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Francis Cutting

Francis Cutting (c.1550–1595/6) was an English lutenist and composer. during the Renaissance period. He is best known for "Packington's Pound" and a variation of Greensleeves called "Divisions on Greensleeves", both pieces originally intended for the lute.

Cutting was employed as a musician for the Howard family, which included Philip Howard, earl of Arundel. Little is known of the composer's early life, but he had ten children with his wife, Elizabeth, eight of whom appear in the parish registers of St. Clement Danes, Westminster, the parish in which Arundel House, the London residence of the Howards, was located. Their son, Thomas Cutting, became a distinguished lutenist himself.

Cutting is among the earliest English lute composers whose names are known. Several of his forty surviving works appear in William Barley's A New Booke of Tabliture (1596); his compositions include "Sir Walter Raleigh's Galliard," "Sir Fulke Greville's Pavan," and "Mrs Anne Markham's Pavan and Galliard." "His surviving music is of high quality, comprising about 51 lute pieces, two bandora solos and one consort part for bandora: an output exceeded only by Dowland, Bacheler and Holborne."


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