Legal name: John Cooper
John Cooper (c. 1570 – 1626), also known as Giovanni Coprario or Coperario, was an English composer, viol player and lutenist.
He changed his name in the early 17th century. It is often said he did this after a visit to Italy, though there is no evidence he had been to the country. From 1622 he served and may have taught the Prince of Wales, for whom he continued to work upon his succession as Charles I. His longtime patron was Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, for whom he taught William Lawes.
Among Cooper's works are fantasias, suites and other works for viols and violins, and two collections of songs, Funeral Teares (1606) and Songs of Mourning: Bewailing the Untimely Death of Prince Henry (1613). He also penned the treatise on composition, Rules how to Compose.
According to Ernst Meyer, Cooper was a Londoner who italianized his name as Italian music and musicians became more fashionable, and spent much of his life as a musician in the royal court.
Ninety-six fantasias in between three and six voices, most of them in two Oxford and Royal College of Music collections, were known to exist by Cooper (as of 1946). Meyer also notes that most of Cooper's five and six part fantasias are mainly transcriptions, or imitations, of his madrigals, but that his fantasias for three or four instrumental parts are, formally especially, independently interesting.
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