His will was made on 5th May 1669 and was proved in London on 29th July 1669. It seems likely that he died at Sir John Bolles' house in Holborn, London, or possibly at Scampton Hall. Simpson made a small contribution to John Playford's work A Brief Introduction to the Skill of Musick, but is best known for his own book, The Division Violist (1659) ,which is a set of practical instructions, organised into three sections: "Of the Viol it self, with Instructions how to Play upon it", "Use of the Concords, or a Compendium of Descant", and "The Method of ordering Division to a Ground". The second edition (1665) is a parallel text in English and Latin, thus addressing both the British and continental European markets. It was a highly successful publication and continued to appear in new editions for sixty years after the death of its author.
With the revival of early music during the twentieth century, and renewed interest in the viol, Simpson's book was read with renewed interest by those who sought to rediscover the authentic technique for playing the instrument. Simpson wrote a short guide to musical composition in 1665: The Principles of Practical Musick (dedicated to Sir John St Barbe, another of his pupils), and expanded this into his 1667 publication A Compendium of Practical Musick. Very few of Simpson's musical compositions appeared in print during his lifetime, except those included as examples in his books. Some of his compositions survive in manuscript form. For example, he composed two sets of fantasias entitled "The Monthes" and "The Seasons", which both consist of one treble and two bass viol parts, with continuo. All his surviving instrumental works are for viol ensembles or for the solo viol, an instrument of which he wrote: "a viol in the hands of an excellent violist may (no doubt) be reckon'd amongst the best of musical instruments. To play extempore to a ground is the highest perfection of it". Read more on Last.fm.
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more
|The Seasons, The Winter: II. Aire (Dessus de viole, 2 basses de viole, théorbe, orgue & clavecin)|
|Division in D major|
|Prelude in D Major: The Division-Violist: Prelude|