John Dowland

John Dowland

Overview
John Dowland was an English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Renaissance composer
Renaissance music
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning of the musical era is difficult, given that its defining characteristics were adopted only gradually; musicologists have placed its beginnings from as early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.Literally meaning...

, singer, and lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

nist. He is best known today for his melancholy
Melancholia
Melancholia , also lugubriousness, from the Latin lugere, to mourn; moroseness, from the Latin morosus, self-willed, fastidious habit; wistfulness, from old English wist: intent, or saturnine, , in contemporary usage, is a mood disorder of non-specific depression,...

 song
Song
In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.A song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs...

s such as "Come, heavy sleep" (the basis for Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

's Nocturnal), "Come again
Come Again (Dowland)
Come Again, sweet love doth now invite is a song by John Dowland. The lyrics are anonymous. Dowland's music can be performed by soloist and lute or by a small vocal group ....

", "Flow my tears
Flow my tears
Flow my Tears is a lute song by the accomplished lutenist and composer John Dowland.Originally composed as an instrumental under the name Lachrimae pavane in 1596, it is Dowland's most famous ayre, and became his signature song, literally as well as metaphorically: he would occasionally sign his...

", "I saw my Lady weepe
I saw my Lady weepe
"I Saw My Lady Weepe" is a lute song from the Second Booke of Songes or Ayres by Renaissance lutenist and composer John Dowland. It is the first song in the Second Booke and is dedicated to Anthony Holborne...

" and "In darkness let me dwell
In darkness let me dwell
In darkness let me dwell is a song by the lutenist and composer John Dowland. Like many of Dowland's songs, its subject matter is melancholy and its lyrics anonymous...

", but his instrumental music has undergone a major revival, and has been a source of repertoire for lutenists and classical guitar
Classical guitar
The classical guitar is a 6-stringed plucked string instrument from the family of instruments called chordophones...

ists during the twentieth century.

Very little is known of John "the Bard" Dowland's early life, but it is generally thought he was born in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.
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Encyclopedia
John Dowland was an English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Renaissance composer
Renaissance music
Renaissance music is European music written during the Renaissance. Defining the beginning of the musical era is difficult, given that its defining characteristics were adopted only gradually; musicologists have placed its beginnings from as early as 1300 to as late as the 1470s.Literally meaning...

, singer, and lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

nist. He is best known today for his melancholy
Melancholia
Melancholia , also lugubriousness, from the Latin lugere, to mourn; moroseness, from the Latin morosus, self-willed, fastidious habit; wistfulness, from old English wist: intent, or saturnine, , in contemporary usage, is a mood disorder of non-specific depression,...

 song
Song
In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.A song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs...

s such as "Come, heavy sleep" (the basis for Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

's Nocturnal), "Come again
Come Again (Dowland)
Come Again, sweet love doth now invite is a song by John Dowland. The lyrics are anonymous. Dowland's music can be performed by soloist and lute or by a small vocal group ....

", "Flow my tears
Flow my tears
Flow my Tears is a lute song by the accomplished lutenist and composer John Dowland.Originally composed as an instrumental under the name Lachrimae pavane in 1596, it is Dowland's most famous ayre, and became his signature song, literally as well as metaphorically: he would occasionally sign his...

", "I saw my Lady weepe
I saw my Lady weepe
"I Saw My Lady Weepe" is a lute song from the Second Booke of Songes or Ayres by Renaissance lutenist and composer John Dowland. It is the first song in the Second Booke and is dedicated to Anthony Holborne...

" and "In darkness let me dwell
In darkness let me dwell
In darkness let me dwell is a song by the lutenist and composer John Dowland. Like many of Dowland's songs, its subject matter is melancholy and its lyrics anonymous...

", but his instrumental music has undergone a major revival, and has been a source of repertoire for lutenists and classical guitar
Classical guitar
The classical guitar is a 6-stringed plucked string instrument from the family of instruments called chordophones...

ists during the twentieth century.

Career and compositions


Very little is known of John "the Bard" Dowland's early life, but it is generally thought he was born in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Irish historian W. H. Grattan Flood
W. H. Grattan Flood
Chevalier William Henry Grattan Flood , renowned musicologist and historian, was born in Lismore in 1857. As a writer and ecclesiastical composer, his personal contributions to Irish musical form produced enduring works. As an historian his output was prolific on topics of local and national...

 claimed that he was born in Dalkey, near Dublin, but no corroborating evidence has ever been found either for that statement or for Thomas Fuller
Thomas Fuller
Thomas Fuller was an English churchman and historian. He is now remembered for his writings, particularly his Worthies of England, published after his death...

's claim that he was born in Westminster. In 1580 Dowland went to Paris, where he was in service to Sir Henry Cobham, the ambassador to the French court, and his successor, Sir Edward Stafford
Edward Stafford (diplomat)
Sir Edward Stafford was an English MP, courtier and diplomat to France during the time of Elizabeth I.He was involved in abortive negotiations for a proposed marriage between Elizabeth and Francis, Duke of Anjou....

. He became a Roman Catholic at this time. In 1584, Dowland moved back to England where he was married. In 1588 he was admitted Mus. Bac. from Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church, Oxford
Christ Church or house of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England...

. In 1594 a vacancy for a lutenist came up at the English court, but Dowland's application was unsuccessful - he claimed his religion led to his not being offered a post at Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

's Protestant court. However, his conversion was not publicized, and being Catholic did not prevent some other important musicians (such as William Byrd
William Byrd
William Byrd was an English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular polyphony, keyboard and consort music.-Provenance:Knowledge of Byrd's biography expanded in the late 20th century, thanks largely...

) from having a court career in England.

From 1598 Dowland worked at the court of Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

, though he continued to publish in London. King Christian was very interested in music and paid Dowland astronomical sums; his salary was 500 daler a year, making him one of the highest-paid servants of the Danish court. Though Dowland was highly regarded by King Christian, he was not the ideal servant, often overstaying his leave when he went to England on publishing business or for other reasons. Dowland was dismissed in 1606 and returned to England; in early 1612 he secured a post as one of James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

's lutenists. There are few compositions dating from the moment of his royal appointment until his death in London in 1626. While the date of his death is not known, "Dowland's last payment from the court was on 20 January 1626, and he was buried at St Ann's, Blackfriars, London, on 20 February 1626."

Two major influences on Dowland's music were the popular consort songs, and the dance music of the day. Most of Dowland's music is for his own instrument, the lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

. It includes several books of solo lute works, lute song
Lute song
The lute song was a generic form of music in the late Renaissance and very early Baroque eras, generally consisting of a singer accompanying himself on a lute, though lute songs may often have been performed by a singer and a separate lutenist...

s (for one voice and lute), part-songs with lute accompaniment, and several pieces for viol
Viol
The viol is any one of a family of bowed, fretted and stringed musical instruments developed in the mid-late 15th century and used primarily in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The family is related to and descends primarily from the Renaissance vihuela, a plucked instrument that preceded the...

 consort
Consort of instruments
A consort of instruments was a phrase used in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to indicate an instrumental ensemble. These could be of the same or a variety of instruments. Consort music enjoyed considerable popularity at court and in households of the wealthy in the...

 with lute. The poet Richard Barnfield
Richard Barnfield
Richard Barnfield , English poet, was born at Norbury, Staffordshire, and brought up in Newport, Shropshire.He was baptized on 13 June 1574, the son of Richard Barnfield, gentleman. His obscure though close relationship with Shakespeare has long made him interesting to scholars...

 wrote that Dowland's "heavenly touch upon the lute doth ravish human sense."

One of his better known works is the lute song "Flow my tears
Flow my tears
Flow my Tears is a lute song by the accomplished lutenist and composer John Dowland.Originally composed as an instrumental under the name Lachrimae pavane in 1596, it is Dowland's most famous ayre, and became his signature song, literally as well as metaphorically: he would occasionally sign his...

", the first verse of which runs:
He later wrote what is probably his best known instrumental work, Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares
Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares
Lachrimæ or seaven teares figured in seaven passionate pavans, with divers other pavans, galliards and allemands, set forth for the lute, viols, or violons, in five parts is a collection of dance music written for five viols, or violins and lute composed by John Dowland...

, Figured in Seaven Passionate Pavans
, a set of seven pavane
Pavane
The pavane, pavan, paven, pavin, pavian, pavine, or pavyn is a slow processional dance common in Europe during the 16th century .A pavane is a slow piece of music which is danced to in pairs....

s for five viols and lute, each based on the theme derived from the lute song "Flow my tears
Flow my tears
Flow my Tears is a lute song by the accomplished lutenist and composer John Dowland.Originally composed as an instrumental under the name Lachrimae pavane in 1596, it is Dowland's most famous ayre, and became his signature song, literally as well as metaphorically: he would occasionally sign his...

". It became one of the best known collections of consort music in his time. His pavane
Pavane
The pavane, pavan, paven, pavin, pavian, pavine, or pavyn is a slow processional dance common in Europe during the 16th century .A pavane is a slow piece of music which is danced to in pairs....

, "Lachrymae antiquae", was also popular in the seventeenth century, and was arranged and used as a theme for variations by many composers.

Dowland's music often displays the melancholia
Melancholia
Melancholia , also lugubriousness, from the Latin lugere, to mourn; moroseness, from the Latin morosus, self-willed, fastidious habit; wistfulness, from old English wist: intent, or saturnine, , in contemporary usage, is a mood disorder of non-specific depression,...

 that was so fashionable in music at that time. He wrote a consort piece with the punning title "Semper Dowland, semper dolens" (always Dowland, always doleful), which may be said to sum up much of his work.

Dowland's song, "Come Heavy Sleepe, the Image of True Death", was the inspiration for Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

's "Nocturnal after John Dowland for guitar", written in 1964 for the guitarist Julian Bream
Julian Bream
Julian Bream, CBE is an English classical guitarist and lutenist and is one of the most distinguished classical guitarists of the 20th century. He has also been successful in renewing popular interest in the Renaissance lute....

. This work consists of eight variations, all based on musical themes drawn from the song or its lute accompaniment, finally resolving into a guitar setting of the song itself.

Richard Barnfield, Dowland's contemporary, refers to the lutenist in poem VIII of The Passionate Pilgrim
The Passionate Pilgrim
The Passionate Pilgrim is an anthology of 20 poems that were attributed to "W. Shakespeare" on the title page, only five of which are accepted by present-day scholars as authentically Shakespearean.-Editions:...

(1598):

Publications


In 1597, Dowland published his "First Book of Songs" in London. It was one of the most influential and important musical publications of the history of the lute. This collection of lute-songs was set out in a way that allows performance by a soloist with lute accompaniment or various combinations of singers and instrumentalists.

Dowland published two books of songs after the "First Book of Songs", in 1600 and 1603, as well as the Lachrymae in 1604. He also published in 1609 a translation of the Micrologus of Andreas Ornithoparcus, originally printed in Leipzig 1517, a rather stiff and medieval treatise, but nonetheless occasionally entertaining.

Dowland's last, and in the opinion of most scholars, best work, A Pilgrimes Solace, was published in 1612, and seems to have been conceived more as a collection of contrapuntal music than as solo works.

Suspicions of treason


There is an unsubstantiated rumour that Dowland performed a number of espionage assignments for Sir Robert Cecil in France and Denmark; his high rate of pay notwithstanding, Dowland seems to have been only a court musician. However, we have in his own words the fact that he was for a time embroiled in treasonous Catholic intrigue in Italy,
whither he had travelled in the hopes of meeting and studying with Luca Marenzio, a famed madrigal composer. Whatever his religion, however, he was still intensely loyal to the Queen, though he seems to have had something of a grudge against her for her remark that he, Dowland, "was a man to serve any prince in the world, but [he] was an obstinate Papist." But in spite of this, and though the plotters offered him a large sum of money from the Pope, as well as safe passage for his wife and children to come to him from England, in the end he declined to have anything further to do with their plans and begged pardon from Sir Robert Cecil and from the Queen.

Private life


John Dowland was married and had children, as referenced in his letter to Sir Robert Cecil, but family life does not seem to have been important to him, as his wife stayed in England while he worked on the Continent.

His son Robert Dowland was also a musician, working for some time in the service of the first Earl of Devonshire, and taking over his father's position of lutenist at court when John died.

Dowland's melancholic lyrics and music have often been described as his attempts to develop an "artistic persona" though he was actually a cheerful person, but many of his own personal complaints, and the tone of bitterness in many of his comments, suggest that much of his music and his melancholy truly did come from his own personality and frustration.

Modern interpretations


One of the first twentieth century musicians who successfully helped reclaim Dowland from the history books was the singer-songwriter Frederick Keel
Frederick Keel
James Frederick Keel was an English composer of art songs, baritone singer and academic. Keel was a successful recitalist and a professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music. He combined scholarly and artistic interest in English songs and their history. His free settings of Elizabethan and...

. Keel included fifteen different Dowland pieces in his two sets of Elizabethan love songs published in 1909 and 1913, which achieved popularity in their day. These free arrangements for piano and low or high voice were intended to fit the tastes and musical practices associated with art songs of the time.

In 1935, Australian-born composer Percy Grainger
Percy Grainger
George Percy Aldridge Grainger , known as Percy Grainger, was an Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist. In the course of a long and innovative career he played a prominent role in the revival of interest in British folk music in the early years of the 20th century. He also made many...

, who also had a deep interest in music made before Bach, arranged Dowland’s Now, O now I needs must part for piano. Some years later, in 1953, Grainger wrote a work titled Bell Piece (Ramble on John Dowland’s ‘Now, O now I needs must part’), which was a version scored for voice and wind band, based in his previously mentioned transcription.

In 1951 Alfred Deller
Alfred Deller
Alfred George Deller CBE , was an English singer and one of the main figures in popularizing the return of the countertenor voice in Renaissance and Baroque music during the 20th Century....

 famous counter-tenor (1912-1979), recorded songs by John Dowland/Thomas Campion/Philip Rosseter with the label HMV (His Master's Voice) HMV C.4178 and another HMV C.4236 of Dowland's "Flow my Tears". In 1977, Harmonia Mundi also published two records of Deller singing Dowland's Lute songs (HM 244&245-H244/246).

Dowland's music became part of the repertoire of the early music revival
Early Music Revival
See Early music and Historically informed performance for a more detailed explanation of this topic.The general discussion of how to perform music from ancient or earlier times did not become an important subject of interest until the 19th century, when Europeans began looking to ancient culture...

 with lutenist Julian Bream
Julian Bream
Julian Bream, CBE is an English classical guitarist and lutenist and is one of the most distinguished classical guitarists of the 20th century. He has also been successful in renewing popular interest in the Renaissance lute....

 and tenor Peter Pears
Peter Pears
Sir Peter Neville Luard Pears CBE was an English tenor who was knighted in 1978. His career was closely associated with the composer Edward Benjamin Britten....

, and later with Christopher Hogwood
Christopher Hogwood
Christopher Jarvis Haley Hogwood CBE, MA , HonMusD , born 10 September 1941, Nottingham, is an English conductor, harpsichordist, writer and musicologist, well known as the founder of the Academy of Ancient Music.-Biography:...

 and David Munrow
David Munrow
David Munrow was a British musician and early music historian.- Biography and career :Munrow was born in Birmingham and was the son of Birmingham University dance teacher Hilda Norman Munrow and Albert Davis 'Dave' Munrow, a Birmingham University lecturer and physical education instructor who...

 and the Early Music Consort
Early Music Consort
The Early Music Consort of London was founded by Christopher Hogwood and David Munrow in 1967 and disbanded in 1976 following Munrow's death. It produced many influential collections of early music, typical of which was The Art of the Netherlands issued as a 3-record set in 1976.-Selected...

 in the late 1960s and later with the Academy of Ancient Music
Academy of Ancient Music
The Academy of Ancient Music is a period-instrument orchestra based in Cambridge, England. Founded by harpsichordist Christopher Hogwood in 1973, it was named after a previous organisation of the same name of the 18th century. The musicians play on either original instruments or modern copies of...

 from the early 1970s.

Jan Akkerman
Jan Akkerman
Jan Akkerman is a Dutch guitarist. Akkerman is a distinctive guitarist, constantly experimenting with new equipment and guitars. Akkerman's distinctive guitar sound is characterised by his pioneering use of volume swells which produce a smooth, fluty, sustained tone, and other complex techniques...

, guitarist of the Dutch progressive rock band Focus
Focus (band)
Focus is a Dutch rock band which was founded by classically trained organist/flautist Thijs van Leer in 1969, and is most famous for the instrumental pieces "Hocus Pocus" and "Sylvia"...

, recorded "Tabernakel" in 1973 (though released in 1974), an album of John Dowland songs and some original material, performed on lute.

The Collected Lute Music of John Dowland with lute tablature and keyboard notation has been transcribed and edited by Diana Poulton and Basil Lam, Faber Music Limited, London 1974.

The complete works of Dowland have been recorded in a boxed set by the Consort of Musicke.

The 1999 ECM New Series recording In Darkness Let Me Dwell features new interpretations of Dowland songs performed by tenor John Potter
John Potter (musician)
-Life:John Potter's musical education began as a chorister at King's College Cambridge, after which he became a scholar at The King's School, Canterbury and exhibitioner at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge...

, lutenist Stephen Stubbs, and baroque violinist Maya Homburger in collaboration with English jazz musicians John Surman
John Surman
John Douglas Surman is an English jazz saxophone, bass clarinet and synthesizer player, and composer of free jazz and modal jazz, often using themes from folk music as a basis...

 and Barry Guy
Barry Guy
Barry John Guy is a British composer and double bass player. His range of interests encompasses early music, contemporary composition, jazz and improvisation, and he has worked with a wide variety of orchestras in the UK and Europe...

.

Nigel North
Nigel North
Nigel North is an English lutenist and guitarist.-Student days:He studied guitar on a scholarship to the junior department of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama , taking up the lute in 1969, at the age of 15. He maintains he was more or less self-taught on the instrument...

 recorded Dowland's complete works for solo lute on four CDs between 2004 and 2007.

Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello , born Declan Patrick MacManus, is an English singer-songwriter. He came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s and later became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader...

 included a recording (with Fretwork
Fretwork (music group)
Fretwork is a consort of viols based in England, United Kingdom. Formed in 1986, the group consisted of six players, while it is currently five viols...

 and the Composers Ensemble) of Dowland's "Can she excuse my wrongs" as a bonus track on the 2006 re-release of his The Juliet Letters
The Juliet Letters
The Juliet Letters is the 14th studio album by the British rock singer and songwriter Elvis Costello, released on compact disc as Warner Brothers 45180. The entire instrumental backing is provided by The Brodsky String Quartet. Costello described the album as "a song sequence for string quartet and...

.

In October 2006, Sting, who says he has been fascinated by the music of John Dowland for 25 years, released an album featuring Dowland's songs titled Songs from the Labyrinth
Songs from the Labyrinth
Songs from the Labyrinth is a 2006 album of recordings of the music of John Dowland by Sting and Bosnian lutenist Edin Karamazov. It entered the UK Official Albums Chart at #24 and reached #25 on the Billboard 200, strong charting peaks for a classical record on the pop album charts...

, on Deutsche Grammophon
Deutsche Grammophon
Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical record label which was the foundation of the future corporation to be known as PolyGram. It is now part of Universal Music Group since its acquisition and absorption of PolyGram in 1999, and it is also UMG's oldest active label...

, in collaboration with Edin Karamazov
Edin Karamazov
Edin Karamazov is a renowned Bosnian musician-lutenist . He studied lute with Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis....

 on lute
Lute
Lute can refer generally to any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes....

 and archlute
Archlute
The archlute is a European plucked string instrument developed around 1600 as a compromise between the very large theorbo, the size and re-entrant tuning of which made for difficulties in the performance of solo music, and the Renaissance tenor lute, which lacked the bass range of the theorbo...

. They described their treatment of Dowland's work in a Great Performances
Great Performances
Great Performances, a television series devoted to the performing arts, has been telecast on Public Broadcasting Service public television since 1972...

appearance. To give some idea of the tone and intrigues of life in late Elizabethan England, Sting also recites throughout the album portions of a 1593 letter written by Dowland to Sir Robert Cecil
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury
Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, KG, PC was an English administrator and politician.-Life:He was the son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke...

. The letter describes Dowland's travels to various points of Western Europe, then breaks into a detailed account of his activities in Italy, along with a heartfelt denial of the charges of treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

 whispered against him by unknown persons. Dowland most likely was suspected of this for traveling to the courts of various Catholic monarchs and accepting payment from them greater than what a musician of the time would normally have received for performing.

Other interpretations of Dowland's songs have been recorded by Windham Hill artist, Lisa Lynne
Lisa Lynne
Lisa Lynne is a Celtic harpist and composer and New Age recording artist residing in Los Angeles, California.Lisa Lynne is a self-proclaimed multi-instrumentalist who has "spent the last eighteen years pursuing her passion for the Celtic harp."...

, (for her CD, Maiden's Prayer) and Lise Winne (for her Wing'd With Hopes, New Interpretations of Renaissance Songs CD). Several bands, such as Die Verbannten Kinder Evas
Die Verbannten Kinder Evas
Die Verbannten Kinder Evas is an Austrian music project signed to Napalm Records, which was founded in 1993 by Richard Lederer and Michael Gregor.- Biography :...

, Aesma Daeva
Aesma Daeva (band)
Aesma Daeva is a symphonic metal band from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.-Early:Aesma Daeva formed out of the early collaboration of Nick Copernicus and John Prassas in La Crosse, Wisconsin circa 1998...

 and Qntal
Qntal
Qntal is a German "electro-medieval" band founded in 1991 by Michael Popp and Ernst Horn. They later added vocalist Syrah to complete the band. It has roots in Estampie, a band of similar genre but different style; Michael Popp and Syrah are the principal members. Horn left the group in 1999, to...

, have recorded albums featuring lyrics by John Dowland. The countertenor Andreas Scholl
Andreas Scholl
Andreas Scholl is a German countertenor, a male classical singer in the alto vocal range. He is noted as a specialist in Baroque music.-Childhood:...

 sings in Crystal Tears English consort songs with Concerto Viole of Basel. A rendition of Dowland's "Come again
Come Again (Dowland)
Come Again, sweet love doth now invite is a song by John Dowland. The lyrics are anonymous. Dowland's music can be performed by soloist and lute or by a small vocal group ....

" (sung by Sting) can also be found on Joshua Bell
Joshua Bell
Joshua David Bell is an American Grammy Award-winning violinist.-Childhood:Bell was born in Bloomington, Indiana, United States, the son of a psychologist and a therapist. Bell's father is the late Alan P...

's 2009 album, At home with Friends.

In popular culture

  • The science fiction
    Science fiction
    Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

     author Philip K. Dick
    Philip K. Dick
    Philip Kindred Dick was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments and altered...

     was a fan of Dowland's and his lute music is a recurring theme in Dick's novels. Dick sometimes assumed the pen-name Jack Dowland. Dick also based the title of the novel Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
    Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
    Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said is a 1974 science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick about a genetically enhanced pop singer and television star who loses his identity overnight. The story is set in a futuristic dystopia, where America has become a police state after a Second Civil War. The novel...

    on one of Dowland's best-known compositions. In his novel The Divine Invasion
    The Divine Invasion
    The Divine Invasion is a BSFA Award nominated 1981 science fiction book by Philip K. Dick. It is the second book in the gnostic VALIS trilogy, and takes place in the indeterminate future, perhaps a century or more after VALIS...

    , the character Linda Fox (a thinly disguised proxy for Linda Ronstadt
    Linda Ronstadt
    Linda Ronstadt is an American popular music recording artist. She has earned eleven Grammy Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, an ALMA Award, numerous United States and internationally certified gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums, in addition to Tony Award and Golden...

    ) is a popular singer whose repertoire consists of remakes of John Dowland compositions.
  • Rose Tremain
    Rose Tremain
    Rose Tremain CBE is an English author.-Life:Rose Tremain was born Rosemary Jane Thomson on August 2, 1943 in London and attended Francis Holland School then Crofton Grange School from 1954 to 1961; the Sorbonne from 1961–1962; and graduated from the University of East Anglia in 1965 where she then...

    's 1999 novel Music and Silence
    Music and Silence
    Music and Silence is a novel written by the English author Rose Tremain. It is set in and around the court of Christian IV of Denmark in the years 1629 and 1630.The book won Best Novel at the 1999 Whitbread Awards....

    is set at the court of Christian IV of Denmark
    Christian IV of Denmark
    Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

     some years after Dowland's departure and contains several references to the composer's music and temperament: in the opening chapter, Christian remarks that "the man was all ambition and hatred, yet his ayres were as delicate as rain".
  • Aesma Daeva's song "Darkness" uses "Flow my Tears" as lyrics.
  • Both Dowland and Thomas Tallis are referenced in the Half Man Half Biscuit
    Half Man Half Biscuit
    Half Man Half Biscuit, often "HMHB", are an English rock band from Birkenhead, Merseyside, active since the mid-1980s, known for satirical, sardonic, and sometimes surreal songs. The group comprises Nigel Blackwell , Neil Crossley , Ken Hancock , and Carl Henry...

     song, "I went to a wedding".
  • Dowland is referenced in the Big Big Train
    Big Big Train
    Big Big Train is an English progressive rock band that was founded in 1990. Based in Bournemouth, England, the band members are Nick D'Virgilio, Dave Gregory, David Longdon, Andy Poole and Gregory Spawton....

     song "Reaching for John Dowland" on their album English Boy Wonders
    English Boy Wonders
    English Boy Wonders is the second studio album by the English progressive rock band, Big Big Train. It was released in 1997 by Giant Electric Pea.-Track listing:# "Big Empty Skies" – 4:21# "Brushed Aside" – 5:37...

    .

Recordings



External links