Dunstable, John

, “an English musician of the fifteenth century, at an early stage of counterpoint, acquired on the continent the reputation of being its inventor, which, however, Dr. Burney has proved could not belong | to him. He was the musician whom the Germans, from a similarity of name, have mistaken for saint Dunstan, and to whom, as erroneously, they have ascribed with others the invention of counterpoint in four parts. He was author of the musical treatise” De Mensurabili Musica,“which is cited by Franchinus, Morley, and Ravenscroft. But though this work is lost, there is still extant in the Bodleian library, a Geographical Tract by this author and, if we may believe his epitaph, which is preserved by Weever, he was not only a musician, but a mathematician, and an eminent astrologer. Of his musical compositions nothing remains but two or three fragments in Franchinus, and Morley. He is very unjustly accused by this last writer of separating the syllables of the same words by rests. Stow calls him” a master of astronomy and music," and says he w;;s buried in the church of St. Stephen, Walbrook, in 1458. 1


Burney’s Hist, of Music, vol. II.