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Baroque Era

Henry IV (Fr) assassinated; is succeeded by his infant son Louis XIII; his widow, Marie de Medicis, is appointed regent • Russian nobles depose Tsar Basil Shuisky • Tea is introduced to Europe • Galileo Galilei (It) publishes the first observations of Moon mountains and craters •
Peter Paul Rubens - Samson and Delilah
Explorer Henry Hudson (Eng) dies in St James Bay, Canada, when his crew mutiny and cast him adrift • Shakespeare (Eng): The Tempest • King James Bible (Authorised Version) is published in England  

Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II dies; is succeeded by his aging and ailing brother, Matthias • Last recorded executions for heresy in England • Russian national militia drives Poles away from besieging Moscow • Trigonometrical tables published in Germany employ decimal point
Russian national assembly elects Tsar Mikhail Romanov, first of Romanov dynasty, which lasts until 1917; end of Russia’s Time of Troubles’ • Denmark and Sweden end War of Kolmar with Peace of Knarod
• English trading stations are established at Hirado, Japan, and Surat, India • Fire destroys Globe Theatre, London • Galileo Galilei (It) publishes his acceptance of the Copernican theory that the Earth goes round the Sun
Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden captures Novgorod (Russ) • Pocahontas, daughter of an American Indian chief, becomes a Christian and marries John Rolfe, an English settler • Explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (Eng) is imprisoned in the Tower of London for treason • Mathematician John Napier (Scot) announces his development of natural logarithms

Marie de Médicis 



Giovanni Paolo Cima publishes his Concerti ecclesiastici. This stylistically wade-ranging collection includes an early example of the trio sonata (the charming Sonata per violino, cornetto e violone) and what may be considered as the earliest sonata for violin and continuo. 

Giovanni Paolo Cima - Concerti ecclesiastici

Cima - Sonata à 3. Violino, Cornetto e Violone

Robert Dowland, son of John Dovland, issues the musical anthologies A Musicall Banquet and Varietie of Lute-Lessons, containing music of England and the continent. Included in the Banquet is John Dowland’s lauded song ‘In darknesse let me dwell’

John Dowland - In Darkness Let Me Dwell

French composer Michel Lambert is born around this time in Champigny-sur-Veudes. 

Henry Du Mont, Southern-Netherlandisch composer, born.

Monteverdi combines old and modern compositional styles (prima prattica and seconda prattica) in his sacred masterpiece Vespers of the Blessed Virgin. Serving the court of Mantua, Monteverdi is at this time the most famous Italian composer of secular music. The Vespers, published in Venice, promote him as a leading composer of religious music. 

Vespers of the Blessed Virgin

Michael Praetorius completes the final volume of his Musae Sioniae, begun in 1605. The nine-part collection comprises over 1,200 hymns and psalm settings. 

Praetorius - Musae Sioniae

Viadana issues his one and only instrumental collection, the festive Sinfonie musicali a 8, in Venice. Each piece is named after an Italian city. 

Viadana - Sinfonia sopra La Bergamasca a 8

William Young, English viol player and composer, born.

Michel Lambert

Michel Lambert (1610 – 29 June 1696) was a French singing master, theorbist and composer.


Lambert was born at Champigny-sur-Veude, France. He received his musical education as an altar boy at the Chapel of Gaston d'Orléans. He studied also with Pierre de Nyert in Paris. Since 1636, he was known as a singing teacher. In 1641, he married singer Gabrielle Dupuis who died suddenly a year later. Their daughter Madeleine became a wife of Jean-Baptiste Lully (in 1662). After his marriage, Lambert's career became closely linked to his sister-in-law and famous singer Hilaire Dupuy (1625-1709).

In 1651, he appears as a ballet dancer at the court of Louis XIV. Beginning in 1656, his reputation as a composer was established and his compositions were regularly printed by Ballard. They consist mainly of airs on the poems of Benserade and Quinault. He was the most prolific composer of tunes in the second half of the seventeenth century. In 1661, he succeeded Jean de Cambefort as a maître de musique de la chambre du roi and kept this position until his death. In 1670, he became Kapellmeister. In that time, Lully was a superintendent of the royal music.

Lambert's role as a singing master and composer of dramatic airs contributed to the creation of the French opera. As a singing master, he enjoyed a reputation attested by many testimonies of his time (including singers Anne de La Barre, Pierre Perrin, and La Cerf of Viéville). Titon du Tillet mentions concerts given in his house in Puteaux, during which Lambert himself accompanied on theorbo. He also collaborated with Lully in the creation of several ballets (e.g. Ballets des amours déguisez).

He died at Paris, France.

Michel Lambert - Vos mespris chaque jour


Henri Du Mont

Henri Dumont (also Henry Du Mont, originally Henry de Thier) (1610 – 8 May 1684) was a Southern-Netherlandisch composer.


Dumont was born to Henry de Thier and Elisabeth Orban in Looz (Borgloon). The family moved in 1613 to Maastricht, where Henri and his brother Lambert were choirboys at the church of Notre-Dame (i.e., the Basilica of Our Lady). In 1630 he was named organist and given a leave of two months to complete his education. In the principality of Liège (where he spent much of his time) he studied with Léonard de Hodémont (1575–1639), absorbing trends from Italy. On 1 December 1632, he resigned in favor of his brother. In 1639 he went to Paris to become organist at the important parish church of Saint-Paul. From this time he used the name Dumont or Du Mont in place of De Thier. From 1652 he was harpsichordist at the court of the Duke of Anjou (Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, a brother of Louis XIV), and in 1660 he obtained that post to the young queen Marie-Thérése. In 1663 he became "maitre" of the Chapelle Royale in Versailles, in 1672 he became "Sous-maître de la musique du Roy" (with Pierre Robert) and in 1673 became Master of the Queen's Music.

In 1683 he resigned the last of his posts and died a year later in Paris.

With the exception of a few songs and the instrumental pieces in the 1657 Meslanges, Dumont was a composer of religious music. His output includes nearly a hundred Petits Motets, the principal French genre of his time; his illustrious successors were Jean-Baptiste Lully and François Couperin. Du Mont was the first to publish separate continuo partbooks in France.

​Henri Dumont

Grands Motets
Dumont's grands motets for the Chapelle Royale are the first representatives of the genre. Unlike the later works of Lully and Rameau they are not made of successive movements unified by key and thematic material - rather, the versets (without final barline, regardless of what appears in some modern editions) are linked and ordered with a constant eye towards contrast, which can also be seen in the deployment of the performing forces: soloists, groups of soloists, sub-choir, ripieno and orchestra all join, retire, engage in dialogue, and reunite, the solo voices rejoining the choir. The five-part writing is typical of the French grand motet and remained so until the 18th century. Dumont used two violins and two violas, which is noteworthy because it reflects North European practice, whereas Lully used one violin part and three violas.

Note on pitch: The meantone temperament prevailed in France until the end of the 18th century, above all in religious music using the organ (Dumont's instrument).
Note on instrumentation: The orchestra for grands motets contained théorbos and harpsichord (and organ), violins and viols.
His five plainchant masses, known as the Messes Royales, survived up to the mid-20th century (before Vatican II), though they display little of the genius developed in his motet writing. Nevertheless one can still hear them sung at major feasts in a few Catholic places of worship (for example at St Eugène in Paris) and his motets also continue to find a place in the liturgy.

In the 1681 Motets à ii iii & iv parties the following note appears, suggesting four singers as the normal size for a choir (as Joshua Rifkin argues in Bach's Chorus: A Preliminary Report): "Quand on voudra deux pourrant chanter dans une mesme Partie, & la petit lettre italique signifie qu'une des deux doit chanter seul, & la grosse lettre ronde pour chanter Tous ensemble comme si c'estoir à deux choeurs."

Henri Du Mont : Sinfonia & Grand Motet

William Young

William Young (1610? - died 23 April 1662) was an English viol player and composer of the Baroque era, who worked at the court of Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria in Innsbruck. The sonatas which he published in 1653 were some of the earliest sonatas produced by an English composer.

The details of Young's origins are unknown. By 1652 he was a chamber musician at the Innsbruck court, where "the Englishman", as he was called, was a highly regarded viol player and composer. The design of his English-made viol influenced that of some of the viols built by Jakob Stainer, the Austrian luthier. In 1660 Ferdinand Charles granted permission for Young to visit England, but there are no traces of his reappearance there. 

Young died on 23 April 1662 and was buried at Innsbruck's parish church, St Jakob.

Young and Henry Butler, an English viol player working at the Spanish court, were the first English composers to call their works sonatas. However, Butler died in 1652 with his three sonatas unpublished. Young's 11 sonatas for two, three, and four parts and continuo, published in Innsbruck in 1653, are known to have reached England.

William Young - Sonata Undecima à5

William Young


"A song that is well and artificially

made cannot he well perceived

nor understood at thefirst hearing,

but the oftner you shall heare it,

the better causefor liking

you will discover."

William Byrd, aged 70, issues his Psalmes, Songs and Sonnets in London. 

German composer Paul Peuerl pioneers the variation suite in his Newe Padouan, Intrada, Dantz und Galliarda. 

Suite d minor, Peuerl - Padouan - Intrada - Dantz - Galliarda

Carlo Gesualdo publishes his fifth and sixtli books of madrigals, containing some of the most harmonically progressive music of the era. He also composes the sacred work Responsoria, to be performed at his castle for his single pleasure. 

Carlo Gesualdo - Tenebrae Responsories (1611)

Michael Praetorius completes a series of liturgical works with Missodia Sionia, Hymnodia Sionia, Eulogodia Sionia and Megalynodia Sionia. 

Praetorius: Hymnodia Sionia

German-Italian composer Giovanni Kapsberger brings out his Libro I d’intavolatura di lauto, his one surviving collection of lute pieces. 

Kapsberger - Libro Primo d'Intavolatura di Lauto

English lutenist and composer John Maynard publishes 12 songs in his XII Wonders o f the World for ‘Violl de Gambo, the Lute and the Voyce’

Lucia Quinciani's Udite lagrimosi spirti d ’Avemo, udite (Listen, tearful spirit of Averno, listen) is published in Marc’Antonio Negri’s anthology Affetti amorosi in Venice. It is the earliest known work of solo monody by a female composer. 

Heinrich Schutz’s Primo libro de madrigali is published in Venice. 

Schütz: Madrigal - "Seven Last Words from the Cross"

20 August
Tomas Luis de Victoria
Spain’s preeminent composer of exclusively religious works, dies in Madrid, aged 62. 

Marcantonio Negri

Marcantonio Negri (died October 1624) was an Italian composer, singer, and musical director of the early Baroque era. He was in the musical establishment of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice at the same time as Monteverdi, and was well known as a composer at the time.

He was born in Verona, but aside from this, nothing is known about his life prior to his appointment as assistant maestro di cappella at St. Mark's on 22 December 1612, a position in which he supported Monteverdi as primary maestro di cappella. His first publication dates from 1608, in Venice, so he had some experience as a composer and singer prior to his arrival at St. Mark's; whether he acquired that experience in Verona, Venice, or elsewhere is not known. After four years at St. Mark's, he became abbot of a monastery at Veglia (now Krk, Croatia), on an island off the coast of Dalmatia, a position which still required his part-time involvement at St. Mark's. He resigned from St. Mark's in 1619, and his position was taken by Alessandro Grandi. Negri died at Veglia.

Music and influence
His first book of affetti amorosi (1608) is in the most modern canzonetta style, using affective chromaticism and continuo. In 1611 he published another book of affetti amorosi which includes sonatas for two violins and continuo, as well as some sinfonias. Some of these pieces contain "battle music", with the violins imitating trumpet calls and military drums; both Monteverdi and Grandi imitated this style, and Monteverdi possibly learned it from Negri.

Negri also published sacred music, including a book of psalm settings (1613) and a book of spiritual songs (1618), both in Venice. Stylistically they conform to the typical practice of divided choirs and groups of instruments used by the other composers at St. Mark's.

Marcantonio Negri


Orlando Gibbons publishes The First Set of Madrigals
and Mottets, for voices and viols. It contains the majority of his secular vocal pieces, including the delightful five-part madrigal 'The Silver Swanne’.

The Silver Swan - Orlando Gibbons

Peter Phillips publishes his Cantiones sacrae
for 5 voices, in Antwerp. A devout Catholic, the English exile writes that these pieces are for ‘the consolation and salvation of the Christian people, the confirmation and amplification of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman faith, and the extirpation and confusion of heresy and heretics’. 

Peter Philips—Cantiones sacrae octonis vocibus

Michael Praetorius organises the publication of Terpsichore (The Muse of Dancing), an anthology of 312 French dances for instrumental ensembles. 

Michael Praetorius Terpsichore Musarum 1612

18 February
The death of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga marks the end of Monteverdi’s favour at the Mantuan Court. The new duke, Francesco Gonzaga (who commissioned Orfeo), will dismiss the composer during the summer as part of his downsizing procedures. 

8 June
Leading German composer and organist Hans Leo Hassler dies from tuberculosis in Frankfurt, aged 47. 

Influential Italian composer Giovanni Gabrieli dies from kidney stone complications aged about 55, in Venice. 

Florentine Camerata host, patronand composer Count Giovanni de’ Bardi dies in Rome, aged 78. 

Andreas Hammerschmidt, German composer, born.

Jan Sweelinck brings out his Rimes francoises et italiennes, containing French chansons and Italian madrigals. 

Rimes Francoises et Italiennes Part 1 Sweelinck

Wolfgang Ebner, German composer, born.

28 October
John Dowland becomes one of the King’s Lutes (to James I), receiving a salary of 20d a day. This year has seen the publication of A Pilgrime’s Solace, his final collection of sacred and secular lute songs. 

John Dowland - A Pilgrimes Solace
Nr. 14 - Thou mighty God
Nr. 15 - When Davids life
Nr. 16 - When the poor cripple

John Hingston, English composer, organist and viol player, born.

Hammerschmidt left Freiberg in 1633, through his mentor Stephan Otto, taking a post as organist for Count Rudolf von Bünau in Weesenstein, but returned to Freiberg the next year as an organist. He was married shortly after his return there, and of his six children three died in infancy. In 1639 he left Freiberg again, moving to Zittau, where he succeeded Christoph Schreiber as organist; he remained in Zittau at this post for the rest of his life. While musical life in Zittau was severely damaged by the Thirty Years' War, including the decimation of the choirs and general reduction in musical standards, Hammerschmidt survived; after the end of the war in 1648 musical life slowly regained its former high standard.

Andreas Hammerschmidt - Meine Seele erhebet den Herren

Andreas Hammerschmidt

Andreas Hammerschmidt (1611 or 1612 – 29 October 1675), the "Orpheus of Zittau," was a German Bohemian composer and organist of the early to middle Baroque era. He was one of the most significant and popular composers of sacred music in Germany in the middle 17th century.

He was born at Brüx, a small Protestant community in Bohemia, to a Saxon father and a Bohemian mother. In 1626 the family had to flee Bohemia, during the Thirty Years' War, after it had become Catholic; they settled in Freiberg, Saxony, where Andreas must have received his musical education. He probably did not study with composer Christoph Demantius, who was Kantor at Freiberg and the most significant musician in the city while Hammerschmidt was there; however he may have known him. Many famous musicians of the early Baroque spent time in Freiberg but it is uncertain which of them taught Hammerschmidt; at any rate he received a superb musical training while there.

Wolfgang Ebner

Wolfgang Ebner (1612–1665) was a German baroque composer. He was a Viennese court organist in the latter years of the reign of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, and then of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor.

Ebner was born in Augsburg. He may have preceded Johann Heinrich Schmelzer as ballet master at the court. He died in Vienna.

Wolfgang Ebner - Laudate Dominum (Ps. 116)

John Hingston

John Hingston (1612–1683) was an English composer, organist and viol player.

Oliver Cromwell appointed him court organist and keeper of instruments. After the Restoration, he was kept on as a viol player in the court of Charles II, where he also continued his work as an organ-builder, tuner and keeper of wind instruments until his death. In that capacity he was mentor to his 14-year-old godson, Henry Purcell, who was apprenticed to him by a royal warrant issued on 10 June 1673: " swear and admit Henry Purcell in the place of keeper, mender, maker, repairer and tuner of the regals, organs, virginals, flutes and recorders and all other kind of wind instruments whatsoever, in ordinary, without fee, to his Majesty, and assistant to John Hingston, and upon the death or other avoidance of the latter, to come into ordinary with fee."


Hingston was an apt model for the young royal chorister (whose voice would soon break, leaving him without other employment). A pupil of Orlando Gibbons, Hingston was also a composer and viol player, in which capacity he had served Charles I and whose daughters he tutored in music, as a member of the court band. He was also teacher of the Baroque composer and organist John Blow.

John Hingeston - Double Voluntary

Andreas Hammerschmidt
Wolfgang Ebner
John Hingston


21 keyboard pieces by Byrd (8), Bull (7) and Gibbons (6) are issued in the Parthenia, subtitled The Maydenhead o f thefirst musicke that ever was printed for the Virginalls. The landmark collection is published in London in celebration of the marriage between the 15-year-old daughter of James I, Princess Elizabeth, and Frederick V, Elector Palatine of Heidelberg. 

William Byrd-Pieces from Parthenia part 1
-Preludium (n°1)
-Pavana-Sir William Petre (n°2)
-Galiardo-Sir William Petre (n° 3)
-Preludium (n°4)
-Galiardo-Mris Marye Brownlo (n°5)
-Galiardo Secunde-Mris Marye Brownlo (n°8)

William Byrd-Pieces from Parthenia-part 2
-Pavana-The Earle of Salisbury (n°6)
-Galiardo-The Earle of Salisbury (n°7)

John Bull-Pieces from Parthenia-part 1
-Galiardo (n°14)
-Pavana-St Thomas wake (n°10)
-Galiardo-St Thomas wake (n°11)

John Bull-Pieces from Parthenia part 2
-Preludium (n° 9)
-Pavana (n°12)
-Galiardo (n°13) 
-Galiardo (n°15)

Orlando Gibbons-Pieces from Parthenia part 1
-The Lord of Salisbury his Pavan (n°18)
-Galiardo (n°19)

Orlando Gibbons-Pieces from Parthenia part 2
-Preludium (n°21)
-Galiardo (n°16)
-Fantazia of foure parts (n°17)
-The Queenes Command (n°20)

Priest and musician Pietro Cerone publishes his 1,160-page music theory and history tome El melopeo у maestro, in Naples. 

Pietro Cerone (1566 – 1625) was an Italian music theorist, singer and priest of the late Renaissance. He is most famous for an enormous music treatise he wrote in 1613, which is useful in the studying compositional practices of the 16th century.

Heinrich Schutz returns to Kassel after the death of his teacher, Giovanni Gabrieli, the previous year in Venice. He takes up the position of second court organist to the Landgrave of Moritz. 

Domenico Anglesi, Italian composer, born.

Thomas Mace, English composer and musical theorist, born.

Jan Sweelinck brings out his second book of Pseaumes de David, in Amsterdam. 

Ensemble Sweelinck. Pseaume 138

14 February
The Lords’ Maske is staged in London for the marriage of Frederick V (Elector Palatine) and Princess Elizabeth Stuart. The songs are supplied by Thomas Campion, with instrumental music possibly by Robert Johnson

29 April
Christoph Bach, German musician, born. He was the grandfather of  Johann Sebastian Bach.

1 August
Monteverdi applies for the position of maestro di capella at St Mark’s, Venice, by providing music for a mass. 

Facing charges of adultery, John Bull leaves England, never to return. The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Abbott, declares in a letter that Bull ‘hath more music than honesty and is as famous for marring of virginity as he is for fingering of organs and virginals’. 

18 August
Remembered more for his anti-modernist polemics than his music, Giovanni Artusi dies in Bologna, aged about 73. 

19 August
Monteverdi is appointed maestro di capella at St Mark’s, Venice, with a handsome annual salary of 300 ducats. 

20 August
Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, German poet and composer, born.

8 September
Carlo Gesualdo, prince, avant-garde composer and double murderer (of his wife and her lover in 1590), dies in Gesualdo, Avellino, aged about 52. He is buried at the Gesu Nuovo church in Naples. 

Travelling to Venice, Monteverdi and his maidservant are robbed at gunpoint by highwaymen. They complete their journey penniless. 

Christoph Bach

Christoph Bach (29 April [O.S. 19 April] 1613 – 22 September [O.S. 12 September] 1661) was a German musician of the Baroque period. He was the grandfather of Johann Sebastian Bach.

According to information provided by Johann Sebastian Bach in his genealogy Origin of the Musical Bach Family written in 1735, Christoph Bach was the second son of Johannes Hans Bach. His brothers, Johann Bach and Heinrich Bach, were also composers.

He was born in Wechmar, Germany, where he became a court musician. He also held town musician posts in Erfurt and in Arnstadt. Christoph Bach was married to Maria Magdalena Grabler. They had three sons, who were all musicians: Georg Christoph Bach (1642–1697), and the twins Johann Ambrosius Bach (1645–1695), who was Johann Sebastian Bach's father, and Johann Christoph Bach (1645–1693). Christoph Bach died in Arnstadt.

Domenico Anglesi

Domenico Anglesi
, Italian composer; (b. c. 1613; d. after Aug. 28, 1669). He was an instrumentalist and composer in the service of the Grand Duke of Tuscany in Florence from 1638. He also was aiutante de camera to Cardinal Giovan Carlo de’ Medici. Anglesi wrote stage works and publ. a vol. of Arie for Voice and Continuo (Florence, 1635).

Thomas Mace

Thomas Mace (1612 or 1613 – c. 1706) was an English lutenist, viol player, singer, composer and musical theorist of the Baroque era. His book Musick's Monument (1676) provides a valuable description of 17th century musical practice. 
He died c. 1706.

Elisabeth Sophie of  Mecklenburg

Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg (20 August 1613 – 12 July 1676) was a German poet and composer.

She began studying music at the court of her father, Duke John Albert II of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, where there was an orchestra known for its use of fine English musicians, such as William Brade. 

She moved to the court of Kassel, which also had a strong musical tradition, when the Thirty Years War threatened her court in 1628. In 1635 she married the learned Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
Elisabeth Sophie was charged with organizing the court orchestra, and at times worked closely with Heinrich Schütz, who was appointed absentes Kapellmeister in 1655. She may have collaborated with him on arias in his Theatralische neue Vorstellung von der Maria Magdalena.

Most of Elisabeth Sophie 's compositions are hymns or devotional arias. Some of these were published in 1651 and 1667. The one printed in 1651, Vinetum evangelicum, Evangelischer Weinberg, is believed to have been the first music published by a woman in Germany. She also played a major role in establishing large court entertainments, including masquerades, plays, and ballets, to which she at times wrote librettos and music. 

Christoph Bach
Domenico Anglesi
Thomas Mace
Elisabeth  Mecklenburg


Francesca Caccini publishes a second collection of songs with some points on musical theory in Nuove musiche e nuova maniera di scriverle (New Music and New Methods of Notation). 

FRANCESCA CACCINI, 'Ch'Amor sia nudo, e pur com l'ali al tergo' (Il primo libro delle Musiche)

Heinrich Pfendner publishes Delli motetti in Graz, one of the first motet collections with continuo by a German composer. 

Heinrich Pfendner: Canzon in G-Dur

In prison for unpaid debt, Sir William Leighton organises the publication of The Teares or Lamentations
of a Sorrowfull Soule
. The collection contains 55 settings of his poetry, with some consort songs by Leighton himself. Wilbye and Byrd are among the 21 English composers who contribute to the volume. 

Jan Sweelinck brings out his third book of Pseaumes de David in Amsterdam 

SWEELINCK Jan Pieterszoon - Pseaume 150

Monteverdi begins to revitalise the musical establishment at St Mark’s, Venice, employing new musicians and expanding the music library with part-books by Lassus, Palestrina and others. This same year he completes his Sixth Book of Madrigals, which includes a beautiful re-setting of ‘Lamento d’Arianna’ from the opera L’Arianna (1608), and several other five-part madrigals with continuo accompaniment. 

Monteverdi: Madrigais, Book 6 (Vol 1 & 2)

German composer Franz Tunder is born in Bannesdorf, near Burg. 

Late September
Former composer to the papal choir, Felice Anerio dies in Rome, aged about 54. 

Spanish composer Juan Hidalgo is born in Madrid.

Franz Tunder

Franz Tunder (1614 – November 5, 1667) was a German composer and organist of the early to middle Baroque era. He was an important link between the early German Baroque style which was based on Venetian models, and the later Baroque style which culminated in the music of J.S. Bach; in addition he was formative in the development of the chorale cantata.

According to recent research, Tunder was born in Lübeck, not in Bannesdorf or Burg on the island of Fehmarn as was believed by earlier scholars. Little is known about his early life other than that his talent was sufficient to allow him to be appointed as court organist to Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp in Gottorf at the age of 18. A few years earlier, he had gone to Italy in the company of Johann Heckelauer, and it is likely that he studied with Girolamo Frescobaldi while he was in Florence. (Johann Mattheson asserted that he did, but this has been disputed by later scholars).

Between 1632 and 1641, Tunder worked in Gottorf as "Hoforganist". In 1641 he was appointed as the main organist at Lübeck's main church, the Marienkirche, succeeding Peter Hasse. In 1647 he became administrator and treasurer there also. He held that post for the rest of his life. His successor was Dieterich Buxtehude. 

He began the tradition of "Abendmusiken", a long series of free concerts in the Marienkirche, the most elaborate of which were before Christmas time. The earliest of these concerts occurred in 1646. The concerts seem to have originated as organ performances specifically for the businessmen who congregated at the weekly opening of the town's stock exchange. These concerts were to continue through the 17th and 18th centuries; they were distinguished from other concerts by having free admission (for they took place in a church), and by being financed by the business community.


Along with Heinrich Scheidemann and Matthias Weckmann, Tunder was one of the most important members of the North German organ school; however, few of his works are preserved.

Nisi Dominus - Franz Tunder

Juan Hidalgo

Juan Hidalgo de Polanco (28 September 1614 – 31 March 1685) was a Spanish composer and harpist who became the most influential composer of his time in the Hispanic world writing the music for the first two operas created in Spanish. He is considered by many to be the father of Spanish Opera and of the Zarzuela.

Hidalgo was born and died in Madrid. In either 1630 or 1631 he became a harpist at the Spanish royal chapel where he was responsible for the accompaniment of both sacred and secular music and also played for the King of Spain, King Philip IV. Around 1645 he began to serve as leader of the court's chamber musicians and chief composer of villancicos, chamber songs, and music for the theatre.

He personifies the origins of Spanish Opera with the work Celos aun del aire matan by the illustrious playwright Calderon de la Barca, based on the story of Cephalus and Procris told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, released on December 5, 1660 to celebrate the third birthday of prince Felipe Prospero. It is considered the oldest opera preserved in Spain.

Juan Hidalgo dominated secular and theatrical music at the Spanish court until his death. He was a prolific composer and enjoyed a great deal of popularity throughout his career. His place in Spanish theatre history is equivalent to that of Henry Purcell in Britain and Lully in France. He wrote music for at least nine allegorical religious plays that were performed in public for Corpus Christi. His work for the court stages included songs for 16 spoken plays (comedias), many partly sung zarzuelas and semi-operas, and two full operas which are highly regarded. His output also included a large number of sacred villancicos and some liturgical music.

Juan Hidalgo - Trompicábalas amor

Franz Tunder
Juan Hidalgo

Peter Paul Rubens - Samson and Delilah 

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