Skip to main content

Luython, Charles

Luython, Charles

Luython, Charles, Flemish composer; b. Antwerp, c. 1556; d. Prague, Aug. 1620. After receiving elementary training as a chorister, he was sent at the age of 10 to the Imperial Chapel in Vienna, where he remained until he was 15. He composed 2 masses for Emperor Maximilian II. Following studies in Italy, he was back in Vienna by 1576 as a member of the Kammermusik of the court; was made a chamber organist in 1577 by Rudolf II, whose court was moved to Prague; he composed a book of madrigals for his patron. He was made court organist in 1582, and then assumed the duties of first organist in 1593, being officially named to that post in 1596; that same year he became court composer, succeeding Philippe de Monte. With the death of the Emperor in 1612, Luython lost his positions and attendant financial security. He died in poverty. Apart from his book of madrigals (Venice, 1582), he publ. Popularis anni jubilus for 6 Voices (Prague, 1587), Selectissimarum sacrarum cantionum...for 6 Voices (Prague, 1603), Opus musicum in Lamentationes Hieremiae prophetae for 6 Voices (Prague, 1604), and Liber primus missarum for 3 to 7 Voices (Prague, 1609). Among his extant instrumental music is a Fuga suavissima (publ. in Woltz’s Tabulatur-Buch, 1617). Luython was a composer of extraordinary ingenuity; Michael Praetorius recounts in his Syntagma musicum that Luython owned a keyboard instrument with 3 manuals, representing the diatonic, chromatic, and enharmonic intervals (18 notes to the octave), thus securing theoretically correct modulations through sharps or flats.


L. de Burbure, C. L. (Brussels, 1880); A. Smijers, Karl L. als Motettenkomponist (Amsterdam, 1923); C. Saas, C. L: Ses madrigaux et oeuvres instrumentales (diss., Univ. of Louvain, 1958).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Luython, Charles." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . 18 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Luython, Charles." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . (April 18, 2019).

"Luython, Charles." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved April 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.