MORLEY, Thomas

(1557-1603)
Thomas Morley was an English composer particularly known for his madri­gals and other secular dance music. Little is known about his early life. He was a pupil of William Byrd,* from whom he purchased a royal monopoly to print music and music paper, and an Oxford classmate of John Dowland,* earning his bachelor's degree in music on the same day in 1588.
Some of his surviving music explicitly celebrates the Virgin Mary, indicating probable composition for Roman Catholic patrons. Morley played the organ first at Norwich Cathedral and then at St. Paul's before joining the Chapel Royal musicians, who played at court. However, Morley is known less for religious compositions than for his secular dance music in forms imported from Italy: the madrigal, the canzonet ("little song"), and the ballett (derived from the dance). In addition to seven collections of these dances (1593-1603), Morley published music for ensembles of mixed instruments in The First Booke of Consort Les­sons (1599) and a book of music theory with the deceptive name of A Plaine and Easie Introduction (1597). His final collection of madrigals, The Triumphes of Oriana, was published in honor of Elizabeth I.* Morley may have spied for Elizabeth during continental travels; although he was a Catholic himself, he apparently used his time in the Low Countries to discover information about Catholics in England, presumably because even the Church of England was preferable to rule by Catholic Spain. In his composing, Morley was particularly interested in the madrigal's basis in dance and poetry. Some have admired his experimentation with the madrigal and its related forms. Others have charged that his compositions rely too heavily on continental work, and even that he may have deliberately put his name to the work of others.
Bibliography
D. C. Jacobson, "Thomas Morley and the Italian Madrigal Tradition: A New Perspec­tive," Journal of Musicology 14 (Winter 1996): 80-91.
Jean Graham

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Morley, Thomas — born 1557/58, Norwich, Norfolk, Eng. died October 1602, London English composer, organist, and music theorist. He was educated at Oxford and studied with William Byrd. Though he composed a number of anthems and psalms, he is best known for his… …   Universalium

  • Morley, Thomas — ► (1558 1603) Músico inglés. Autor de Los triunfos de Oriana (colección de madrigales). * * * (1557/58, Norwich, Norfolk, Inglaterra–oct. 1602, Londres). Compositor, organista y teórico musical inglés. Fue educado en Oxford y estudió con William… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Morley, Thomas — (1557 or 1558, Norwich, England – early October 1602, London)    Composer, he studied with William Byrd and composed four Anglican services (first, second, short, and burial), 19 anthems, seven English psalm settings, and 14 Latin motets, all of… …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • Morley, Thomas — (?1557/58 1602)    Where he was born is uncertain, but he was one of England s great organists and composer of madrigals. He was a pupil of William Byrd (1540 1623) and possibly a chorister of St. Paul s Cathedral. He graduated bachelor of music… …   British and Irish poets

  • Thomas Morley — Nacimiento 1557 o 1558 Fallecimiento octubre de 1602 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Thomas Morley — (* 1557 oder 1558 vermutlich in Norwich; † Oktober 1602 in London) war ein englischer Komponist, Musikwissenschaftler und Organist der Renaissance. Im Jahr 1588 erlangte Morley, der ein Schüler William …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MORLEY (T.) — MORLEY THOMAS (1557 1603) La vie de ce compositeur coïncide à peu près exactement avec le règne d’Élisabeth Ire dont il est l’un des musiciens les plus brillants et les plus représentatifs. Né à Norwich, Thomas Morley est associé à divers titres… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Thomas Morley (disambiguation) — Thomas Morley may refer to:*Thomas Morley, 16th century English composer *Thomas de Morley, 4th Baron Morley *Thomas de Morley, 5th Baron Morleyee also*Tom Morley, English singer …   Wikipedia

  • Morley — Morley, Henry Morley, Thomas * * * (as used in expressions) Callaghan, Morley (Edward) Michelson Morley, experimento de Morley (de Blackburn), John Morley, vizconde Morley, Thomas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Morley — puede referirse a: Morley (Inglaterra) Morley (Mosa) Morley (músico) Edward Morley Eric Morley Isaac Morley Karen Morley Paul Morley Robert Morley Sean Morley Sylvanus Morley Sylvanus Grisworld Morley Thomas Morley …   Wikipedia Español

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