Dowland, John

Dowland, John
born 1562/63, Westminster, London, Eng.
died Jan. 21, 1626, London

English composer and lutenist.

Educated at Oxford, he was refused a court position in 1594 and, believing his adoptive Catholicism had been the cause, he left for the continent. There he traveled extensively and took a position at the Danish court. In 1612, when his compositions had made him famous, he was finally appointed lutenist to the English court. He published three collections of songs, including about 90 works for solo lute and some 80 lute songs, including "Come again, sweet love does now endite," " Flow my tears," and "Weep you no more, sad fountains." His Lachrimae is a collection for viol-and-lute ensemble.

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▪ English musician
born 1562/63, Westminster, London, England
died January 21, 1626, London

      English composer, virtuoso lutenist, and skilled singer, one of the most famous musicians of his time.

      Nothing is known of Dowland's childhood, but in 1580 he went to Paris as a “servant” to Sir Henry Cobham, the ambassador to the French court. In 1588 he received a bachelor of music degree from the University of Oxford. His conversion to Roman Catholicism, he believed, caused his rejection for a post as a court lutenist in 1594, and after that disappointment he left England to travel on the Continent. He visited the duke of Brunswick at Wolfenbüttel and the landgrave of Hesse at Kassel and was received with esteem at both courts. His travels also took him to Nürnberg, Genoa, Florence, and Venice, and by 1597 he had returned to England.

      In 1598 Dowland became lutenist to Christian IV of Denmark, but he was dismissed for unsatisfactory conduct in 1606. Between 1609 and 1612 he entered the service of Theophilus, Lord Howard de Walden, and in 1612 he was appointed one of the “musicians for the lutes” to James I.

      Although a respecter of tradition, Dowland worked during a time of musical transition and absorbed many of the new ideas he had encountered on the Continent. His 88 lute songs (printed 1597–1612) particularly reflect those influences. The early songs are presented with an alternative version for four voices. Possessing enchanting melodies, they show simple strophic settings, often in dance forms, with an almost complete absence of chromaticism. Later, in such through-composed songs as "In Darkness Let Me Dwell" (1610), "From Silent Night" (1612), and "Lasso vita mia" (1612), he introduced the Italian declamatory style, chromaticism, and dissonance; no alternative four-voice versions are given.

      Dowland composed about 90 works for solo lute; many are dance forms, often with highly elaborate divisions to the repeats. His famous Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares Figured in Seaven Passionate Pavans (1604), became one of the most widely known compositions of the time. In his chromatic fantasies, the finest of which are "Forlorne Hope Fancye" and "Farewell," he developed this form to a height of intensity unequaled by any other writer for the Renaissance lute. His compositions also include several psalm harmonizations and sacred songs printed in contemporary music books.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • DOWLAND, John — (1563 1626) John Dowland was the foremost composer of English lute music. From an artisan family, the seventeen year old Dowland went to Paris in the service of the ambassador to France, Sir Henry Cobham, possibly in order to study music. He… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Dowland, John — (1562 1626)    Dowland and Thomas Campion rank as the leading English composers of songs for the lute. Dowland is noted for his subtle melody and for the verse that he wrote for the vocal part of the performance. His air Flow, My Tears was his… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Dowland, John — (1562/63, Westminster, Londres, Inglaterra–21 ene. 1626, Londres). Compositor y laudista inglés. Educado en Oxford, en 1594 se le negó un cargo en la corte y, creyendo que la causa era su catolicismo adoptivo, emigró a Europa continental. Ahí… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Dowland, John — (1563 1626)    It is unknown whether this composer, virtuoso lutenist, and skilled singer one of the most famous musicians of his time, with a music degree from Oxford University in 1588 was English or Irish. He is known to have gone to Paris in… …   British and Irish poets

  • John Dowland — (* 1563 möglicherweise in London[1]; begraben 20. Februar 1626 in St Anne, Blackfriars, London) war ein englischer Komponist des elisabethanischen Zeitalters. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Dowland — était un compositeur et luthiste né en Angleterre ou en Irlande en 1563 et mort le 20 février 1626. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Œuvre 3 Notes et références …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • John Dowland — (1563 – 20 de febrero de 1626) fue un compositor y laudista inglés, uno de los músicos más famosos de su época. Se conoce muy poco de la vida temprana de Dowland, pero generalmente se admite que nació en Londres o posiblemente Dublín. Se sabe que …   Wikipedia Español

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