The ghost is probably not a spooky one. In Elizabethan English, the word’s range of meanings was closer to ‘spirit’. The work is in the form, and has the character, of an alman. The melody itself may perhaps not be by Byrd. The first phrase (in G) is followed by a varied repeat; the second phrase (which starts in A minor) is twice as long, and is followed by its varied repeat. The whole harmonic structure is then repeated in more varied form. The treatment is exactly comparable to that found in many other almans by Byrd. In Clement Matchett’s manuscript a copying date of 20 August 1612 is given although the work was probably composed some thirty years earlier.
from notes by Davitt Moroney © 1999