Primo libro di diversi Capricci per sonare, Napoli, 1603
Ascanio Mayone (Naples, second half of the 16th c. – Naples, 1627), was a composer, organist and “excellent player of the double harp” (so-called in the list of “compositori eccellenti della città di Napoli che oggi vivono” compiled by Scipione Cerreto in his Della Prattica Musica, Naples, 1601). He was a pupil of the Flemish musician Jean (Giovanni) de Macque (1550 ca. – 1614), and a contemporary and rival of Giovanni Maria Trabaci (1575 ca. -1647). When, in the first decade of the seventeenth century, Mayone published his two books of Diversi Capricci per sonare (Naples, 1603 and1609), he unquestionably gathered together the fruits of a long Neapolitan tradition of keyboard music, at a moment–the turn of the century–which was witnessing a significant increase in the production of madrigals throughout the entire Kingdom of Naples. In 1590, the first books of madrigals were printed in Naples, an event marking the beginning of a continuous and prosperous publishing activity which would last until the 1630s.