Mandolin Picking Tunes: Early Music Gems by Dix Bruce is a collection of 34 wonderful songs from the 1200s to the 1600s especially arranged for intermediate and advanced mandolinists. The titles span the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras and the sounds of the individual songs reflect those years.

The music includes standard notation, mandolin tablature, chords for mandolin and guitar, plus access to online play-along audio recordings of all the songs!

Book oe eBook with downloadable audio.

This book is sold by Mel Bay Publications.
Click the button below to view and purchase the book from Mel Bay.

A life in music is a journey of discovery. There’s always a new technique, chord, lick, song, style, or historical period to explore. Discovering new music is a joy. The music in this book will be new to many of you, but any efforts you make to explore it will be richly rewarded. It’s beautiful music that’s fun to play!

That said, this music is anything but “new.” Most of it has been around for four to eight hundred years. It’s often referred to as “ancient music” or “early music” – hence the title “Early Music Gems.” All of the pieces in this book, mostly composed between the 1200s and 1600s, make very nice mandolin tunes.

These songs come from a very different era than our current one. Compared to the pop, folk, rock, and country songs of the last hundred and fifty years, many have unusual chords,  chord progressions, and time signatures. Yet they are all strikingly beautiful and interesting, harkening back to far different times and sounds.

These arrangements can be played as mandolin solos but accompaniment chords are also included so that you can perform them in ensembles with chordal instruments. 


Sample pages:
Branle Double
Packington’s Pound

Sample audio:
Branle Double
Packington’s Pound

Click here to see a video about Mandolin Picking Tunes: Early Music Gems.

Early Music Gems song list:
Andante Lute
Branle Double (M.Praetorious)
Gavotte (M.Praetorious)
Saltarello (V. Galilei)
Kemp’s Jig (J. Playford)
Canarios (G. Sanz)
Ballade Lute
Wilson’s Wilde (J. Dowland)
The Bear Dance
Spagnoletta (M.Praetorious)
Guardeme las Vacas (Luis de Narvaez)
Adoro Devote (13th Century Plainsong)
Alman (R. Johnson)
La Folias (G. Sanz)
To Drive the Cold Winter Away
Pastourelle (13th Century French)
Childgrove (Playford Collection)
Allegro Lute
St. Martins (J. Playford)
Moderato Lute
Come With Me, My Giselle (Adam de la Halle)
O Esca Viatorum (M.Praetorious)
Volte (M.Praetorious)
Tutte Venite Armati (G. Gastoldi)
Grimstock (J. Playford)
Dont vient cela (Susato 1551 danserye)
Fortune My Foe (J. Dowland)
An Italian Rant (J. Playford)
On the Cold Ground (J. Playford)
Rendez Á Dieu (L. Bourgeois)
Si Pour t’Aymer
Packington’s Pound (Attr. to F. Cutting)