Perhaps the best known English lutenist of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, John Dowland (1563? –1626) wrote numerous pieces for the lute, as a solo and ensemble instrument, including Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares figvred in Seaven P assionate P avans. Written in 1604, this piece was his final exploration of the popular melody that he had previously used in the lute pavan, “Lachrimae” (1596), and the lute song, “Flow my teares” (1600). Seaven T eares, for five viols and lute, is a series of seven variations whose provocative Latin titles, like Lachrimae Gementes and Lachrimae V erae, have caused some scholars to speculate that the music symbolizes either Elizabethan melancholy or the F all of Man. H owever , as seventeenth-centur y scholarship suggests, the Elizabethan concept of melancholy was intrinsically connected to their perception of the F all,and a close examination of Dowland’ s Seaven T eares corroborates their relationship .
Shaw, Rebecca (2014) “Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares by John Dowland: Tears of Lost Innocence,” Nota Bene: Canadian Undergraduate Journal of Musicology: Vol. 7: Iss. 1, Article 4.
Available at: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/notabene/vol7/iss1/4