Before Giovanni Colonna “made it” as a composer he worked as a printer in Italy, his birth place. In 1620, however, Colonna was in the service of two titled nobles, and he continued to be employed as such while he produced his five books of guitar music.
The first of Colonna’s anthologies includes instructions on reading the alfabeto notation, and some instruction on strumming patterns and tempos for popular genres of the time. Colonna’s first is also notable for its instructions on transposition for guitars of various sizes, ranges and tunings.
All of Colonna’s books contain pieces popular for the time, including many passacaglias, chaconnes, and folias. You can view the contents of Colonna’s first book here.