Greensleeves is what you might call a "living" song, Malcolm. It is what you think it is, and it changes according to who you talk to. I would bow to the English, though, as owners of the traditional Greensleeves. It is open to debate, as we have seen.
We had a recording when I was a kid, of the Ralph Vaughan Williams, who is considered a "modern" composer. He uses that raised VI, the dorian sound, I grew up on that, as did many others.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, Ralph (1872-1958) English
Fantasia on Greensleeves
On the original instrument, the Banjonium
Remember that the lute of that time had movable frets, that tuning was not tempered, but based on ratios or whatever they came up with in that part of the world. When you changed keys, you adjusted the fret positions. Instruments did not sound as we are used to hearing them today, which includes the emotional content, I'm afraid. You know, the "mood" (or... "mode"?). If you were to be truthfully authentic, you would start with movable frets and then conjecture as to the actual sound. Did that F note sound sharp-"er" in the intonation of the lute of the time? Was Vaughan Williams channeling William Ballet? Or thumbing his nose at the F natural guys? Good question.
London College of Music? That would go to the Vaughan Williams crowd, my guess.
As far as Chris goes, I think his uncle, Jack Marshall was responsible for the F natural. As a jazz guitarist, who knows where he got it. For the purposes of a beginner's book, I don't think F# is even introduced yet. Maybe he changed it for the book?
And Monsieur Delcamp is French, 'what does he know of English folk tunes', to paraphrase a teacher of mine, who is from England? [No disrespect intended, Sir...]
And even William Ballet was probably quoting someone else, when you think about it. Just because it is in a book with his name is on it, doesn't mean he owned it. Those were the good old days.
Personally, I would split the difference: superglue a piece of matchstick in the middle of the second fret and play the microtonal version, just to see the look on their faces.
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Kevin Collins, Amherst, Mass, USA All rights reserved.