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Gorlier, Simonlocked

  • Samuel F. Pogue
  • , revised by Frank Dobbins

(fl Lyons, 1550–84). French music printer, bookseller, composer and instrumentalist. In 1551 he prepared the third in a series of four books of music for guitar printed in Paris by Robert Granjon and Michel Fezandat (RISM 1551²²). In the dedication Gorlier wrote apologetically of the four-course guitar and his reasons for composing for an inferior instrument, saying that he wanted to show that it was as capable as larger instruments of reproducing music in two or three parts. Besides being an ‘excellent joueur’ on the guitar, as cited on the title-page, he evidently played the spinet; in a pamphlet (now lost) concerning Loys Bourgeois’ Droict chemin de musique (1550) Bourgeois called him ‘trougnon d’épinette’ (‘garbage of the spinet’) and complained that he had not been educated in classical languages and mathematics like the singer-composers in Lyons, Layolle Roussel and Jambe de Fer.

Gorlier was granted a privilege for printing music on 17 February 1558, and his name appears as a merchant bookseller in the Lyons archives until 7 June 1584. He published several books of music by himself and others in Lyons between 1558 and 1562. Only two of these have survived, both dating from 1560: La lyre chrestienne, with music by Antoine de Hauville, and Premier livre de tablature de luth by Jean Paladin. The latter includes a short instruction on lute intabulation by Gorlier. According to its colophon Paladin’s tablature is a reissue of a printing by Jean Pullon de Trin (Lyons, 1553). A few other titles were attributed to Gorlier by the 16th-century bibliographer Antoine du Verdier in 1585: music for flute in tablature, 1558; for cittern in tablature, c1558; for spinet in tablature, 1560; for guitar in tablature (possibly the Paris book), undated; and an undated book of ‘music for four or five parts, in five volumes, printed in Lyons’. Du Verdier also cited Gorlier as the publisher of some ‘chansons et vaudevilles’ by Alamanne de Layolle (1561) and of two books of tablature for lute by ‘Antoine-François Paladin, Milanois’ (1562). A catalogue compiled by the publishers De Tournes in 1670 refers to the 1558 tablatures as ‘Chansons récréatives pour la guitare & aultres instruments de musique’.


  • MGG1 (F. Lesure)
  • R. de Juvigny, ed.: Les bibliothèques françoises de La Croix du Maine et de Du Verdier (Paris, 1772–3), 3, 42, 123, 132; v, 473
  • H. and J. Baudrier: Bibliographie lyonnaise (Lyons, 1895–1921/R), 2, 46–9
  • D. Heartz: ‘Parisian Music Printing under Henry II: a propos of Four Recently Discovered Guitar Books’, MQ, 46 (1960), 448–67
  • L. Guillo: Les éditions musicales de la Renaissance lyonnaise (Paris, 1991)
  • F. Dobbins: Music in Renaissance Lyons (Oxford, 1992)
Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Musical Quarterly