Dowland, John


A famous lute-player, who was born in Westminster, London, and who composed many fascinating compositions for his instrument. The poetry and music in his works are of great excellence and he was classed with the best musicians of his time. His compositions all have that delightful, quaint flavor peculiar to the works of the composers who lived during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. He resided on the Continent from 1581 to 1584, but returning to England he was made a Bachelor of Music and was the lutenist to Charles IV. of Denmark about 1599. He returned to England in 1605, and after another period of residence in Denmark settled in London and continued to maintain his home there. He became lutenist to the King in 1625. He compiled three books of songs and airs for the lute, a Pilgrim's Solace, wherein is contained musical harmony of three, four and five parts to be sung and played with lute and viols, which was published in 1612. He also wrote the harmonies in Estes' Psalms.