John Danyel


Born: November, 1564 Died: circa 1626
English lutenists and composers of Danyel's calibre were few and far between. Some of Tomkins' madrigals were dedicated to him and Dowland placing him in company with the best lute player of the day. Many lute pieces were composed by Danyel and can be found in the forms of duets, songs, and ensembles (lute, viol and voice). He served the public through the theatre and the court as a royal musician -- Danyel lived only for a short time after the death of James I. Using accidentals and ascending and descending scales, Danyel was successful, for his time, at portraying textual data with his music. The lute was used primarily as an accompanying instrument in his works and he did not betray these conventions. Lute parts arranged by Danyel were often found to be in strict counterpoint to the melodic line. Though few references exist to his person, Danyl was highly esteemed and quite the skillful player. (This is presumed to be the case from, 1. the requirements of his compositions, and 2. the co-referential treatment given by Tomkins.)

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