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Tye, Christopher


Renaissance composer of Catholic and Anglican liturgical music; b. England, c. 1500; d. Doddington, c. 1573. Tye was possibly a chorister at King's College, Cambridge; he took the degrees of Mus.B. (1536) and Mus.D. (1545) there, and in 1548, received another music doctorate at Oxford. He was choirmaster at Ely Cathedral for 20 years from 1541, when it became Protestant. In 1560 he was ordained (Anglican), and he was rector at Doddington from 1561 to his death. His Latin works include three Masses and some Mass fragments, about 20 motets and Magnificats, and some instrumental pieces. His motets include psalm excerpts, which had begun to replace votive antiphons, and are often characterized by chromatic cross relations and elaborate polyphony. A simpler, more hymnlike style characterizes his English anthems and the famous Acts of the Apostles, a work dedicated to Edward VI and designed to popularize the vernacular Bible. (see psalter, metrical.) Tye was one of the chief composers of the instrumental settings called Innomine's, based on the antiphon Gloria Tibi (see taverner, john).

Bibliography: g. e. p. arkwright et al., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. e. blom 9 v. (5th ed. London 1954) 8:624627. f. l. harrison, Music in Medieval Britain (New York 1958). g. reese, Music in the Renaissance (rev. ed. New York 1959) 782783. y. rokseth, "The Instrumental Music of the Middle Ages and Early Sixteenth Century," New Oxford History of Music, ed. j. a. westrup, 11 v. (New York 1957) 3:458464. d. stevens, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949). p. doe, "Christopher Tye" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 19, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 297300. d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge 1996) 930931. j. r. satterfield, jr., "The Latin Church Music of Christopher Tye" (Ph.D. diss. University of North Carolina, 1962). n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Eighth Edition (New York 1992) 1917.

[s. w. kenney]

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