- William Hays
(b ? c1636; d Paris, June 17, 1694). French composer, priest and serpent player. Papillon and Poisot asserted that he was born at Beaune. Brenet, however, maintained that he was born in Paris and that he entered the Ste Chapelle as a choirboy on 24 June 1645. The records of the Ste Chapelle relating to his death and burial state that he had been a choirboy there and had served the chapel uninterruptedly thereafter. On the title-page of his one extant work he is described as chaplain of the Ste Chapelle and also of Quimper Cathedral. Four masses by him were published in Paris: Missa ‘Pulchra ut luna’ (1689, 2/1729), Missa pro defunctis (1690), Missa ‘Floribus omnia cedant’ (1691) and Missa ‘Electa ut sol’ (1691), all for four voices, except the third, which was for five. Only the first is extant. Its style is simple and largely syllabic but with points of imitation even in the longer movements; it suffers from the monotony and narrow range of the melodic lines....