About this work
This piece gets its name from the tenor voice, which plays a drone of middle call the way through the work. Some scholars believe that Purcell had a friend who didn't know how to play the viol, but wanted to partake in a performance, so Purcell composed a piece with a simple enough viol part for him or her. The opening is another example of beautiful seamless polyphony with expressive harmonies and constantly moving independent lines. The brisk movement opens in a theme similar to the theme of the andante, but develops it with dotted rhythms and tied notes that propel the motithe bass, and suspension bring the piece to a close on its F major chord.