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Profile of Thomas Tallis

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Thomas Tallis

Public Domain Image of Thomas Tallis

from Wikimedia Commons

Born:

c. 1505 (or 1510)

Birthplace:

Unknown (some books indicate his birthplace as possibly Kent)

Died:

November 23, 1585 in Greenwich, London

Also known as:

English composer known for his mastery of contrapuntal techniques, organist of Benedictine Priory in Dover (1532) and then at London's St. Mary-at-Hill (1537). Around 1538, he joined the Waltham Abbey choir and became clerk at Canterbury Cathedral around 1540. He served at the Chapel Royal as composer and organist, a post he shared with composer William Byrd.

Type of Compositions:

Tallis is primarily known for his church music written in English and Latin text. He also wrote keyboard pieces.

Influence:

There is not much information about Tallis' early years but it is known that Wiiliam Byrd was one of his pupils.

Notable Works:

Queen Elizabeth 1 granted Tallis and Byrd the right to print music and music paper on January 21, 1575. Cantiones sacrae, a collection of 34 motets, became their first publication which came out that same year. Tallis' most notable works are "Lamentations of Jeremiah" (2 settings) and "Spem in alium" (40-part motet).

Interesting Facts:

Aside from Queen Elizabeth 1, Tallis is said to have served 3 other monarchs; Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary Tudor.
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