<15th Century1550-1599>

* = approximate date


  • Aug 6 Alexander Agricola and Jheronimus de Clibano both hired as singers by Philip I of Castile
  • *Johannes Aal born (Bremgarten, Switzerland) Swiss theologian, composer, dramatist. Died 1553
  • *Arnold von Bruck born (Bruges) Franco-Flemish composer, priest, Kappelmeister. Died 1554
  • *Jacob (Jacques) Buus born (Ghent) Flemish composer, organist. Died 1565
  • *Heinrich Faber born (Lichtenfels, Germany) German music theorist, Kantor, composer, singer, teacher. Died 1552
  • *Miguel de Fuenllana born (Madrid) Spanish vihuela player, composer. Blind from birth. Died 1579
  • *Hans Gerle born (Nuremberg) German lutenist, arranger. Died 1570
  • *Luis de Milán born (Valencia) Spanish composer, vihuela player, writer. Author of the first ever collection of vihuela music. Died c.1561
  • *Luis de Narváez born (Granada, Spain) Spanish composer, vihuela player. Died c.1550
  • *Francisco de Soto born (Madrid?) Spanish composer, organist, Franciscan missionary. Died 1563
  • *Tielman Susato born (Soest, Germany) Flemish composer, music publisher. Founder of the Netherlands’ first music press. Died c.1570
  • *Enríquez de Valderrábano born (Spain) Spanish composer, vihuela player. Died c.1557
  • *Philip van Wilder born (Wormhout, France) Anglo-Flemish composer, lutenist, teacher, merchant. Died 1554
  • *John Browne (c. 50) dies
  • *The Chigi Codex musical manuscript compiled in Flanders, including works by Johannes Ockeghem, Johannes Regis, Josquin des Prez and others
Pages from the Chigi Codex

Pages from the Chigi Codex


  • Apr 28 Bartolomeo Tromboncino leaves his position at the ducal court of Francesco Gonzaga in Mantua
  • May Harmonice musices odhecaton Canti A, the first printed collection of polyphonic music, published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice. The book contains 96 secular songs including works by Johannes Ockeghem, Josquin des Prez, Antoine Brumel, Antoine Busnois, Alexander Agricola and Jacob Obrecht. Edited by Petrus Castellanus, maestro di cappella of San Giovanni e Paolo
  • Nov 25 Loyset Compère’s motet Gaude prole regia [rejoice royal children] premiered in Paris
  • *Hilaire Penet born (Poitiers) French composer, singer. Member of the Papal Choir 1514-20. Death date unknown
  • Hayne van Ghizeghem’s De tous biens plaine published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Loyset Compère’s motet Gaude prole regia / Sancta Catharina composed


  • Feb 5 Harmonice musices odhecaton Canti B published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Jul 27 Francesco Corteccia born (Florence) Italian composer, organist, singer, teacher. Maestro di cappella to the Medici family. Died 1571
  • Sep 27 Josquin Desprez: Misse [I] published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice, the first printed book of scores dedicated to a single composer
  • Josquin’s Missa La sol fa re mi composed


  • Feb 23 Annamacharya (94) dies
  • Mar 24 Jacob Obrecht: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Apr Josquin des Prez appointed maestro di cappella at the Ferrara court
  • Jun 17 Antoine Brumel: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Jul 15 Johannes Ghiselin: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Oct 31 Pierre de La Rue: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Jheronimus de Clibano (c. 54) dies, probably in Lyon
  • *Josquin’s motet Miserere written


  • Feb 10 Harmonice musices odhecaton Canti C published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Mar 23 Alexander Agricola: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Apr Josquin des Prez leaves the post of maestro di cappella at the Ferrara court
  • May 3 Josquin des Prez appointed provost of the church of Notre Dame in Condé-sur-l’Escaut
  • Sep Jacob Obrecht appointed maestro di cappella at the Ferrara court
  • Walter Lambe (c. 54) dies
  • *Jacob Obrecht’s Missa Maria zart composed


  • Mar 22 Marbrianus de Orto: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Jun 30 Josquin Desprez: Misse [II] published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Jul Jacob Obrecht (c. 47) dies in Ferrara of the plague
  • Oct 4 Robert Wydow (c.59) buried in Wells, Somerset.
  • *Jacques Arcadelt born (Liege) Flemish composer, singer. Member of the Papal Choir 1538-51. Died 1568
  • *Andrea Amati born (Cremona) Italian violin maker. Patriarch of the Amati family of luthiers. Father of Antonio (c.1550-1630) and Girolamo (1551-1635) and grandfather of Nicolò (1596-1684). Died c.1578
  • *Jacquet de Berchem born (Berchem-lez-Anvers, Netherlands) Franco-Flemish composer of madrigals. Works include around 200 madrigals, 9 motets and 2 masses. Died 1567
  • *Cornelius Canis born (Ghent) Flemish composer, singer, choirmaster. Died 1561
  • *Mattheus Le Maistre born (Dresden?) German composer, kapellmeister. Died 1577
  • *Girolamo Scotto born (Milan) Italian printer, composer, bookseller. Died 1572
  • *Thomas Tallis born (Dover?) English composer, organist, teacher, music publisher. Died 1585
  • *Christopher Tye born (Cambridgeshire?) English composer, organist. Choirmaster at Ely Cathedral 1543-61. Died c.1572
  • *Adam of Fulda (c. 60) dies in Wittenberg
  • *The Eton Choirbook completed, with works by John Browne, Richard Hygons, William Cornysh, Robert Fayrfax and others
  • *Josquin’s frottola El Grillo composed (approx date)


  • May 2 Johannes von Soest (c.58) dies in Frankfurt
  • Jun 19 Hans Buchner appointed organist at Constance cathedral
  • Aug 15 Alexander Agricola (c. 60) dies in Valladolid, Spain of the plague
  • Oct 20 Heinrich Isaac: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • *Johannes Lupi born (Cambrai) Italian composer, singer, choirmaster . Died 1539
  • *Miyan Tansen aka Ramtanu Pandey born (Behat, India) Indian composer, singer, rebab player. Died 1589


  • Jan 7 Gaspar van Weerbeke: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • Mar Intabolatura de lauto libro primo and Intabolatura de lauto libro secondo published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice. The first books of printed lute music comprised of works by Francesco Spinacino (dates unknown)
  • Aug 23 Jean Molinet (c. 72) dies in Valenciennes
  • Bálint Bakfark born (Braşov, Romania) Hungarian composer, lutenist. Died 1576
  • Richard Davy (c.42) dies in Exeter
  • Loyset Compère’s motet Sola caret monstris / Fera pessima composed
  • Pierre de la Rue’s Missa pro defunctis composed, probably in memory of Philip I of Castile who died 25/9/1506.


  • Apr 14 Heinrich Isaac’s Choralis Constantinus commissioned by the cathedral chapter in Konstanz
  • Jun 20  G.M. Alemanni: Intabolatura de lauto III published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice
  • Dec 31 Intabolatura de lauto libro quarto published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice. A book of lute music comprised of works by Joan Ambrosio Dalza (birth and death dates unknown)
  • *Hans Neusidler born (Bratislava) German composer, lutenist, lute maker. Author of 8 published books of lute music. Died 1563
  • *Vincenzo Ruffo born (Verona) Italian composer, priest. Maestro di cappella at Milan Cathedral 1563-72. Also had spells at Savona, Verona, Pistoia and Sacile. Died 1587
  • *Alfonso dalla Viola born (Ferrara) Italian composer, viol player. Author of two books of madrigals, plus incidental instrumental music for plays which is now lost. Died 1573
  • Martin Luther begins teaching theology at the University of Wittenberg


  • Mar 27 F. Bossinensis: Tenori e contrabassi I published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice
  • Antonio Gardano aka Antoine Gardane born (France) Franco-Italian music publisher and printer. Published 450 editions in Venice between 1538 and his death. Died 1569
  • *Richard Hygons (c. 74) dies in Wells, Somerset


  • Mar 30 Antonio de Cabezón born (Spain) Spanish composer of instrumental music, organist. Around 275 pieces, mainly for organ, were published. Blind from early childhood. Died 1566
  • Nov 20 Hugh Aston’s Te Deum premiered in Oxford as part of his doctorate in music
  • *Louis Bourgeois born (Lyon?) French composer, music theorist. Compiler of Calvinist hymn tunes. Died 1560
  • *Jacob Clemens non Papa born (Middelburg?, Netherlands) Flemish composer. Works include more than 230 motets, 159 psalm tunes, 89 chansons, 15 masses and 15 magnificats. Died c.1556
  • *Bartolomé de Escobedo born (Zamora, Spain) Spanish composer, singer. Member of the Papal Choir 1536-54. Died 1563
  • *Georg Forster born (Amberg, Germany) German composer, music editor, physician (approx date). Died 1568
  • *Firmin Lebel born (Noyon, France) French composer, choirmaster. Member of the Papal Chapel 1561-65. Died 1573
  • *Pierre de Manchicourt born (Arras) French composer, choirmaster, singer. Died 1564
  • *John Marbeck born (Beverley, Yorks) English theologian, organist, composer. Author of an early Anglican prayer book. Died c.1585
  • *Alonso Mudarra born (Guadalajara, Spain) Spanish composer, vihuela player. Composer of the earliest surviving music for the guitar. Died 1580
  • *Diego Ortiz born (Toledo) Spanish composer, musicologist, choirmaster. Died c.1570
  • *Pierre Phalèse the Elder born (Leuven, Belgium) Flemish music publisher, printer, editor, engraver. Published around 189 music books in Leuven between 1547 and 1575. The firm continued after his death, moving to Antwerp in 1581. Died c.1575
  • *Tomás de Santa María born (Madrid) Spanish composer, organist, music theorist, Dominican friar. Died 1570
  • *Claudio Veggio born (Piacenza) Italian composer of madrigals and music for keyboard. Died c.1550
  • *Jean Ghiselin (c. 55) dies in Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands
  • Andrea Antico’s first music publication appears in Rome, a collection of frottole
  • *Josquin’s Missa de Beata Virgine written


  • Mar 22 Heinrich Finck’s Missa sex vocum premiered at the wedding of Ulrich, the Duke of Wurttemberg
  • May 10 F. Bossinensis: Tenori e contrabassi II published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice
  • *Nicola Vicentino born (Vicenza) Italian music theorist, composer, teacher. Inventor of the Archicembalo, and experimental keyboard that could play 36 divisions per octave. Died c.1576
  • Johannes Tinctoris (c. 75) dies in Naples
  • *Antoine de Févin (c. 41) dies in Blois, France


  • Arnolt Schlick’s treatise on organ playing and building, Spiegel der Orgelmacher und Organisten, published in Mainz
  • Sebastian Virdung’s treatise Musica getuscht und angezogen published in Basel, including theories of composition and counterpoint and a classification of instruments


  • Jan 2 Cristóbal Morales born (Seville) Spanish composer, chorister. Singer in the Papal Choir 1535-45. Died 1553
  • *Nicolas Payen born (Soignies, Belgium) Flemish composer, choirmaster. Died 1559
  • *Antoine Brumel (c. 52) dies in Mantua


  • Arnolt Schlick’s Tabulaturen etlicher lobgesang und lidlein uff die orgeln un lauten, a collection of organ and lute pieces, published in Mainz


  • Feb 14 Domenico Ferrabosco born (Bologna) Italian composer, singer. Father of Alfonso Ferrabosco the elder (1543-88). Died 1574
  • Mar 1 Francisco de Salinas born (Spain) Spanish organist, music theorist. Blind from the age of ten. Died 1590
  • Jul 8 Paulus de Middelburgh: Paulina de recta Paschae published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice
  • Jul 29 B. Castiglione: Epistola de vita published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice
  • Sep 21 Robert Carver’s festival mass Dum sacrum mysterium premiered at the coronation of James V in Stirling
  • Nov 16 Noel Bauldewijn appointed Kappelmeister at the Cathedral Notre-Dame in Antwerp
  • Andrea Antico secures exclusive privileges for printing music in the Papal States


  • Mar 1 Josquin Desprez: Misse [III] published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.


  • Mar 12 Caspar Othmayr born (Amberg, Germany) German priest, theologian, composer. Died 1553
  • Aug 11 Jean Mouton: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice
  • Nov 1 Gaspar van Weerbecke leaves his post as maestro di cappella of the Chapel of the Papal Basilica, St. Peter’s, Rome
  • Nov 22 Antoine de Févin: Misse published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice.
  • *Pierre Certon born (Paris) French composer, choirmaster, cleric. Died 1572
  • *Giovanni Domenico da Nola born (Nola, Italy) Italian composer, poet, choirmaster. Published 4 books of madrigals, 2 of motets and 1 of villanellas. Died 1592
  • *Claude Goudimel born (Besançon, France) French composer, publisher, music editor, music theorist. Died 1572
  • *Jean Maillard born (France) French composer. Surviving works include 6 masses and 86 motets. Died c.1570
  • *Guillaume Morlaye born (France) French composer, lutenist, guitarist, viol player, music editor, music publisher. Died 1577
  • *Cipriano de Rore born (Belgium) Flemish composer, choirmaster. Prolific composer of madrigals with 11 books published between 1542 and 1566. Died 1565
  • *John Sheppard born (England) English composer of sacred music (Catholic and Protestant), singer, teacher. Died 1558
  • *Josquin’s Missa Pange lingua written


  • Hans Judenkönig’s Utilis et compendiaria introductio, the first German book of lute music, published in Vienna


  • Apr 6 Adrian Willaert’s hired as a singer at the court of Cardinal Ippolito I d’Este in Ferrara
  • Nov 20 Paulus de Middelburgh: Parabola Christi published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice
  • Costanzo Festa’s Te Deum composed
  • Henry VII of England appoints fleming Benedictus de Opitiis as court organist. He stays for six years.


  • Jan 17 Antonio Scandello born (Bergamo) Italian composer, cornett and sackbut player, teacher, choirmaster. Died 1580
  • Jan 31 Gioseffo Zarlino born (Chioggia, Italy) Italian music theorist, composer, choirmaster. Maestro di cappella of St. Mark’s, Venice 1565-1590. Died 1590
  • Feb 16 Antoine de Longueval appointed maitre de chapelle of the Chapel Royal in Paris
  • Mar 26 Heinrich Isaac (c. 65) dies in Florence
  • Oct 28 Jobst vom Brandt born (Waldershof, Germany) German composer, civil servant. Died 1570
  • Oct 31 Protesting against the sale of Papal indulgences, Martin Luther nails his 95 theses to the door of the Schlosskirches in Wittenberg
  • *Hubert Waelrant born (Antwerp) Flemish composer, teacher, music editor, singer, teacher. Worked with printer Jean de Laet in Antwerp. Died 1595
  • *Gaspar van Weerbeke (c. 72) dies
  • Costanzo Festa becomes a singer in the Papal chapel, Rome
  • The Capirola Lutebook compiled by Vincenzo Capirola’s pupil Vitale, with 43 works by Capirola and others


  • Aug 16 Loyset Compère (c. 63) dies in Saint-Quentin, France
  • Nov 20 Pierre de La Rue (c. 66) dies in Kotrijk, Belgium


  • Franchinus Gaffurius’ treatise De harmonia musicorum instrumentorum opus published in Milan


  • Jan 12 Costanzo Festa’s funeral motet Quis dabit oculos [if only eyes], lib. Maximilian I, published in Rome
  • Mar 17 Thoinot Arbeau aka Jehan Tabourot born (Dijon) French priest, musicologist. Wrote Orchésographie, a study of Renaissance dance. Died 1595
  • Aug 15  Juan de Anchieta fired from his post as cantor in the court chapel of Charles V of Spain


  • May 23 Bernado Pisano’s Musica di messer Bernardo Pisano sopra le canzone del Petrarcha published by Ottaviano Petrucci in Venice
  • *Giovanni Animuccia born (Florence) Italian composer, choirmaster. Died 1571
  • *Francesco Bendusi born (Italy) Italian composer. Died c.1553
  • *Joan Brudieu born (Limoges, France) Catalan composer, choirmaster, priest. Died 1591
  • *Vincenzo Galilei born (Santa Maria a Monte, Italy) Italian music theorist, lutenist, composer, mathematician. Father of Galileo (1564-1642) and Michelagnolo (1575-1631) Galilei. Died 1591
  • *Francesco Portinaro born (Padua) Italian composer, humanist. Died 1578
  • *Hoste da Reggio aka Bartolomeo Torresano born (Reggio Emilia, Italy) Italian composer, choirmaster. Died 1569
  • *Adrian Le Roy born (Montreuil, France) French music publisher, lutenist, guitarist, composer. Co-founder of Le Roy & Ballard music printers and publishers with his cousin Robert Ballard (1525-88). Died 1598
  • *Gerard van Turnhout born (Turnhout, Belgium) Flemish composer, chapel master. Died 1580
  • *Filippo de Lurano (c. 45) dies in Aquileia, Italy
  • Ottaviano Petrucci loses his Venetian printing business to Andrea Antico and becomes manager of a paper mill
  • Philip van Wilder goes into service for Henry VIII and will continue to serve the Tudors as lutenist, teacher and finally ‘Keeper of the Instruments’ (the forerunner of the Master of the King’s Music) until his death in 1554


  • Jan 3 Martin Luther excommunicated by Pope Leo X
  • May 25 Martin Luther declared an outlaw
  • Aug 27 Josquin des Prez (c. 70) dies in Condé-sur-l’Escaut, France
  • Oct 24 Robert Fayrfax (57) dies in St Albans, Hertfordshire
  • Philippe de Monte born (Mechelen, Belgium) Flemish composer, choirmaster. Kappelmeister for the Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian II. Works include over 1200 published madrigals, 40 masses and 260 other sacred pieces. Died 1603
  • *Arnolt Schlick (c. 60) dies


  • Wynkyn de Worde’s Christmasse Carolles published in London including The Boar’s Head Carol


  • May 20 Henry Bredemers (c. 50) dies in Namur, Belgium
  • Jun 25 Franchinus Gaffurius (71) dies in Milan of a fever
  • Oct 30 Jean Mouton (c. 63) dies in Saint-Quentin, France


  • Feb 20 Jan Blahoslav born (Přerov, Czech Rep) Czech music theorist, writer, poet, translator, hymnwriter, editor. Wrote Musica: to gest knjžka zpěwákům, the first work on music theory printed in Czech. Died 1574
  • Feb 22 François Dulot appointed maître de chapelle at Rouen Cathedral
  • Apr 2 Philippe Verdelot appointed maestro di cappella at Florence Cathedral
  • Jul 30 Juan de Anchieta (c.61) dies in Azpietia, Spain
  • Oct William Cornysh (c. 58) dies in London
  • Dec 4 Philippe Verdelot appointed singing teacher in the chapel of Pope Clement VII, St Peter’s, Rome


  • Marco Antonio Cavazzoni’s Recerchari, motetti, canzoni libro primo published in Venice including the earliest known ricercars
  • Hans Judenkönig’s lute book Ain schone kunstliche Underweisung in disem Büechlein, leychtlich zu begreyffen den rechten Grund zu lernen auff der Lautten und Geygen published in Vienna


  • Jan 16 Philippe Verdelot leaves his post as singing teacher in the chapel of Pope Clement VII, St Peter’s, Rome after only six weeks
  • May Francisco de Soto is one of twelve Franciscan missionaries who arrive in the newly-founded Viceroyalty of New Spain (Mexico) for the purpose of the conversion to Christianity of the indigenous people
  • Jul 31 Sebastiano Festa (c.34) dies in Rome
  • *Girolamo Parabosco born (Piacenza) Italian writer, composer, organist, poet. Died 1577
  • Leonhard Kleber compiles a book of organ tablature, a manuscript of 332 pages, that includes works by most of the major composers of the era


  • Johann Walter’s Geistliches Gesangbüchlein published in Wittenberg, the first book of Lutheran hymns, with a foreword by Martin Luther


  • *John Blitheman born (England) English composer, organist, choirmaster. Died 1591
  • *Jean de Bonmarché born (Douai, France) French composer, choirmaster. Maestro de capilla of the Flemish chapel (capilla flamenca) in Madrid 1564-70. Died 1570
  • *Girolamo Cavazzoni born (Venice) Italian composer, organist. Son of Marco Antonio Cavazzoni (c.1490-1560). Died c.1577
  • *Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina born (Palestrina, Italy) Italian composer of sacred music, singer, choirmaster. Works include 105 masses, 68 offertories, 140 or more madrigals, over 300 motets, 72 hymns, 35 magnificats, 11 litanies and 5 sets of lamentations. The Renaissance’s most celebrated composer of religious music. Died 1594
  • *Pietro Vinci born (Nicosia, Sicily) Italian composer, choirmaster. Died 1584
  • *Marchetto Cara (c. 55) dies in Mantua
  • Antoine de Longueval (c. 45) dies in Paris
  • Pierre Attaingnant begins publishing music in Paris
  • Georg Rhau sets up his printing business in Wittenberg


  • Feb 28 Thomas Stoltzer (c.46) dies after drowning in a river in Moravia, Czech Rep
  • Mar 4 Hans Judenkönig (c.75) dies in Vienna
  • Aug 8 Cristóbal Morales appointed maestro de capilla of Avila Cathedral, Spain
  • John Taverner appointed first Organist and Master of the Choristers at the newly established Christ Church, Oxford by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. He leaves the post in 1530
  • Kungliga Hovkapellet, the Swedish Royal Court Orchestra, is founded


  • Mar 21 Hermann Finck born (Pirna, Germany) German composer, organist, music theorist. Grand-nephew of Heinrich Finck (1445-1527). Died 1558
  • Mar 21 Johannes Lupi appointed Kappelmeister at Cambrai Cathedral
  • Jun 9 Heinrich Finck (c. 80) dies in Vienna
  • Jun 28 Philippe Verdelot leaves his post as maestro di cappella at Florence Cathedral
  • *Baldassare Donato born (Venice?) Italian composer, singer, choirmaster. Worked at St Mark’s in Venice, first as singer and finally as maestro di cappella, from 1550 to his death. Died 1603
  • Annibale Padovano born (Padua) Italian composer, organist. Noted composer of organ works, particularly as a pioneer in the art of the toccata. Died 1575
  • *Thomas Ashwell (c. 49) dies in Durham
  • Alessandro Coppini (c. 62) dies
  • Adrian Willaert appointed maestro di cappella at St. Mark’s in Venice, a post he holds for 35 years


  • Apr 1 Francisco de Peñalosa (c. 58) dies in Seville
  • Oct 4 Francisco Guerrero born (Seville) Spanish composer, vihuela player, harpist, cornett player, organist, choirmaster. Died 1599
  • *Costanzo Porta born (Cremona) Italian composer of mainly sacred music, choirmaster, teacher. Died 1601
  • Thomas Whythorne born (Ilminster, Somerset) English composer, author, teacher. Writer of one of the earliest known autobiographies in English. Died 1596


  • Pierre Attaingnant prints in Paris Chansons nouvelles en musique à quatre parties pioneering a new single-impression method of music printing
  • Chansons de maistre C. Janequin published by Pierre Attaingnant in Paris


  • Jan Marbrianus de Orto (c. 68) dies of the plague in Nivelles, Belgium
  • May 7 Cristobal de Morales appointed maestro de capilla at the Plasencia Cathedral, Spain
  • Dec 28 Arnold von Bruck appointed canon at Zagreb Cathedral
  • *Claude Le Jeune born (Valencienes, France) French composer. Huguenot who nevertheless worked with the French Catholic establishment during the Wars of Religion. Died 1600
  • *William Mundy born (England) English composer of church music. Father of John Mundy (1555-1630). Died 1591
  • *Jacobus Vaet born (Kortrijk, Belgium) Flemish composer, choirmaster. Kapellmeister to  Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian II 1554-67. Died 1567
  • Bernardino de Sahagún leaves Spain for America


  • Martin Agricola publishes Musica instrumentalis deudsch, a description of the musical instruments common in Germany at the time
  • Lodovico Fogliano’s treatise on music theory, Musica Theorica, published
  • Martin Luther’s hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God published in Joseph Klug’s Wittenberg hymnal


  • Jan Juan del Encina (61) dies
  • Dec Giovanni Angelo Testagrossa (60) dies
  • *Elias Ammerbach born (Naumburg, Germany) German organist, arranger. Published the first printed book of organ music in Germany in 1571. Died 1597
  • *Fabritio Caroso born (Italy) Italian dancing master, writer. Died c.1605
  • *Guillaume Costeley born (Fontanges-en-Auvergne, France) French composer, organist. Co-founder of the Académie de Poésie et de Musique. Died 1606
  • *Richard Farrant born (London?) English composer of church music, choirmaster, playwright, theatre producer. Founder of the Blackfriars Theatre, London Died 1580
  • *Nicolas de la Grotte born (France) French composer, keyboard player. Died c.1600
  • *Noel Bauldeweyn (c. 50) dies
  • *Antonius Divitis (c. 60) dies
  • *Philippe Verdelot (c. 50) dies, possibly during the 1529-30 siege of Florence, either in the fighting or the subsequent outbreak of the plague. Some sources argue that he lived on another 10 years
  • Thomas Tallis appointed organist at Dover Priory
  • John Taverner leaves Christ Church, Oxford and ceases composing, settling in Boston, Lincolnshire


  • Aug 24 Ercole Bottrigari born (Bologna) Italian composer, theorist, mathematician, architect. Died 1612
  • *Jacobus de Kerle born (Ypres, Belgium) Flemish composer, organist, choirmaster, priest. Died 1591


  • Jan 21 Ludwig Helmbold born (Mühlhausen) German poet, hymnwriter. Professor of Philosophy at Erfurt University from 1554. Died 1598
  • Feb 19 Jean-Antoine de Baïf born (Venice) French poet, co-founder of the Académie de Poésie et de Musique in Paris. Died 1589
  • Mar 25 Pietro Pontio born (Parma) Italian composer, music theorist. Died 1596
  • May 15 A volume containing five of Carpentras’s masses printed by Jean de Channey of Avignon
  • Jul 14 A volume containing a set of Lamentations for Holy Week composed by Carpentras printed by Jean de Channey of Avignon
  • Dec 5 Nikolaus Selnecker born (Hersbruck, Germany) German hymnwriter, organist, cleric. Died 1592
  • *Giammateo Asola born (Verona) Italian composer, choirmaster. Died 1609
  • Hernando Franco born (Alcantara, Spain) Spanish composer, choirmaster. Emigrated to Guatemala, then Mexico in the 1550s. Composer of earliest known Guatemalan music. Died 1585
  • Andrea Gabrieli born (Venice) Italian composer, organist, teacher. Organist at St Mark’s, Venice from 1566 until his death. Uncle of Giovanni Gabrieli (c.1555-1612). Died 1585
  • *David Köler born (Zwickau) German composer, kappelmeister. Died 1565
  • *Orlande de Lassus born (Mons, Belgium) Flemish composer, singer, choimaster. Composer of more than 2000 works in every contemporary form and in three languages including 530 motets, 175 madrigals and villanellas, 150 chansons and 90 lieder. Died 1594


  • Hans Gerle’s first collection of lute music, Musica teusch … auch Lautten, published in Nuremberg including pieces by Heinrich Isaac, Ludwig Senfl and Johann Walter


  • Mar 29 Baldassare da Imola appointed first organist at San Marco, Venice
  • Apr 8 Claudio Merulo (Merlotti) born (Correggio, Italy) Italian composer, publisher, organist. Organist of St Mark’s, Venice 1557-84. Died 1604
  • Sep 20 Nicolas Champion (c. 58) dies
  • Oct 16 Gallus Dressler born (Nebra, Germany) German composer, theorist, cantor. Died c.1585
  • *Juan del Encina (c. 64) dies in Léon


  • Hans Gerle’s second collection of lute music, Tabulatur auff die Laudten, published in Nuremberg including pieces by Jean Mouton, Josquin and Jacob Obrecht


  • Feb 5 Giovanni de’ Bardi born (Florence) Italian writer, critic, composer, soldier. Patron of the Florentine Camerata. Died 1612
  • Dec 16 Lucas Osiander born (Nuremberg) German theologian, composer. Died 1604
  • Lodovico Agostini born (Ferrara, Italy) Italian composer, singer, priest, teacher. Died 1590
  • Wynkyn de Worde dies in London. Birth date unknown. Alsace-born British printer who took over William Caxton’s business after his death


  • Sep 1 Cristóbal Morales joins the papal chapel in Rome
  • *Innocentio Alberti born (Treviso) Italian composer, teacher, cornettist. Died 1615
  • *Antoine de Bertrand born (Fontanges, France) French composer. Published three books of sacred music and three books of chansons. Died 1581
  • *Giorgio Mainerio born (Parma) Italian composer, choirmaster. Died 1582
  • *Cesare Negri born (Milan) Italian dancing master, choreographer. Died c.1604
  • Bernhard Schmid the elder born (Strasbourg) German organist, music editor. Father of Bernhard Schmid the younger (1567-1625). Died 1592
  • *Annibale Stabile born (Naples) Italian composer, singer, choirmaster, priest. Died 1595
  • Giaches de Wert born (Weert, Belgium) Flemish composer, choirmaster. Chiefly known for his 230 madrigals published across 16 volumes between 1558 and 1608. Died 1596
  • *Pedro de Escobar (c. 70) dies in Evora, Portugal
  • *Bartolomeo Tromboncino (c. 65) dies in Venice


  • Silvestro Ganassi dal Fontego’ treatise on recorder playing, Opera intitulata Fontegara, published in Venice


  • Jun 26 Pierre Alamire (c.66) dies in Mechelen, Belgium
  • Nov 15 Pierre Certon appointed Master of the Choristers at Ste Chapelle, Paris, a post he holds until his death in 1572
  • *Alessandro Striggio born (Mantua, Italy) Italian composer, viol player, diplomat. Considered the inventor of the madrigal comedy, the forerunner of opera. Died 1592
  • Zhu Zaiyu born (Qinyang, China) Chinese prince, music theorist, scholar, writer. Died 1611


  • Luis de Milán’s collection of vihuela music, Libro de música de vihuela de mano intitulado El maestro, published, the first printed collection of vihuela music and also the first collection of any kind with printed instructions for tempo
  • Hans Neusidler’s Ein newgeordent künstlich Lautenbuch and Der ander Theil des Lautenbuchs, two books of lute music, published in Nuremberg


  • Annibale Zoilo born (Rome) Italian composer, singer, choirmaster. Member of the Papal Choir 1570-77. Died 1592
  • Paul Hofhaimer (78) dies in Salzburg


  • Jan 20 Stefano Felis born (Bari) Italian composer, teacher, choirmaster. Died 1603
  • Mar Hans Buchner (54) dies in Konstanz
  • *Johannes Matelart born (Belgium) Flemish composer, choirmaster. Died 1607
  • *Robert White born (Cambridge?) English composer, choirmaster. Died 1574
  • Thomas Tallis appointed organist at Holy Cross Abbey in Waltham, Essex. He stays until its dissolution in 1540


  • Luis de Narváez’s collection of vihuela music, Los seys libros del Delphin de música de cifra para tañer vihuela, published in Valladolid


  • Mar 9 Cristobal de Morales’s motet Gaude et laetare ferrariensis civitas [Rejoice and be glad the city of Ferrara] premiered in Ferrara
  • May 7 Ottaviano Petrucci (72) dies in Venice
  • Jul 20 Joan Brudieu appointed maestro de capilla at La Seu d’Urgell cathedral, Catalonia, a post he holds (with a couple of gaps) until his death in 1591
  • Dec 12 Bartolomeo degli Organi (64) dies in Florence
  • Dec 20 Paulus Melissus born (Mellrichstadt, Germany) German poet, writer, translator, composer. Died 1602
  • Dec 20 Johannes Lupi (c. 33) dies in Cambrai
  • *Pascal de L’Estocart born (Noyen, France). French composer. Died c.1587
  • *Andrea Antico (c.59) dies


  • 4 books of madrigals for 4 voices by Jacques Arcadelt published in Venice
  • The first edition of John Calvin’s Aulcuns Pseaulmes et cantiques mys en chant aka the Genevan Psalter published with 22 psalms and hymns. Further editions were published in 1542, 1543, 1551 and finally 1562 with tunes composed by Wolfgang Dachstein, Matthias Greiter, Guillaume Franc and Louis Bourgeois
  • The first volume of Georg Forster’s five volume collection of German songs Frische teutsche Liedlein published in Nuremberg. Completed in 1556
  • Paul Hofhaimer’s collection of musical settings to the odes of Horace, Harmoniae poeticae, published
  • Alfonso dalla Viola’s First book of madrigals published in Ferrara


  • Apr 4 Cristobal de Morales leaves his post as maestro di cappella of the Chapel of the Papal Basilica, St. Peter’s, Rome
  • Apr 23 Thomas Tallis loses his job at Waltham Abbey in Essex when the monastery is dissolved
  • May 1 Ambrose Lupo appointed court musician and composer to the court of Henry VIII in London
  • Dec 30 Jacques Arcadelt appointed maestro di cappella of the Sistine Chapel, Rome
  • Dec Nicolas Gombert dismissed from his position at the court chapel of Emperor Charles V for molesting a choirboy, and sentenced to penal servitude in the galley of a warship
  • *Giovanni Artusi born (Italy) Italian music theorist, composer, writer. Died 1613
  • *Girolamo Dalla Casa born (Udine) Italian composer, cornettist. Formed an instrumental ensemble with his brothers Giovanni and Nicolo and hired by St. Mark’s, Venice in 1568. Died 1601
  • *William Daman (Damon) born (Liège) Flemish recorder player, organist, composer. Worked at the court of Queen Elizabeth Died 1591
  • *Giovanni Dragoni born (Forli, Italy) Italian composer of motets and madrigals, choirmaster. Died 1598
  • *Noel Faignient born (Antwerp) Flemish composer. Died c.1600
  • *Johannes de Fossa born (Fosses?, Belgium) Flemish composer, choirmaster. Died 1603
  • *Gioseffo Guami born (Lucca, Italy) Italian composer, organist, singer. Died 1611
  • *Jacob Regnart born (Douai, France) Franco-Flemish composer, choirmaster. Died 1599
  • *Francesco Rovigo born (Italy) Italian composer, organist. Died 1597
  • *Matthäus Waissel born (Bartenstein, Germany) German lutenist, composer, Lutheran theologian, publisher, writer. Died 1602
  • Lodovico Fogliano (c. 65) dies in Modena
  • Francesco de Layolle (c.48) dies in Lyons
  • *Hilaire Penet (c. 40) dies


  • Hans Neusidler’s Ein newes Lautenbüchlein, a collection of lute music, published in Nuremberg
  • Claudio Veggio’s Madrigali a quattro voci published in Venice
  • Alfonso dalla Viola’s second book of madrigals published in Ferrara


  • Jan 14 Lupus Hellinck (c. 47) dies in Bruges
  • May 25 Cristobal de Morales rejoins the Papal choir at St. Peter’s, Rome
  • Jul 15 Jacob Buus appointed second organist at S Marco, Venice
  • Sep 7 Hernando de Cabezón born (Madrid) Spanish composer, organist, publisher, editor. Son of Antonio de Cabezón (1510-66). Died 1602
  • *Vincenzo Bellavere born (Padua?) Italian composer, organist. Died 1587
  • Hans Kotter (c.61) dies in Berne


  • Martin Agricola’s book of protestant hymns, Sangbüchlein, published in Wittenberg
  • Giovanni Domenico da Nola’s Canzoni villanesche, a book of villanescas and mascheratas, published in Venice


  • Jan 27 Gioseffo Guami born (Lucca) Italian composer, organist, violinist, singer. Died 1611
  • Feb 22 Santino Garsi da Parma born (Parma) Italian composer, lutenist. Died 1604
  • Apr 3 Francisco Guerrero joins Seville Cathedral choir as a contralto
  • May 20 Gasparo da Salò aka Gasparo di Bertolotti born (Salò, Italy) Italian violin maker, bassist. Died 1609
  • Nov 1 Tarquinia Molza born (Modena) Italian singer, poet, viola bastarda player. Member of the Concerto delle donne. Died 1617
  • *Cesare Bendinelli born (Verona) Italian trumpeter, teacher, writer. Author of Tutta L’arte Della Trombetta, the first known instructional work on the art of trumpet playing. Died 1617


  • Benedictus Appenzeller’s collection of chansons, Des chansons a quattre parties, published in Antwerp
  • (& 1543) Silvestro Ganassi dal Fontego’s treatises on viola gamba playing, Regola rubertina & Lettione seconda, published in Venice
  • Cipriano de Rore’s Madrigali a cinque voci (first book of madrigals) published in Venice
Cipriano de Rore (1515-1565)

Cipriano de Rore (1515-1565)


  • Jan 18 Alfonso Ferrabosco (I) born (Rome) Anglo-Italian composer. Son of Domenico (1513-74) and father of Alfonso the younger (1575-1628). Court musician for Elizabeth I, and possibly an English spy. Died 1588
  • Apr 15 Francesco Canova da Milano (45) dies in Milan
  • William Byrd born (Lincoln?) English composer, organist, music publisher, teacher. Wrote 3 masses, 186 motets, over 120 keyboard works and various madrigals and songs. Died 1623
  • *Giovanni Maria Nanino born (Tivoli, Italy) Italian composer, teacher, tenor singer, choirmaster. Member of the Papal Choir 1577-1607. Published works include 3 books of madrigals and 4 of motets. Died 1607
  • Ludwig Senfl (c. 57) dies in Munich
  • Tielman Susato establishes the first music press in the Netherlands
  • Thomas Tallis becomes a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal, staying in Royal service until his death in 1585


  • Balthasar Resinarius’s collection of 80 responseries Responsorium numero orctoginta de tempore et festis… libri duo published by Georg Rhau in Wittenberg


  • Oct 28 Palestrina appointed organist at San Agapito church in Palestrina
  • Nov 27 Ascanio Trombetti born (Bologna) Italian composer. Died 1590
  • *Maddalena Casulana born (Siena, Italy) Italian composer, lutenist, singer. First female composer to have her music printed and published. Died c.1590
  • *Alexander Utendal born (Ghent) Flemish Singer, composer, choirmaster. Died 1581
  • *Ivo de Vento born (Brabant?, Belgium) Flemish composer, organist. Died 1575
  • Benedictus Ducis (c. 52) dies
  • Balthasar Resinarius (c. 58) dies


  • Jacques Arcadelt’s fifth book of madrigals published in Venice
  • Jacquet de Berchem’s collection of madrigals Alla dolc’ombra published, possibly the first attempt to create a thematic song cycle
  • Francesco Corteccia’s first book of madrigals published in Venice
  • Hans Neusidler’s Das erst Buch: ein newes Lautenbüchlein, Das ander Buch: ein new künstlich Lautten Buch and Das dritt Buch: ein new künstlich Lauten Buch, three books of lute music, published in Nuremberg
  • Georg Rhau’s collection of chorales Newe deudsche geistliche Gesenge published in Wittemberg with works by Martin Luther, Martin Agricola, Ludwig Senfl and others
  • Cipriano de Rore’s Il secondo libro de madregali for 5 voices published in Venice


  • Apr 10 Costanzo Festa (c. 55) dies  in Rome
  • May 1 Bartolomé de Escobedo appointed maestro di cappella of the Chapel of the Papal Basilica, St. Peter’s, Rome
  • May 1 Cristóbal Morales granted ten months leave from the papal chapel in Rome, but never returns
  • Aug 31 Cristobal de Morales appointed maestro de capilla at the Toledo Cathedral
  • Oct 18 John Taverner (c. 55) dies in Boston, Lincolnshire
  • Oct 19 Giovenale Ancina born (Fossano, Italy) Italian composer, priest, scholar. Bishop of Saluzzo1603-04. Died 1604
  • Gioseppe Caimo born (Milan) Italian composer, organist. Organist at Milan cathedral 1580-84. Died 1584
  • *Anthony Holborne born (Cambridge?) English composer of consort [instrumental] music. Died 1602
  • *Luzzasco Luzzaschi born (Ferrara, Italy) Italian composer, singer, organist. Died 1607


  • The Lutheran hymnal Geistliche Lieder published by Valentin Babst in Leipzig
  • Giovanni Domenico da Nola’s Madrigali (first book of madrigals) published in Venice
  • Cipriano de Rore’s Moteti published in Venice
  • Vincenzo Ruffo’s Madrigali a notte negre published in Venice


  • Feb 14 Martin Luther (62) dies in Eisleben, Germany
  • May Cipriano de Rore appointed maestro di cappella at the court in Ferrara, a post he holds until 1559
  • Jun 13 Fridolin Sicher (56) dies in Bischofszell, Switzerland, following surgery
  • Sep 13 Isabella Bendidio born (Ferrara) Italian noblewoman, singer. Member of the concerto delle donne in Ferrara. Sister of Lucrezia Bendidio (1547-c.1584). Died c.1610
  • Oct 5 Cyriakus Schneegass born (Gotha, Germany) German Lutheran pastor, hymnwriter, composer, music theorist. Died 1597
  • Dec 7 Alonso Mudarra’s Tres libros de musica en cifras para vihuela published, three volumes containing works for vihuela and the first known published pieces for guitar.
  • Joachim à Burck (Moller) born (Burg, Germany) German hymnwriter, composer, organist, kantor. Died 1610


  • Apr 8 Lucrezia Bendidio born (Ferrara) Italian noblewoman, singer. Member of the concerto delle donne in Ferrara. Sister of Isabella Bendidio (1546-c.1610). Died c.1584
  • May 28 Jacques Arcadelt reappointed maestro di cappella of the Sistine Chapel, Rome
  • Jun 12 Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina marries Lucrezia de Goris in Palestrina, Italy
  • Jun 28 Cristofano Malvezzi born (Lucca, Italy) Italian composer, organist, choirmaster, music editor. Died 1599
  • Aug 9 Cristobal de Morales leaves his post as maestro de capilla at Toledo Cathedral
  • George de La Hèle born (Antwerp) Flemish composer. Died 1586
  • *Marc’Antonio Ingegneri born (Verona) Italian composer, teacher, choirmaster. Works include masses, motets and 8 books of madrigals. Died 1592
  • *Manuel Mendes born (Lisbon) Portuguese composer, teacher. Died 1605
  • John Redford (c.62) dies in London


  • Giovanni Animuccia’s Il primo libro di madrigali for 4 to 6 voices published in Venice
  • Heinrich Glarean’s book on music theory, Dodecachordon, published in Basle
  • Enríquez de Valderrábano’s book of vihuela music, Libro de música de vihuela intitulado Silva de Sirenas, published in Valladolid


  • Jan 23 Bernardo Pisano (57) dies in Rome
  • Feb 12 François Roussel appointed maestro di cappella of the Cappella Giulia, Rome
  • Apr 10 Giacomo Fogliano (c. 80) dies in Modena
  • Jun 14 Carpentras (c. 77) dies in Avignon
  • Aug 16 Georg Rhau (c. 60) dies in Wittenberg
  • Oct 21 Sixt Dietrich (c. 55) dies
  • *Balduin Hoyoul born (Liege) Flemish composer, singer, choirmaster. Died 1594
  • *Ginés Pérez de la Parra born (Valencia) Spanish composer. Died 1600
  • *Francesco Soriano born (Soriano, Italy) Italian composer, singer, choirmaster. Died 1621
  • *Tomás Luis de Victoria born (Avila, Spain) Spanish composer of sacred music, singer, organist, priest, choirmaster. Works include 44 motets, 20 masses, 18 magnificats and 34 hymns. Died 1611
  • *Vincenzo Capirola (c. 74) dies
  • The Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden (Saxon State Orchestra, Dresden) founded by Elector Moritz of Saxony


  • Heinrich Faber’s beginner’s music textbook Compendiolum musicae published
  • Cipriano de Rore’s Il terzo libro de madregali for 5 voices published in Venice


  • Feb 4 Eustache Du Caurroy born (Gerberoy, France) French composer, singer. Canon of Ste Chapelle, Paris. Died 1609
  • Dec 31 Juan Francisco de Peñalosa appointed principal organist at Toledo Cathedral
  • Costanzo Antegnati born (Brescia) Italian organist, organ builder, composer. Died 1624
  • *Giovanni de Macque born (Valencienes, France) French composer, singer, organist, choirmaster. Died 1614


  • Jacob Buus’s Primo libro de [19] moteti (motets for 4 voices) published in Venice
  • Gioseffo Zarlino’s Moduli motecta vulgo noncupata liber primus (motets for 5 voices) published in Venice

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