Posted by: Glenelg Guitar Studio | February 20, 2020

The Times They Are a-Changing

“The Times They Are a-Changing”

So here’s a little snippet of music history for you. Many have heard the 1964 protest song, “The Times They Are a-Changing” written and performed by Bob Dylan and covered by many other bands and artists. For my younger students that haven’t come across Dylan yet, I suggest you “Google” him.

Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads.

This was a little before my formative years in Guitar but certainly influential for changes in music that was popular at the time. YouTube is a great source of music knowledge so consider looking up a Pat Boone ballad and contrast that with an early Rolling Stones performance to give you an idea of the amount of change. Then think about what changes have happened since!

As you probably know my passion lays in Classical Guitar, but that too has had great eras of change. One such change came about with the music of John Dowland during the renaissance era which is thought of as 1400 to 1600 AD.

Remember that the printing press was invented in 1439 and until then all music was hand transcribed and certainly not available to the masses. Music was more jovial court dance orientated which I’m sure you would have seen in many historical films.

So along comes the printing press and John Dowland (1563 -1626) who is an accomplished composer and Lutenist, the Lute being similar to a Guitar. His music was described as melancholy and often sounding like a funeral accompaniment, which was a huge change at the time. I wonder if this music was played at his funeral, on this day, 20th February, in 1626.

John Dowland’s instrumental music has undergone a 20th century early music revival, has been a continuing source of repertoire for lutenists and classical guitarists.

Here’s an early printed cover of the music and a video of my rendition of Lachramae Antiquae. I hope you enjoy the piece and think about how music changes.



  1. Brilliant!
    Many thanks

    Sent from my iPhone

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