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Thomas Campion Campian 1567-1620 Born Feb 12 1567 London Died March 1 1620 London Thomas Campion also spelled Campian was an English poet composer musical and literary theorist physician and one of the outstanding English songwriters of the late 16th and early 17th centuries His poetry with its musical intonations of rhythm and melody also reflects his outstanding musical abilities Little is known about Thomas Campions early life Thomas was the son of the attorney and diplomatic courier John Campion and was raised in luxury in a very well-to-do family He attended the University of Cambridge from 1581-84 and afterwards studied law in London but was never called to the bar After leaving university Campion joined Grays Inn a gentlemans society that engaged in amateur and semi-professional music-making There he composed and performed masques and other music for noble and royal audiences including Queen Elizabeth Campions first publication was five sets of verses appearing anonymously in the pirated 1591 edition of Sidneys Astrophel and Stella In 1595 his Poemata Latin epigrams appeared and in 1601 he co-write A Booke of Ayres with Philip Rosseter in which the musical accompaniment and the verses of the songs were Campions He wrote a masque in 1607 and in 1613 he wrote three more as well as two Bookes of Ayres The third and fourth Booke of Ayres came out in 1617 followed by an essay on musical counterpoint In 1606 Campion became a doctor He had studied medicine in France and Holland He practiced medicine from 1606 until his death in 1620 Campions poetry and his songs for lute accompaniment are widely regarded as his best works His music usually written for ayres and not madrigals is delicate memorable and expressive Though he didnt write much on musical theory he was one of the first to begin to use the modern key system with major and minor modes rather than the old modal system Campion
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