Giles Farnaby

Truro, Cornwall Unitary Authority, Cornwall, England
Death Nov 1640 (aged 76–77)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial London, City of London, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 21144008 · View Source
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Composer. Considered one of the greatest keyboard composers of his era, he specialized in writing music for the virginal, a small, legless harpsichord. His virginal pieces are whimsical and inventive, with charming melodies and progressions that occasionally spoof Renaissance musical practice. He gave them such descriptive titles as "Farnaby's Dream", "His Humor", "Woody Cock", "Put Up Thy Dagger, Jemy", "A Toy", and "Tower Hill". In his peculiar art he bears a notable resemblance to the 20th Century eccentric Erik Satie. Farnaby was born in Truro, near Cornwall, England, and earned a Bachelor's degree in music at Oxford in 1592. A furniture-maker by trade, he was never a professional musician, though his compositions were well regarded by his contemporaries. All but one of Farnaby's 52 known keyboard works were preserved in the "Fitzwilliam Virginal Book", an important 17th Century manuscript collection first published in 1899. Several have been arranged for piano, guitar, lute, and other instruments. His son Richard was also a composer.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 24 Aug 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 21144008
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Giles Farnaby (1563–Nov 1640), Find a Grave Memorial no. 21144008, citing St. Giles Cripplegate Churchyard, London, City of London, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .