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Courtly Dances

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Tony Osborne writes: 'This suite of three movements was commissioned to commemorate the Coronation if the colourful King Henry VIII, who, it is widely believed, was the composer of the ever-popular melodies 'Greensleeves' and 'Pastyme with Good Companye'. The suite is loosely based on music of the period to give a sense of style and character, with a modern twist, making use of various polyphonic textures.

The first Dance is a majestic, almost fanfare-like movement with a slow central pulse, but with more energetic rhythmic features that convey the idea of a courtly scene or procession.

The second is a graceful and elegant dance in 5/8 time, perhaps giving a little sense of the songs of John Dowland and John Dunstable who were notable composers around the period of Henry's reign.

The third is a more lively dance in 6/8 in which one might hear the beating of drums and the feeling of the many entertainments, banquets and sporting activities, in which we can imagine Henry enjoyed participating, in his larger-than-life fashion.'

Tony Osborne is an important educationalist and prolific composer who has made a significant and unique contribution to the double bass repertoire over the past 35 years. His solo music for young bassists is included by many international examination boards, and his many ensembles pieces are performed at workshops and concerts throughout the world. Tony Osborne notes the influences of Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein, alongside some of the Russian masters, on his music, which he combines with a jazzy, rhythmic and energetic style that has been popular with players and audiences worldwide.

Born in 1947 into a musical family, Tony Osborne studied at the Royal Academy of Music (London) with John Walton (double bass) and Richard Stoker (composition), and divides a busy career between composing, teaching and performing. A very prolific composer and arranger, Tony's original compositions include works in almost every genre, notably Chaconne Syncopations and Wainwright's Ways for brass quintet, Celebration Fanfare for brass ensemble, the musical A Fine Time for Wine, a beautiful and dramatic Requiem and many works for string orchestra.

In 2001 Tony Osborne was elected an ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) for his pioneering and important work for double bass, and has been a featured composer at Bass-Fest for the past decade. He was a very successful BIBF Composer-in-residence in 2002-3 and wrote a number of impressive and innovative works for the project. He has been a judge for the British Composer Awards over the past few years and has been a judge for the BIBF Composition Competition since 1999. Recital Music held a concert of Tony Osborne's music in 2012, to celebrate the composer's 65th birthday, and has formulated a 10-year project to publish all his works for double bass.


  • 1. King's Companye
  • 2. Rest Ye Well
  • 3. Make Merry!

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Cat No. RM751
Supplier Code RM751
Price £12.50
ComposerTony Osborne
CategoryDouble Bass Quartet
PublisherRecital Music
Difficulty level8, Advanced
ISMN 979-0-57045-751-9
EAN-13 9790570457519
Weight 157 grams
Published 4th September 2014
Availability 6 in stock
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