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Thomas Morley

Biography

(born: Norwich, 1557-8; died: London, early Oct 1602)
English composer. A pupil of Byrd, he was master of the choristers at Norwich Cathedral (1583-7) before becoming organist of St Paul's Cathedral, London (by 1589), and a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal (1592). From 1598 he held the patent for music printing that had once been Byrd's. At some period he was also employed as a government spy. A most influential figure, as composer, music editor and theorist, he wrote service music, anthems, psalms and Latin motets as well as over 100 madrigals and lighter secular works (1593-7), accompanied solo songs (1600) and keyboard and other instrumental music. His editions and anthologies of Italian music, some with new English texts, were chiefly responsible for the Elizabethan vogue for Italian madrigals; and he edited the famous English madrigal anthology The Triumphes of Oriana (1601). His renowned Plaine and Easie Introduction (1597), a practical and lively treatise in dialogue form, was long popular.
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