Emmanuel Adriaenssen

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Emmanuel Adriaenssen (c. 1554 in Antwerp – buried 27 February 1604 in Antwerp)[1] was a Flemish lutenist and influential author of Pratum Musicum (Antwerp, 1584) (reprinted with alterations several times until 1600). This contains lute solos, and more importantly settings of madrigals for multiple lutes and different ensembles involving lutes and voices giving much study material for the researcher into renaissance performance practice. The book contains around 85 tablatures for fantasias, songs and dances. Most of the vocal pieces are in Italian. The Neapolitan songs, with their parallel fifths (which not required in Italian text, so it is a question here of a style marker) have a more rustic character. One of them, Del crud’amor, has an almost Oriental character. Various dances for solo lute also tend toward the rustic.

The ensemble pieces have been recorded by the Dowland Consort of Lutes and by the Liuto Concertato.

Adriaenssen went to study in Rome in 1574. He began a lute school in Antwerp with his brother Gysbrecht. He was the father of painters Vincent Adriaenssen and Alexander Adriaenssen.


  • Facsimile of Pratum Musicum with an introduction and bibliography by Kwee Him Yong, (Frits Knuf, Netherlands, 1977).
  1. ^ Randel, Don Michael, ed. (1996). "Adriaenssen, Emanuel". The Harvard biographical dictionary of music. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press. pp. 6–7. ISBN 0-674-37299-9. 

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