Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

Elizabethan Composers

Picture of Thomas Tallis

Picture of Thomas Tallis

Elizabethan Music - Elizabethan Composers
Elizabethan Musicians composed music for musical instruments and the voice. The Elizabethan Golden Age saw the emergence of the Anthem, the Madrigal, the Masque and Opera. The emergence of new English music schools. And great Elizabethan Composers such as William Byrd (1543-1623), Thomas Campion (1567-1620), John Dowland (1563-1626), John Farmer (1570-1601), Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625), Robert Johnson (1500-1560) and Thomas Tallis (1505-1585).

Combinations of musical instruments, as in the modern orchestra, were still in the experimental stage but provided the opportunity to create unusual and creative music. Queen Elizabeth was a patron of all the Arts and encouraged Elizabethan Composers . Music and Song lyrics were printed during the Elizabethan era but these were sold as separate documents. The Elizabethan composer John Dowland (1563-1626), a University Graduate in Music,  published his ' First Booke of Songes or Ayres' in 1597. It became a best seller and highly profitable to the Publisher. Other popular composers followed suit.

Elizabethan Songs
Elizabethan Masques
Elizabethan Dance

*The English Madrigal School*
The above Elizabethan Composers indicated with * were famous for composing Madrigals and referred to as members of the English Madrigal School

John Bennet (1575-1614)
John Bennet published 'Madrigals for Four Voices' in 1599 and the 'Triumphs of Oriana' in 1601.

Elizabethan Composers
The following list details facts and information about famous Elizabethan Composers : Thomas Tallis(c.1505-1585)

John Bennet (1575-1614)
John Bull (1562-1628)
John Ward (1571-1638)
Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623)
William Blitheman (1525 - 1591)
William Byrd (1543-1623)
Thomas Campion (1567-1620)
Richard Carlton (c1558-1638)
Michael Cavendish (c1565-1628)
John Dowland (1563-1626)
John Farmer (c.1570-1601)
Giles Farnaby (c1560-c1620)
Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
George Kirbye (c1565-1634)
John Mundy (1550-1630)
Robert Johnson (c.1500-1560)
Francis Pilkington (c1570-1638)
Thomas Ravenscroft (1590-1633)
John Redford (1485-1543)
Philip Rosseter (c.1575-1623)
Thomas Morley(1557-1602)
John Shepherd (c. 1515-1558)
John Taverner (c.1495-1545)
Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656)
Christopher Tye (c.1500-1573)
John Wilbye (1574-1638)

Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585)
Thomas Tallis was from humble monastic choral foundations but rose to be the foremost member of Englandís Chapel Royal. He is often referred to as the "father of English church music". Tallis and William Byrd were granted an exclusive license to print and publish music by Elizabeth I.
 
William Blitheman (1525 - 1591)
William Blitheman was organist to Elizabeth I's Chapel Royal and a composer of church and virginal music.

William Byrd (1543-1623)
William Byrd was Queen Elizabeth's favourite composer  who wrote church, consort and vocal music. Byrd and Thomas Tallis were granted an exclusive license to print and publish music by Elizabeth I

Picture of William Byrd

Thomas Campion (1567-1620)
Thomas Campion was a physician, poet and composer of over 100 songs for the lute.John Dowland (1563-1626)
The Elizabethan composer John Dowland was a University Graduate in Music,  published his ' First Booke of Songes or Ayres' in 1597. It became a best seller and highly profitable to the Publisher.John Farmer (c.1570-1601)
John Farmer composed one of the most popular pieces of this period, the madrigal "Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone".

Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)

Orlando Gibbons was the leading English composer of his generation. He held positions as Organist of the Royal Chapel and finally organist at Westminster Abbey. Gibbons is also well-known for his sacred choral music, hymns and anthems.Robert Johnson (c.1500-1560)
Robert Johnson composed 'Full fathom five' and 'Where the Bee Sucks' which were written  for the first performance of the Tempest by William Shakespeare.Thomas Morley (1557-1602)
Thomas Morley wrote music for the liturgy of the Church of England. Morley was employed at St. Paul's in London and became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1592.

John Mundy (1550-1630)

John Mundy was the Organist of St. Georgeís, Windsor. Singer, composer and Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. Composed liturgical music for the new Prayer book.Thomas Ravenscroft (1590-1633)
Thomas Ravenscroft a composer of rounds and catches, and especially for compiling collections of British folk music. He sang in the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral.

Philip Rosseter (c.1575-1623)

Philip Rosseter composed 'A Booke of Ayres' with Thomas Campion.

John Taverner (c.1495-1545)

John Taverner served in a prestigious post at the short-lived Cardinal College at Oxford and was the leading English composer of his generation, and one of the most influential of English composers.

Christopher Tye (c.1500-1573)

Christopher Tye was an English organist and composer of choral and instrumental music.

Elizabethan Music
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