- (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 organist conjointly with his teacher, Tallis. In 1575 Queen Elizabeth I granted the two of them a privilege (a legal monopoly) for the publication and sale of printed music. Byrd's compositions included much music for the services of the Church of England, though Byrd and his family remained Roman Catholics. In the early 1590s he retired to Essex, but he continued composing and publishing religious and secular music, both vocal and instrumental. His Anglican service music, his few but highly regarded masses, and his motets are leading examples of English contrapuntal music of the late Renaissance.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.
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