Ford Thomas

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Ford Thomas

Ford, Thomas, English lutenist and composer; b. c. 1580; d. London (buried), Nov. 17, 1648. He was appointed musician to Prince Henry in 1611, and to Charles I in 1626. He was especially successful in the “ayre,” a type of composition developed by Dowland, in which melodic prominence is given to the upper voice. These “ayres” appear in alternative settings, either as solo songs with lute accompaniment or as 4-part a cappella songs. He wrote Musicke of Sundrie Kindes (1607; the 1st part contains 11 ayres), 2 anthems in Leighton’s Teares, canons in Hilton’s Catch that catch can, and the famous madrigal Since first I saw your face. His MSS are at Christ Church, Oxford, and at the British Library

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire