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Byrd, William (1540–1623)

  1. George Thomas Kurian

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0209

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Kurian, G. T. 2011. Byrd, William (1540–1623). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


The finest composer in Tudor England, he was the organist and choirmaster at Lincoln Cathedral from 1563 to 1572 and at the Chapel Royal in London, where he worked for the rest of his life. Some of his influence is related to the fact that he had Queen Elizabeth's license to print and sell music along with Thomas Tallis. A devout Roman Catholic, he left his imprint on church music but also excelled in madrigals and other popular forms of music. His large inspired output places him on the same rank as some of the greatest composers, such as Palestrina, Lassus, and Victoria.


  • Byrd, William (1540–1623);
  • finest composer, in tudor England;
  • devout roman catholic, his imprint on church music;
  • gentleman of the chapel royal, Byrd, motets in latin;
  • full anthems and concertato-like anthems;
  • psalms. “christ rising again,” a verse anthem;
  • cantiones sacrae;
  • Byrd's catholic music, joyful and serene