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date: 27 May 2020

João IV, King of Portugallocked

  • Almonte Howell
  • , revised by Rui Vieira Nery


(b Vila Viçosa, March 19, 1604; d Lisbon, Nov 6, 1656). Portuguese ruler, collector of music, writer on music and composer. As heir to the dukedom of Bragança, whose ruling family was notable for its love of music, he received a thorough musical education; his first teacher was Robert Tornar (or Torgh), an English (or possibly Irish) composer who had been a disciple of Gery de Ghersem and Mathieu Rosmarin at the Royal Flemish Chapel in Madrid. After Portugal’s successful rebellion in 1640 against Spanish rule, he was chosen king. His reign was marked by intermittent war with Spain and by Portugal’s efforts to secure foreign alliances, but he was little interested in politics. He was, however, ardently devoted to music, generous in support of composers and musical establishments in his realm and constantly in touch with distinguished musicians.

João IV assembled the largest music library of his time, based on the ducal library of his father and grandfather. Its treasures unfortunately perished in the Lisbon earthquake and fire of ...

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Journal of the American Musicological Society
F.-J. Fétis: Biographie universelle des musiciens
Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitäts-Bibliothek, Musikabteilung
[João IV:] Primeira parte do index da livraria de musica do muyto alto, e poderoso Rey Dom João o IV. nosso senhor (Lisbon, 1649); ed. J. de Vasconcellos (Oporto, 1874-6)
Lisbon, Fabrica da Sé Patriarcal