John Baldwin [Baldwine, Baldwyn, Baudewyn, Bawdwine]

(before 1560-1615)

English anthologist, singer and composer. He was a tenor lay clerk at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in 1575. He became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal from February 3, 1594 'without pay' and was appointed to a full place on August 20, 1598. He is perhaps best known as copyist of My Ladye Nevells Booke of keyboard pieces by William Byrd, which was completed on September 11, 1591, and is now owned by the Marquis of Abergavenny. He was also the copyist of the second part of The Forrest-Heyther Partbooks.

Another MS, Baldwin's Commonplace-book, copied from 1581 to 1606, includes twenty of Baldwin's own compositions, the best-known being the 'engagingly old-fashioned' three-part song of Coridon and Phyllida, sung before Queen Elizabeth on September 22, 1591, together with five similar three-part pieces. There are also fourteen pieces in two to four parts without words. Several of these are of a didactic type and may have been used as vocal exercises.

Others, more characteristically instrumental, incorporate interesting contrapuntal devices, notably his In Nomine in five parts (1606), the 'canon in subdiapason' and the fantasia of three parts 'on a ground.' Two four-part motets Pater noster and Redime me also survive incomplete.

Consort Music Composers   |   IV M: England Through 1635 |   Latin Church Music 1460-1575: The Composers