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We will be adding more tablature arrangements regularly... please visit again.


Each time a new file is posted in Current Tablature, the previous file is moved to "Archived tab files".

Sweet and Low

Lyrics: Alfred Lord Tennyson
Music: Joseph Barnby 
Arr: Ruth Randle and Merv Rowley

Our selection for this month is most unusual, having been written by two men of noble families and title. Tennyson, of course, was none other than Alfred, Lord Tennyson, knighted and appointed Poet Laureate of England for services to the crown. Barnby, also a Lord, but half the age of Tennyson, was a titled music director of one of the prominent churches in London. Both lived during the reign of Queen Victoria.

The lyrics for Sweet and Low, a lullaby, first appeared in a small book of poems by Tennyson. The music for this piece was written as a "Part-Song", a choral arrangement with rich vocal harmonies. It is beautifully written, and is known worldwide; it ranks with the lullaby of Brahms' Wiegenlied as one of the world's finest, most beautiful lullabies.

About the Music:

In selecting chords for such a piece, we are trying to duplicate on our three strings in two octaves, music written for four or more voices, on instruments with far more strings, keys, etc., which can collectively produce far more varieties and ranges of harmony than we can on our simple, modally-tuned instrument. The chords for this song were chosen in an attempt to recreate as closely as possible the complex vocal harmonies in the musical score. In some cases a two-note chord was used to suggest a more complex chord. The chord  names in this piece are the suggested chords "as we hear them" with their missing notes. 

Your 1-3-5 Team


Download Files:

Sweet and Low.pdf

Sweet and Low.tef

Sweet and Low.MID

Historical Links:

Alfred, Lord Tennyson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred,_Lord_Tennyson

Joseph Barnby http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Barnby

What is a Part-Song? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partsongs


  Click to go to the TablEdit website and download their free demo version

If you do not have the Tabledit program, please click on the TablEdit banner to download a free .tef reader program called TefView.  It includes the ability to play this song at a slower speed (great for learning). TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for fretted, stringed instruments.

  Click here to download a free version of Adobe Reader

Adobe® Reader® is a free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

  Our PDF music files are produced from music created with Finale® notation software.


Our .MIDI music files are produced by TablEdit notation software.





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