In 1626 Robert Ballard printed in Paris a little book of 24 folios in quarto entitled “Metodo mui facilissimo para aprender a tañer la guitarra a lo español. Compuesto por Luis de Briçñeo [sic.] y presentado a Madama de Chales. En el qual se hallaran cosas curiosas de Romançes y Seguidillas. Juntamente sesenta liçiones diferentes. Un metodo para templar. Otro para conocer los aquerdos. Todo por una horden agradable y facilissima”. Its author, of possible Galician origin according to José Castro Escudero, has passed into the history of music as the author of the first five-course guitar treatise printed in France, which is at the same time the first source of the system of abbreviated chord notation known as cifra castellana. Its musical content has not awakened much interest due to the imperfectness of its writing, and perhaps also for its popular and light musical nature. For Luis Briceño's Metodo mui facilissimo is, first of all, the repertoire of a maestro de tonos (song teacher), that is, a more or less trained musician who taught by ear and memory the basic chords in order to accompany tonos (secular songs) and music airs (dances) on the guitar. It is also an example of the rise that the five-course guitar and the way of strumming it were having, not only in Spain (where, curiously enough, this book was not published) but in Western Europe as well, in the years of the Pax Hispanica, in which the ludic and popular aspects of Spanish culture became fashionable, especially in France and Italy. Certainly, the five-course guitar was then very popular in southern European countries. Musical ensembles were common, called músicas de cuerdas, usually with four singer guitarists, although some literary references speak of sets that included up to eight guitarists.