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JESUITICA: First musical textbook

william_bathe_01The first musical textbook in the English language, A brief introduction to the true art of musicke (1584), was the work of William Bathe, born in County Dublin, who became a Jesuit in 1596. A genuine polymath, he had by that stage already taught mnemonics to Queen Elizabeth I, presented her with a harp designed by himself, and studied at Oxford, Gray’s Inn and Louvain. He invented a simple form of musical notation (presently being researched in Trinity by Sean Doherty), and as a Jesuit wrote a seminal book on linguistics, and was an important pioneer in popularising the Spiritual Exercises.