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A Lone Gamba Tune

A Lone Gamba Tune

Angela Beaumont, 1990

Angela Beaumont was a very active member of Edinburgh Methodist Mission, and she sang soprano in the choir for many years. She died tragically in 2004 at the age of 57. I wrote this piece for cello and piano in her memory.

The main theme is of an unusual and experimental construction. It makes sense in the context of C minor where it is first heard. It is then heard in the context of B major – the very same notes, or their enharmonic equivalents, without transposition. In B major it makes just as much sense, but it is a very different tune. You may need to hear it to understand what I mean by that.

The piece includes quotations from The Lord Bless You and Keep You by Peter C Lutkin, a setting much loved by Edinburgh Methodist Mission Choir.

The title of the piece, A Lone Gamba Tune, refers to the gamba, or viola da gamba, a forerunner of the cello. Descending fourths are a feature of the tune, and the gamba was tuned in fourths, unlike the fif‌ths of the cello.

This recording was made at the memorial service for Angela held at Central Hall, home of Edinburgh Methodist Mission, on 30 May 2004. I apologise for the sound quality: the microphone was not well placed. The cellist is Abbie Palmer, and I am at the piano.

And I have a confession to make: one blatant mistake in performance (at 2:47) has been digitally corrected.

The musical score is openly licensed via CC BY‐NC‐ND 4.0. Broadly that means you are welcome, free of charge, to download, print and perform the score, and to share it unadapted (as pdf, or as a paper copy), for non‐commercial purposes.