Philip van Wilder

Philip van Wilder (c1500 - 1553) was a Flemish lutenist and composer resident in England after 1525, when he entered the service of King Henry VIII. He became lute teacher to the future Queen Mary in 1529 and the King's lutenist in 1538. He was Keeper of the Instruments at Westminster when Henry died in 1547. A the end of his life he was in the service of Edward VI, dying in the same year as the king. He is probably the subject of Holbein’s portrait “Man with a Lute”.  

Van Wilder is one of the composers covered in Music for Elizabethan Lutes (Ward 1992). Ward gives grand staff transcriptions of the two pieces I have arranged and discusses the attribution of these works, pointing out that a good deal is known about van Wilder’s life and that he was known as a composer in his own time, but it is very unclear whether any extant music can be definitely attributed to him. However there are reasonable grounds for thinking van Wilder is the composer of these two works.

Arthur's Dump [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] van Wilder Grade 07
This piece, titled only as "Dump" in the Marsh Lute Book, survives also in a shorter version entitled “Arthur’s Dump”. It is a long series of variations on a simple ground; I have completed two bars that are missing from the manuscript (in view of the nature of the piece, not a difficult task).

Fantasie  [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] van Wilder Grade 07
This seems to me a fine example of the renaissance lute fantasy and well suited to playing on the guitar. It is found in the Matthew Holmes manuscript CUL Dd.5.78.3.

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