Valentin Haussmann

Valentin Haussmann


• ca1560 ca1614


An enigmatic character in the history of music, Haussmann had no difficulty in finding a station wherever he went. It seems that he did not hold one position for a lengthy period of time but pursued travels, composition and editing thoughout Germany. He collected, edited and published a series of Polish dances and much of his music, at least according to his descriptions, was informed by the Polish dance. His anthologies contained and disseminated a great deal of information concerning Italian pieces, Polish dances, and texts as well as music from Gastoldi, Marenzio, Vecchi and others. Haussmann's dance collections were precursors to those of Hasler and Demantius; he considered the pavan and galliard pairs (instrumentally) as single pieces of music and in his collections he would occasionally compose the music and/or write the texts himself. Instrumentally he was the first known German to score for the violin in the upper part. Up until Haussmann the position which he afforded the violin would have been played by the viol. His fugues in the "Fuga prima" are historically significant in the further development of the fugal form. Illustrating the popularity of his musical pieces were numerous transcriptions of his dances for the use of his songs in anthologies and transcriptions into lute intablatures.