William Byrd: Gentleman of the Chapel Royal
- Publish Date: 1999-03-02
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: John Harley
This is the first comprehensive study of William Byrds life (1540-1623) and works to appear for sixty years, and fully takes into consideration recent scholarship. The biographical section includes many newly discovered facts about Byrd and his family, while in the chapters dealing with his music an attempt is made for the first time to outline the chronology of all his compositions. The book begins with a detailed account of Byrd's life, based on a completely fresh examination of original documents, which are quoted extensively. Several previously known documents have now been identified as being in Byrds hand, and some fresh holographs have been discovered. A number of questions such as his parentage and date of birth have been conclusively settled. The book continues with a survey of Byrds music which pays particular attention to its chronological development, and links it where possible to the events and background of his life. A series of appendices includes additional texts of important documents, and a summary catalogue of works. A bibliography and index complete the book. Besides musical illustrations there is a series of plates illustrating documents and places associated with Byrd.