Six Easy Lessons for the Harpsichord
Lesson I in C Major
Lesson II in G Major
Lesson III in D Major
John Camidge (ca. 1734-1803) became a chorister at York Minster at an early age, and then studied organ with Maurice Greene in London. He became the organist of York Minster in 1756 as well as organist at St. Michael- le-Belfrey. Of his seven children his son Matthew, became a well-known organist and composer. (HMP publishes Matthew Camidge’s Six Concertos for organ, Op. 13.) John Camidge published Six Easy Lessons for the Harpsichord and a few songs and anthems.
John Camidge wrote Six Easy Lessons for the Harpsichord in 1764. All but Lesson II have three movements, and all except Lesson VI end with a dance movement, either a Minuet or Gavot. Lesson VI ends with an exciting three-part fugue. The style of the lessons glances back toward the Baroque period, and since there is a possibility that Camidge studied with G. F. Handel, that might explain the earlier style of the Lessons. Most of the first movements are in a two-part form with each section repeated. The second movements are also two-part, although the slow movements of Lesson III and V are through-composed. The last movements of Lessons I, II, III, IV, V are variation forms. The Lessons have tuneful melodies, energetic rhythms, sequences, modulations, arpeggios, and broken chords.