Wilbye, John, important English composer; b. Diss, Norfolk (baptized), March 7,1574; d. Colchester, c.Sept. 1638. By 1598 he was a musician at Hengrave Hall, the home of Sir Thomas Kytson, near Bury St. Edmunds. After the death of Lady Kytson (1628), he settled in Colchester, where he spent his last years with her daughter, Lady Rivers. During his years at Hengrave, he acquired considerable wealth. He was a master of the madrigal; his Second Set of Madrigals (1609) constitutes the most significant collection of English madrigals.
The First Set of English Madrigals for 3 to 6 Voices (London, 1598; ed. by E. Fellowes, The English Madrigalists; 2nd ed., rev., 1966, by T. Dart); The Second Set of Madrigals for 3 to 6 Voices, Apt both for Voyais and Voyces (London, 1609; ed. by E. Fellowes, The English Madrigalists; 2nd ed., rev., 1966, by T. Dart); also a few sacred vocal pieces and instrumental works.
H. Heurich, /. W. in seinen Madrigalen: Studien zu einem Bilde seiner Persönlichkeit (Augsburg, 1931); D. Brown, /. W. (London, 1974).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire