Nicholas Yonge

english singer

Nicholas Yonge (born about 1560; buried October 23, 1619) was an English singer and publisher (his name is an old spelling of the word "Young" and pronounced the same way). He is most famous for publishing a collection of music called Musica transalpina in (1588).

Music publishing was quite a new thing in those days. Musica transalpina was a collection of Italian madrigals. The Italian words of the madrigals were also translated into English. Musica transalpina had 57 separate pieces by 18 Italian composers, including Alfonso Ferrabosco and Luca Marenzio. Ferrabosco was living in England at the time.

The publication of this book had a huge influence on music in England. It made madrigals very popular in England and during the next twenty years composers such as Thomas Morley, John Wilbye and Thomas Weelkes composed a large number of English madrigals.

In 1597 Yonge published a second book of Musica transalpina which was also very influential.

The title Musica transalpina means: "music from across the Alps" because the music came from Italy which was the other side of the Alps.


  • David Brown, "Nicholas Yonge". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. Stanley Sadie. 20 vol. London, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1980. ISBN 1561591742