c. 25th November 1640
Giles Farnaby was an English composer and virginalist of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Farnaby is considered one of the great English virginalists, together with William Byrd, John Bull, Orlando Gibbons, Peter Philips and Thomas Tomkins among others. Unlike them however, he is the only one not to have been a professional musician.
His best known works are included in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, which contains 52 of his pieces. Notable among them are 11 fantasias, a wonderful and technically demanding set of variations calledWoody-Cock, and short but charming descriptive pieces such as Giles Farnabys Dreame, His Rest, Farnabyes Conceit and His Humour. There are also four pieces by his son, Richard. His entire keyboard works and a biography are available in a modern edition.
In addition to his keyboard compositions, Farnaby also composed madrigals, canzonets and psalms.