Ravenscroft, Thomas

Ravenscroft, Thomas an eminent English musical composer, deserves a place here for his devotion to sacred subjects. He was born in 1592, received his musical education in St. Paul's choir, and had the degree of bachelor of music conferred on him when only fifteen years of age. In 1611 appeared his Melismatta, Musical Phansies, a collection of twenty-three partysongs, some of them of great beauty; and three years later he brought out another collection of part-songs under the title of Brief Discourses, with an essay on the old musical modes. Turning his attention to psalmody, he published in 1621 a collection ot psalm-tunes for four voices, entitled The Whole Book of Psalms, composed into Four Parts by Sundry Authors to such Tunes as have been and are usually sung in England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Italy, France, and the Netherlands. This was the first publication of its kind, and all similar works of later date have been largely indebted to it. Among the contributors to this collection were Tallis Morley, Dowland, and all the great masters of the day, the name of John Milton, the father of the poet, appears as the composer of York and Norwich tunes; while St. David's, Canterbury, Bangor, and many others which have since become popular, are by Ravenscroft himself. Each of the 150 Psalms has a distinct melody assigned to it. Two collections of secular songs similar to the Melismata, and entitled Pammelia and Deuteromelia, have been assigned to Ravenscroft; but it is probable that only a few of these songs were composed by him, while he may have revised and edited the whole. A selection from the Melismata, Brief Discourses, Pammelia, and Deuteromelia was printed by the Roxburghe Club in 1823. He died about 1640. — Chambers. See also Engl. Ch. Register, vol. i; Amer. Quar. Ch. Rev. Jan. 1871, p. 526.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.