Bathe, William, Irish writer on musical subjects; b. Dublin, April 2, 1564; d. Madrid, June 17, 1614. He studied at Oxford Univ.; instructed Queen Elizabeth in mnemonics and presented her with an Irish harp of his own design. In 1591 he went to Spain; then was in Flanders, where he entered the Jesuit order in 1596; was ordained in Padua in 1599; returned to Spain in 1601; held the post of spiritual director of the Irish Coll. in Lisbon in 1604; eventually went to Madrid, where he remained until his death. His chief merit as a music theorist lay in fixing definite rules for the placing of accidentals and in changing the system of hexachordal modes to scales based on the octave. He was the author of one of the earliest theoretical works on music, A Brief Introduction to the True Art of Musicke (London, 1584), as well as A Brief Introduction to the Skill of Song (London, c. 1587).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire