Jean-Baptiste Besard

Jean-Baptiste Besard

  • Born
    1567
  • Died
    1617
  • Birthplace
Jean-Baptiste Besard was a Burgundian lutenist and composer. He studied law in Dôle and medicine in Rome before moving to Germany. His Thesaurus harmonicus (1603) contains 403 lute pieces, some with voice, representing 21 composers (including himself) and almost all the instrumental forms of the time; many pieces were copied into later collections. A smaller collection, Novus partus, appeared in1617. Both are important for their size, catholicity of taste, influence and historical context. His extensive manual on lute playing, printed in Thesaurus and revised in Novus partus, concentrates on fingering techniques; it was later translated into English.

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