Farnaby, Giles (DNB00)

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FARNABY, GILES (fl. 1598), composer, was of the family of Farnaby of Truro, and is said to have been related to Thomas Farnaby, the schoolmaster [q. v.] He took the degree of Mus.B. at Oxford on 7 July 1592, having at that time studied the faculty of music for twelve years (Wood, MS. Notes, Bodleian). He harmonised nine tunes for the ‘Whole Book of Psalms’ published in this year by Thomas East. Six years afterwards appeared his only published work, ‘Canzonets to Foure Voyces, with a Song of eight parts. Compiled by Giles Farnaby, Bachilar of Musicke. London. Printed by Peter Short, dwelling on Bradstreet Hill at the signe of the Star, mdxcviii.’ The set of part books was dedicated to ‘the Right Worshipfull Maister Ferdinando Heaburn, Governor of her Maiesties Privie Chamber.’ Commendatory verses by Anto. Holborne, John Dowland, R. Alison, and Hu. Holland are prefixed. The first canzonet, ‘My lady's collored cheeks,’ has been edited by Mr. T. Oliphant, as ‘A nosegay of spring flowers,’ and No. 20, ‘Construe my meaning,’ by Mr. W. B. Squire. The latter is especially interesting on account of the boldness of its chromatic treatment. No. 4, ‘Daphne on the Rainebowe,’ was arranged by the composer for the virginals. It appears, together with forty-seven other compositions for the same instrument, and two settings by Farnaby of works by Robert Johnson, in the book known as ‘Queen Elizabeth's Virginal Book’ in the Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge. The style of the pieces is very florid, resembling that of Bull. Three consecutive pieces are called ‘Farnaby's Dream,’ ‘His Rest,’ and ‘His Humour.’ Four compositions by a son of Giles Farnaby, named Richard, are contained in the same volume. Nothing more is known of his biography. Add. MS. 29427 contains two single parts of an anthem for six voices, ‘O my sonne Absolon.’

[Grove's Dict. i. 507, iv. 308–10; Burney's Hist. iii. 112; Wood's Athenæ Oxon., Fasti, ii. 257, MS. Notes in Bodleian.]

J. A. F. M.