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Music Encyclopedia

William Byrd ( c 1542 - 1623 )

English composer, it is thought he was born in or around Lincoln in 1542.

Byrd is considered to be one of the most important English composers of British heritage.
He is especially noted for his compositions of sacred choral music.He is also known for the string, keyboard and secular vocal songs he wrote.
It is widely accepted that his music helped develop the musical forms during the 16th and 17th century.
Byrd was organist at the Lincoln Cathedral during the years 1563 to 1572.
He also shared organist duties with Thomas Tallis at the Chapel Royal.

Some of the sacred music he composed was written for the Roman Catholic Church, and the balance was for the Anglican Church.

William Byrd was considered to be one of the founders of the English School of madrigalists and a contributor to a number of publishers who printed collections of music for that era.
His works are important enough for him to be ackowledged as one the the great pioneers of 17th century instrumental music.