Cuthbert Hely (fl. c1630)

Hely is the author of eight pieces that appear in the Cherbury Lute Book, all for 10-course lute in renaissance tuning. Little is known of his life; there is speculation that he may have been lute tutor to Lord Herbert of Cherbury who compiled the manuscript (Spring 2001A). However Cockburn (1988) suggests that Hely was probably not a professional musician but a merchant or solicitor. He bases this on correspondence between Hely and Lord Herbert that shows Hely managed Lord Herbert's business and legal affairs in his absence.

Hely’s pieces (all but one preludes and fantasias) vary in length and complexity and demonstrate a harmonic inventiveness reminiscent of
John Wilson. My arrangements are made from the modern edition by Spring (1993).

Fantasia 3 [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 08

Fantasia 4
[PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 10
Four of Hely’s eight pieces are fantasias, and this one is no. 4 in
Spring’s (1993) collection. Spring describes Hely’s pieces as “…polyphonic in texture and harmonically and rhythmically complex. The fantasias…are mono thematic to an unusual degree and have unusual angular themes.” This arrangement succeeds in transferring the piece almost intact from 10-course lute to 6-string guitar; a few chords have been thinned out but most of the ‘hold’ signs in the tablature have been respected.

Prelude 6 [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 07

Prelude 8 [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 07
This prelude is barred for the first 9 measures. I have barred the remainder.

Saraband [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 04
This piece (Sarebrand in the source) is a shorter and simpler piece than the others and makes an effective guitar solo. In the tablature source the piece is notated thus [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] with a one beat anacrusis, so that the strong beat is the first beat in each bar. I have re-notated the piece by making the first note beat 1 of the first bar. This is now the more usual way or notating sarabands, which are then played with the second beat as the strong beat

There is a recording of Jakob Lindberg playing theSaraband and Fantasia 4 on his CD
Jacobean Lute Music [BIS: BIS2055]; and Paul Odette plays several of Hely’s works on his CDs The Art of the Lute and Lord Herbert of Cherbury’s Lute Book (Harmonia Mundi).

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