The ordering of the collection
We have seen that the first part of Lachrimae, the seven ‘Passionate Pavans’, has a complex and subtle organisation. But what of the second part? At first sight it seems to be a miscellaneous collection. Dowland described the fourteen other dances just as ‘divers other Pavans, Galiards, and Almands’ on the title-page, and described Lachrimae in the preface as ‘this long and troublesome worke, wherein I have mixed new songs with olde, grave with light’. Nevertheless, method can be detected in the ordering of Lachrimae on several levels.
The most obvious is that the collection contains twenty-one dances: ten pavans, nine galliards and two almands. Many vocal collections of the period have this number of pieces, including Dowland's Third and Last Booke and A Pilgrimes Solace, Bartlet's Booke of Ayres (1606), Campion's Two Bookes of Ayres (?1613), Greaves's Songs of Sundrie Kindes (1604), all five of Robert Jones's song books (1600, 1601, 1608, 1609, 1610), and the double Booke of Ayres published by Campion and Rosseter (1601), as well as Carleton's Madrigals (1601), Farnaby's Canzonets to Fowre Voyces (1598), and three collections by Morley, The First Booke of Canzonets to Two Voyces (1595), The First Booke of Balletts (1595) and Canzonets or Little Short Aers (1597). It is also common in Italian madrigal collections. To take just those by Dowland's idol Marenzio, his four-part book, his third, fourth, seventh, eighth, and ninth five-part books, and his second, third, fifth, and sixth six-part books all have twenty-one pieces, as does his first book of madrigali spirituali.