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Locke (also Lock), Matthew

Locke (also Lock), Matthew

Locke (also Lock), Matthew, noted English composer; b. Exeter, c. 1621; d. London, Aug. 1677. He was a chorister at Exeter Cathedral, where he studied with Edward Gibbons, William Wake, and John Lugge. He was in the Netherlands (c. 1646–51), and at the Restoration he was made private composer-in-ordinary to the King, composer for the wind music, and composer for the band of violins (1660). He was also made organist to the Queen (c. 1662). Locke particularly distinguished himself as a composer of dramatic works and chamber music, and was a major influence on Purcell. However talented as composer, as an individual he was vain and given to polemics. See T. Dart, ed., Matthew Locke: Keyboard Suites (London, 1959; second ed., rev., 1964), M. Tilmouth, ed., Matthew Locke: Chamber Music: I, II, Musica Britannica, XXXI-XXXII (1971–72), and P. le Huray, Matthew Locke: Anthems and Motets, ibid., XXXVIII (1976).

Works

dramatic: Opera: The Siege of Rhodes (London, 1656; in collaboration with others; music not extant); The Tempest, after Shakespeare as adapted by Davenant and Dryden (London, 1674; in collaboration with others); Psyche (London, March 9, 1675). other: Various other dramatic works, including music to Shirley’s masque Cupid and Death (March 26, 1653; in collaboration with C. Gibbons; not extant; rev. 1659) and to Shakespeare’s Macbeth (c. 1663–74). instrumental: Many dances and suites for strings, wind music (most notable being the music for “His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts”), and keyboard pieces. vocal: Over 35 English anthems, some 15 Latin motets, several services, 6 sacred canons, 4 sacred songs, and over 25 secular songs.

Writings

Observations upon a Late Book, Entitled, An Essay to the Advancement of Musick, etc., written by Thomas Salmon, M. A. of Trinity Coll. in Oxford: by Matthew Locke (London, 1672); The Present Practice of Musick Vindicated against the Exceptions; and New Way of Attaining Musick lately published by Thomas Salmon M. A. etc. by Matthew Locke...to which is added Duellum Musicum by John Phillips...together with a Letter from John Playford to Mr. T. Salmon by way of Confutation of his Essay (London, 1673); Melothesia, or, Certain General Rules for Playing upon a Continued-Bass, with a Choice Collection of Lessons for the Harpsichord and Organ of all Sorts: Never before published (London, 1673).

Bibliography

W. Sleeper, The Harmonic Style of the Four-part Viol Music of Jenkins, L. and Purcell (diss., Univ. of Rochester, N.Y., 1964); A. Kooiker, L’s “Melothesia”: Its Place in the History of Keyboard Music in Restoration England (diss., Univ. of Rochester, N.Y., 1965); R. Harding, A Thematic Catalogue of the Works of M. L. with a Calendar of the Main Events of His Life (Oxford, 1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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