Coprario or Coperario, Giovanni (real, John Cooper)

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Coprario or Coperario, Giovanni (real, John Cooper)

Coprario or Coperario, Giovanni (real, John Cooper) , famous English lutenist, viola da gambist, and composer; b. c. 1575; d. London, 1626. He went to Italy about 1600, and upon his return to England he adopted the Italianized name Giovanni Coprario. With the patronage of Sir Robert Cecil and Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, he gained renown in his homeland as an instrumentalist and composer. According to tradition, he was the music teacher of James I’s children; he also was the teacher of Henry and William Lawes. His works are patterned closely on Italian models. He wrote a fine series of fantasias for viols, many with organ, music for two masques, anthems, and songs (Funeral Teares for the Death of Right Honorable the Earle of Devonshire, London, 1606, and Songs of Mourning: Bewailing the Untimely Death of Prince Henry, London, 1613). See R. Charteris, John Coprario (Cooper) c. 1575–1626: A Study and Complete Critical Edition of His Instrumental Music (diss., Univ. of Canter-bury, New Zealand, 1976). He wrote the treatise Rules How to Compose (c. 1610; facsimile ed. by M. Bukofzer, Los Angeles, 1951).


R. Charteris, John C.: A Thematic Catalogue of His Music with a Biographical Introduction (N.Y., 1977).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire