Elizabethan Musicians - Elizabethan Musical Instruments
Music played an important
role in the lives of the people who lived during the
Elizabethan era. Elizabethan Music was a major form of
entertainment. The collection of Elizabethan musical
instruments included the musical instruments from the
Medieval period together with the musical instruments which
emerged during the Elizabethan era. The introduction of new
musical instruments such as the early violin called the
viol, the early oboe called the hautboy and the keyboard
musical instruments called the spinet, harpsichord and the
virginals provided the sounds which produced a much more
refined sound than had been produced during the Medieval
era.The virginals was a keyboard instrument similar to a
harpsichord. 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 Musicians. 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 Musicians followed suit.
The following list details
facts and information about famous Elizabethan Musicians :
(1525 - 1591)
*Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625)
John Shepherd (c.
*The English Madrigal School*
The above Elizabethan Musicians
indicated with * were famous for composing Madrigals and referred to as
members of the English Madrigal School.
John Bennet published 'Madrigals for Four
Voices' in 1599 and the 'Triumphs of Oriana' in 1601.
Blitheman (1525 - 1591)
William Blitheman was organist to Elizabeth I's Chapel Royal and a
composer of church and virginal music.
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.
Thomas Campion was a physician, poet
and composer of over 100 songs for the lute.
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 composed one of the most
popular pieces of this period, the madrigal "Fair Phyllis I saw sitting
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 composed 'Full fathom five' and 'Where the Bee
Sucks' which were written for the first performance of the Tempest
by William Shakespeare.
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 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 composed 'A Booke of
Ayres' with Thomas Campion.
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.
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 Musicians.
Christopher Tye (c.1500-1573)
Christopher Tye was an English
organist and composer of choral and instrumental music.