Byrd’s almans are usually based on a pre-existent tune in two strains, each heard with its varied repeat and then followed by one or two repeats of the whole. In this little G major work, on the other hand, there are simply three separate strains, each with its varied repeat, rather like a duple metre version of galliard form. The piece is difficult to date. Although the sources are both late (well into the seventeenth century), its notational features suggest that it could have been composed up to fifty years earlier, maybe in the 1570s.
from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999