Morley, Thomas

Morley, Thomas one of the most distinguished of England's early composers of sacred and profane music, and author of the first regular English treatise on the art of music, was born probably about the middle of the 16th century, but the exact time is not determined. All that is known of this eminent professor is gathered from Wood, who, in his Athenae Oxoniensis, tells us that he was a disciple of Birde, to whom he dedicated his book in very reverential and affectionate terms; that he obtained a bachelor's degree in 1588, and was sworn into his place as gentleman of the royal chapel in 1592. He died, Dr. Burney supposes, in or near the year 1604. Morley produced many compositions that are still well known, among which are canonist of different kinds, particularly for two voices, madrigals for five voices, and services and anthems, including the fine Funeral Service published in Dr. Boyce's collection, the first that was set to the words of the Anglican Reformed Liturgy. See Engl. Cyclop. s.v.; Burney, Hist. of Music.

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