Bayf, John Anthony De La Neuville

, the natural son of the subject of the next article, was born at Venice in 1532, during his father’s embassy there, and studied under Ronsard, making particular progress in the Greek tongue. He devoted himself afterwards to French poetry, which he disfigured not a little by a mixture of Greek and Latin words. His object was to give to the French the cadence and measure of the Greek and Latin poetry, in which he was very unsuccessful. Cardinal Perron said of him, that he was a good man, but a bad poet. He set his own verses, however, to music; not, says Dr. Burney, to such music as might be expected from a man of letters, or a dilletanti, consisting of a single melody, but to counterpoint, or music in parts. Of this kind he published, in 1561, “Twelve hymns or spiritual songs;” and, in 1578, several books of “Songs,” all in four parts, of which both the words and the music were his own. In all he was allowed to be as good | a musician as a poet; but what mostly entitles him to notice, is his having established a musical academy at Paris, the first of the kind; but m this he had to encounter many difficulties. The court was for it, and Charles IX. and Henry III. frequently attended these concerts; but the parliament and the university opposed the scheme as likely to introduce effeminacy and immorality. The civil wars occasioned their being discontinued, but they were long after revived, and proved the origin of the divertissements, the masquerades, and balls, which formed the pleasures of the court until the time of Louis XIV. Bayf died in 1592. His poems were published at Paris in 1573, 2 vols. 8vo, and consist of serious, comic, sacred, and profane pieces; the first volume is entitled “Euvres en rime,” the other “Les Jeux.” His mode of spelling is as singular as his composition, but the whole are now fallen into oblivion. 1


Moreri.—Burney’s Hist. of Music, vol. III.—Marchand, see Index.