the database are arrangements from piano/ band etc. but these, in many cases, have been done by accomplished classic style arrangers and players.  Mike's Balalaika arrangement will have been done with the fingering and playability in mind too.

So German, don't take it as a criticism, take it as advice from players who have been where you are. Learn the basic skills from where you can and the rest will come.

I know nothing about Balalaikas or Domras,  but David Wade is a bit of an expert on the subject and has recently had Skype lessons from a Russian player!

Comment by Jody Stecher on March 23, 2013 at 20:03

Ian, you're right.

Comment by marc dalmasso on March 23, 2013 at 20:12

But here in Nice , Cote d 'azur , Monaco etc ....  today ,, there are a lot of equivalents  of   Russian princes , always Russians but may be  with still more money ,  a lot of Russian princes , USSR ' princes , should i say ,  spending shamelessly  communism ' money

Comment by thereallyniceman on March 23, 2013 at 20:20

I used to think that Communism would be a great idea.

All the money would be shared out evenly between all the people, and when I had spent all mine, it would all be taken back in and shared out evenly again… but apparently it doesn’t work that way.

All people are equal, but some are a bit more equal than the others, I believe! 

Comment by Mike Moss on March 23, 2013 at 20:54

Nah, it's more like "owning the means of production" -- in other words, Morley would have got his fair share of revenue from his music instead of going hungry ;-)

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