Barley-Break (string trio)
Composer: William Byrd, arr. David Gable
Instrumentation: Violin; Viola or Violin 2; Cello
Printout: 4 pages
Note: Meter changes, asymmetrical phrases and unusual harmonies make this renaissance era piece interesting for both players and listeners. “Barley break” or “breaking the barley” was a euphemism akin to “a roll in the hay.” This trio setting includes both violin 2 and viola parts. The violin 1 part is playable on flute or oboe.