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Andrew Ashbee

(bap. Croydon, Cambs., Jan 28, 1612; d London, Oct 25, 1678). English theorbo and division viol player, music copyist and composer. Probably the son of Henry Lilly, vicar of Croydon, his early career was centred in Cambridge. He is perhaps the ‘Mr Lilly’ who assisted in the performance of William Johnson's ‘Valetudinarium’ at Queens' College on 6 February 1638. In 1645 and 1647 his two daughters were baptized at St Michael's in the city. His viol playing is praised in a poem ‘To Mr Lilly, Musick-Master in Cambridge’ in Nicholas Hookes's collection Amanda (1653). At the Restoration he joined the King's Private Musick as a theorbo player, and remained active in court service until his death. He was patronized by the North family and taught Roger North the theorbo. He was also a friend of the composer John Jenkins. He was active in the Westminster Corporation of Music from at least ...

Article

(b Brussels, before 1614; d Paris, April 1663). French composer, viol and theorbo player and lutenist of Flemish birth. He moved to Paris by 1626, when he received letters of naturalization. In 1632 he was described as ‘maître joueur de luth’, and in 1635–6 Mersenne (Harmonicorum libri) praised Maugars and Hotman as the two leading viol virtuosos. Annibal Gantez, in L'entretien des musiciens (1643), singled him out among Parisian musicians skilled on both the lute and the viol. Hotman sent Constantijn Huygens viol and theorbo pieces in 1659, which the latter ridiculed to Henry Du Mont, but others in the Low Countries must have valued his works: three manuscripts copied in Utrecht in the 1660s contain 26 of his pieces for viol and eight for theorbo. He and Sebastien Le Camus became treble viol and theorbo players at court in 1661, replacing Louis Couperin. Hotman's viol pupils included Machy and Sainte-Colombe; he thus initiated an illustrious line of French viol players and composers which included the Marais family and perhaps the Forquerays and Caix d'Hervelois....

Article

David Ledbetter

(fl 1665–1692). French lutenist, theorbo player and composer. He came from a family of master craftsmen, which included some of the principal instrument makers in Paris in the 17th century. A document of 7 April 1676, which gives his signature and those of several other members of the family, describes him as joueur de luth. From at least the 1660s he was known as a composer of airs, and in 1680 Le Gallois, academician and founder and editor of the Journal des Savants, ranked him among the most famous theorbists. In 1684 he was officier ordinaire de l'Académie de musique, and in 1690 he composed music for Florent Carton Dancourt's comedy L'été des coquettes. He is last mentioned in 1692, as maître pour le théorbe with an address in Paris. He described his Meslanges d'airs as having diminutions for the second verses, but these amount to no more than occasional ornaments in repeated phrases. The main source of his theorbo works is a manuscript dating from about ...

Article

Frank Dobbins, Stuart Cheney, Donald B. Chae and David Tunley

[Dubuisson]

A name common to many French and Flemish composers, singers, organists and musicians active from the early 16th century to the late 18th century. Apart from those listed below, none of whom is known to be related, other known composers of this name include Mathurin (fl 1489–1514), known by one chanson (in RISM 1504³, possibly by Mathurin Forestier), René (b 1703) and Gabriel (fl 1724), both known by airs published in French anthologies (1724–6). A Gabriel Dubuisson, ordinaire de la musique to Louis XIV, was paid in 1688 for an unspecified role in the Ballet de Flore danced at Versailles and as a veteran ‘for his former services to the king's music’ in 1717. A Joseph Heron, also known as Du Buisson, is listed as musician in ordinary to Louis XV in 1730. Other musicians of this name held various church and court posts, mainly in Paris and Geneva....

Article

Adrienne Simpson

revised by Tim Crawford

[Logi, Loschi, Losymthal]

(b Štekeň Castle, near Strakonice, c1650; d Prague, 9 Aug –2 Sept 1721). Bohemian lutenist and composer. He was born into a wealthy family of Swiss origin; his father had settled in Prague in the 1620s and was raised to the Bohemian nobility for his bravery during the defence of the city against the Swedes in 1648. Losy studied at Prague University from 1661, taking the doctorate in philosophy in 1668. After this he probably undertook the customary European tour; he is known to have visited Italy, and he probably went to France and the Low Countries as well. He had a great enthusiasm for French music, especially that of Lully, and also for the music of Fux. He played the lute and violin in concerts at his palace in Prague. At the height of his fame (1696–7) he travelled in the German lands and engaged in a friendly musical competition in Leipzig with Pantaleon Hebenstreit and the Thomaskantor Johann Kuhnau, who subsequently dedicated to Losy his ...

Article

[Dietrich] [Stoeffken, Ditrich]

(b early 17th century; d Cologne, ?Dec 1673). German viol player and composer. In 1622 he was at the Danish Court, probably in the viol consort led by William Brade, with whom he may have moved to the ducal court at Gottorf. By midsummer 1628 he was in England as a musician to Charles I's consort Henrietta Maria; in 1636 he succeeded Maurice Webster as a ‘musician for the consort in ordinary’ to the king. Shortly before the Civil War he left England, and on 17 May 1642 he was appointed a viol player to Friedrich Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg. During the period 1647–8 he was seconded to the service of the stadtholder of the United Provinces in The Hague, where Constantijn Huygens became a devoted admirer and friend. Soon after 1652 he moved to Hamburg, where Robert Bargrave and Cromwell's ambassador Bulstrode Whitelocke heard him play in ...

Article

Hans Radke

revised by Tim Crawford

(b Halle, bap. Oct 18, 1611; d Strasbourg, after 1669). German composer and lutenist, son of Valentin Strobel. From 1629 he worked as a lutenist and theorbo player in the Hofkapelle at Darmstadt. After a temporary stay at the Stuttgart court, where he obtained 30 florins as severance pay on 1 June 1634, he entered the service of Margrave Friedrich V of Baden-Durlach. The margrave was forced to leave his territories after the battle at Nördlingen on 6 September 1634, and he moved with his court to near Strasbourg. Together with other musicians, Strobel was dismissed after 1638, but he remained in Strasbourg. He married there on 28 July 1640, and on 15 August of the same year he acquired rights of citizenship. From this time until the early 1670s he seems to have taught the lute to students at the University of Strasbourg (see Meyer and Rollin)....

Article

Michael Tilmouth

revised by Peter Holman

(d Innsbruck, April 23, 1662). English composer and viol player. He was among the 17th-century English musicians who served at continental courts and carried to them a knowledge of the then much admired English manner of performance on the viol. Jean Rousseau, in his Traité de la viole (Paris, 1687/R), referred to the European reputations of some of these players and mentioned three in particular, among them ‘Joung auprès du Comte d’Insbruck’. Nothing is known of Young’s early life, though the presence of five-part dances in a manuscript associated with Worcester in the 1640s ( GB-Ob Mus.Sch.E.415–18) suggests that he was already an established composer before he left England, and possibly that he came from the West Country.

The spelling ‘Joungh’ found in some sources of his music suggests that he may already have been with Ferdinand Karl when the latter was Governor of the Netherlands before becoming archduke of Innsbruck in ...

Article

Theorbo  

Ian Harwood, Robert Spencer and James Tyler

[chitarrone, theorbo lute] (Fr. téorbe, théorbe, tuorbe; Ger. Theorb; It. tiorba, tuorba)

An instrument of the Western lute family with stopped courses considerably longer than those of a lute and with a separate nut and pegbox for a set of longer, unstopped bass strings (diapasons). The Italian names Chitarrone and tiorba were used synonymously for the same instrument, depending on personal or regional preferences. During the 17th century and part of the 18th the theorbo was popular as an accompanying instrument, and in the 17th century a certain amount of solo music in tablature was published for it.

The pegbox for the stopped strings of a theorbo is nearly aligned with the neck, not bent back sharply as on a lute. Beyond the upper end of this pegbox the neck extends to an additional pegbox for the additional bass strings. The extension is of the same piece of wood as the first pegbox, and the bass strings are kept from crossing the stopped courses by setting the extensions at a slight angle off centre....

Article

David Pinto

(b Salisbury, bap. May 1, 1602; d Chester, Sept 24, 1645). English composer and musician, younger brother of Henry Lawes. Another brother, John, was also a musician. William wrote copiously for voices and instruments, with facility equal to Henry’s, whose fame lay mainly in vocal music, and with more versatility. An abiding claim to attention lies in his innovatory chamber works, especially those for viols or violins with continuo. He was equally the leading composer of dance, and of music for drama (including the masque), in the period 1630–45.

On attaining a position as lay vicar at Salisbury Cathedral in 1602, Thomas Lawes moved his young family to Sarum Close. His son William, six years younger than Henry, may have received his earliest education at the free school in the close, or even sung with his brothers as a chorister in the cathedral. A posthumous account by Thomas Fuller, a friend of Henry Lawes, reveals that William’s talent was early recognized by Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, who had him apprenticed to John Coprario. At the earl’s Wiltshire estates nearby in Amesbury, Lawes could have encountered Alfonso Ferrabosco (ii), who was an honoured visitor. An unsubstantiated report by Henry Hatcher (...