Farrant, John

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Farrant, John

Farrant, John, English organist and composer who was active in the 16th century. He served as lay clerk (1571–78) and subsequently as organist at the Salisbury Cathedral (1587–92); he was briefly organist at Hereford (1593). Contemporary records testify to his intractable temper, which resulted in physical clashes with the dean of the Salisbury Cathedral, and led to his expulsion. As a composer, Farrant is chiefly distinguished for his Service in D minor (misattributed in a 19th-century ed. to Richard Farrant). His son, also named John Farrant (baptized in Salisbury, Sept. 28, 1575; d. there, 1618), was a chorister at the Salisbury Cathedral in 1585, and organist there from 1598 until his death. Another John Farrant, possibly related to the preceding, was organist at Christ Church, Newgate, London. He was the author of a Magnificat, which, sometimes referred to as “Farrant in G minor,” is often confused with Richard Farrant’s Cathedral Service in A minor.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire