Spirit of Gambo

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SPIRIT OF GAMBO. "The Spirit of Gambo" (The Lord Dewys Favoret) is from Captaine Tobias Hume's (1569–1645) Poeticall Musick (1607), which was dedicated to Queen Anne. Hume was a Scottish-English composer, viol player and an excellent performer on the viola da gamba, although he never achieved the patronage he dearly sought. He was also a soldier and an officer who served with the Swedish and Russian armies, but had a reputation as being "luckless" and a "braggart"[1], and was reduced to penury in his old age. Although only a little is known about him, it seems he was a prankster whose penchant for playful mischief sometimes found its way into his music. For example, his most notorious piece was notated in tablature and titled “An Invention for Two to Play upone one Viole.” It was played by two players with two bows, and the smaller of the musicians was obliged to sit in the lap of the larger one. The is work is technically possible to play.


Additional notes





Recorded sources : - Maggie’s Music MMCD216, Hesperus - “Early American Roots” (1997).

See also listing at :
Hear "The Spirit of Gambo" at youtube.com [1], and see Hume's tablature notation [2]



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  1. Lucy Robinson, "The Spirit of Gambo", Early Music, Nov., 1998, p. 689.