Thomas Robinson (c. 1560 ? after 1609? (Julian calendar)) was an English renaissance composer and music teacher, who flourished around 1600. He taught and wrote music for lute, cittern, orpharion, bandora, viol, and singing.
Very little is known about Thomas Robinson's life, but it is possible to draw conclusions from the dedicatory pages of his works. He and his father were in service of the Cecil family: Robinson's father worked for the 1st Earl of Salisbury, Robert Cecil, and Thomas was in the service of the 1st Earl of Exeter, Thomas Cecil, who was Robert Cecil's brother. The Cecil family fostered several artists in these days, amongst others William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons.
It was before 1589 that Thomas Robinson became Princess Anne's (1574-1619) and Queen Sophie's (1557-1631) private music teacher at Elsinore, Denmark. Princess Anne was the daughter of the King of Denmark, Frederick II (1559-1588). It is presumed that Thomas Robinson must have been in his twenties then, so that his birth can be dated back to around 1560.
The Court of Denmark, like other courts, employed many well-recognized musicians from Denmark and other countries, like England, France, Germany and the Netherlands. It is known that John Dowland - the most famous renaissance lutenist nowadays - worked as a court lutenist in Denmark from 1598 to 1606. Besides Robinson's own mention of his employment there, no official record of it exists.
In 1603 Thomas Robinson published his first book, Medulla Musicke, of which no copy survived. It was even suggested (Ward JM, see 'Literature'), that it was never published at all, although Robinson seems to be referring to it in the first pages of his second book: Right courteous Gentlemen, and gentle Readers, your fauourable acceptance of my first fruits from idlenesse, hath eccited mee further to congratulate your Musicall endeauours. [...] From: 'The Schoole of Musicke', 1603
Also in 1603, Robinson brought out his second book, The Schoole of Musicke, a tutor for lute and other instruments. It displaced John Alford's book A Briefe and Easye Instru(c)tion from 1574 (an English translation of Adrian Le Roy's Briefve et facile instruction pour apprendre la tabulature) as the most important lute tutor in England from then on.
In 1609 Robinson's third book, New Citharen Lessons, was published. It was a cittern tutor for beginners and advanced learners.
Thomas Robinson's works for the most part consist of his own compositions. But there are also arrangements of other pieces of music, some of which are still rather popular: for instance 'My Lord Willoughby's Welcome Home' (in: The Schoole of Musicke) or 'Can She Excuse My Wrongs?' (in New Citharen Lessons) - both originally composed by John Dowland.
There is no further information available about Thomas Robinson's life after 1609. Daling. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)