East, Thomas, English music printer and publisher of Elizabethan madrigals; b. London, c. 1535; d. there, Jan. 1608. He received his license as a printer in 1565; his first musical publication was Byrd’s collection Psalmes, Sonets and Songs of Sadnes and Pietie (1588); he was also the assignee of Byrd’s patent for printing music paper and musical compositions. In 1592 he brought out The Whole Booke of Psalmes, with their wonted tunes as they are sung in Churches, composed in 4 parts, containing harmonizations by Allison, Blancks, Cavendish, Cobbold, Dowland, Farmer, Farnaby, Hooper, Johnson, and Kirbye (repub. 1594 and 1604; reprinted in score by the Musical Antiquarian Soc., 1844). This collection is of historic significance, for it was the first to be printed in score rather than in separate partbooks; also for the first time, the tunes were designated by specific names, such as “Kentish” and “Cheshire.” Other works printed by East were Yonge’s Musica Transalpina (1588 and 1597), Byrd’s Songs of Sundrie Natures (1589), Watson’s Madrigals (1590), Byrd’s Cantiones Sacrae (2 books, 1589,1591), Morley’s Canzonets (1593), Mundy’s Songs and Psalmes (1594), Kirbye’s Madrigals (1596), Wilbye’s Madrigals (1598), Dowland’s Ayres (1600), Bateson’s Madrigals (1603), Michael East’s Madrigals (1604), Pilkington’s Songs or Ayres (1605), Byrd’s Gradualia (1605), and Youll’s Canzonets (1607).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire