Bennet, John

About 1570-about-1614

English madrigal writer who flourished at the close of the Sixteenth and beginning of the Seventeenth Century. Details of his biography are very meager, but Ravenscroft, in his Briefe Discourse, 1614, records John Bennet as a " Gentleman admirable for all kinds of Composures, either in Art, or Ayre, Simple or Mixt, of what Nature soeuer." In 1599 was published Bennet's Madrigalls to Foure Voyces, and on the title page they are declared as " being his first Works." He contributed five Madrigals to the Briefe Discourse abovementioned, and to The Triumphs of Oriana, the madrigal, a perennial favorite,   All Creatures now  are merry minded. Full of melody is his, Come, shepherds, follow me, and his, Thyrsis, sleepest thou? Few composers in this field of musical expression have equaled him in long-continued popularity. As is cited in Grove, Ravenscroft's judgment of the merits of John Bennet has been endorsed by posterity.