John Forbes

(? - 1675)

Music-printer and publisher in Aberdeen. Scotland had lagged far behind England in music-printing. No secular music was printed until after the Restoration, and then only one volume of secular music appeared, Forbes' Songs and fancies... known also as his Cantus from the first word on the title-page. This work appeared in three distinct editions in 1662, 1666 and 1682 respectively; the full title is Cantus, Songs and Fancies, To severall Musicall Parts. Both apt for Voices and Viols. With a brief Introduction to Musick, As is taught into the Musick School of Aberdeen. Together Also, with several of the choisest Italian-Songs, and New English-Ayres, all in three parts, (Viz.) Two Treebles and a Bass. Most pleasant and delightfull for all Humours. It is of great importance for our knowledge of 17th century musical taste in Scotland. The songs were mainly based on early 17th century English composers, but the texts were by Scottish composers of the period. The edition of 1682 is the best, as it contains the extra added part with six "Balletti" after Giovanni Giacomo Castoldi da Carravaggio, and some popular English songs by Henry Lewis and Dr. Wilson.

VIIJ: Music In The British Isles After 1730