- (1543, Lincoln ?, England – 4 July 1623, Stondon Massey, Essex)Great master of high Renaissance polyphony, he was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Lincoln Cathedral from 25 March 1563, Gentleman of the Chapel Royal from February 1570, joint organist from December 1572 with Thomas Tallis, with whom he published his first Latin motets, the Cantiones of 1575.Although a Roman Catholic, he composed more than 65 English anthems; in later years, he composed mostly for the Catholic rites, an act that demanded discretion. His most famous works today, the Latin masses for three voices (c. 1592–1593), four voices (c. 1593– 1594), and five voices (c. 1595), he printed in limited editions with-out title pages. They exhibit a consummate mastery of contrapuntal technique and make no use of cantus firmus, paraphrase, or parody technique, but are freely composed, unusual for the time. After 1590, he undertook the immense project of setting an entire liturgical cycle of mass propers for feast days, the Gradualia. Byrd also composed six fantasies and five preludes and other liturgical pieces for keyboard and a significant amount of secular vocal and instrumental music. He exercised an enormous influence on English music; among his students were Thomas Morley and Thomas Tomkins, and possibly Thomas Weelkes and John Bull.
Historical dictionary of sacred music. Joseph P. Swain. 2006.
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Byrd, William — born 1543, Lincoln, Lincolnshire?, Eng. died July 4, 1623, Stondon Massey, Essex British composer. He studied under Thomas Tallis and was appointed organist of Lincoln Cathedral at age 20. In 1572 he became organist of the Chapel Royal, sharing… … Universalium
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Byrd, William — (c. 1543–1623) Composer. Byrd was probably a native of Lincolnshire. Although a practising Roman Catholic, he became organist of Lincoln Cathedral in 1563 and moved to the Chapel Royal in 1570. He has been described as the ‘father of the… … Who’s Who in Christianity
Byrd, William — (1540 1623) English composer, born in London and probably trained in the Chapel Royal under Thomas Tallis. He became organist and choirmaster at Lincoln cathedral (1563 1572), and in 1572 he was named a gentleman of the Chapel Royal and… … Historical Dictionary of Renaissance
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