John Playford


Music publisher and bookseller. He was apprenticed to a London publisher, John Benson, from 1639/40 to 1647, then opened his own shop in the porch of the Temple Church; he also served as clerk to the church from 1653. He published political tracts before turning to music publication, his output including lesson books, collections of songs and instrumental works, and hymns; 1651-84, he dominated the music publishing trade. The English Dancing Master (1651) is his best-known work; other publications include A Musicall Banquet (1651), Catch that Catch Can ( 1652), and A Breefe Introduction to the Skill of Musick (1654). He retired in 1684 and was succeeded by his son Henry.

Playford's dancing Master

Catches and Glees | VIIA: Purcell and his Contemporaries | Thomas Greeting