Tans’ur [Tansur, le Tansur, Tanzer], William
- Nicholas Temperley
(b Dunchurch, Warwicks., 1700, bap. Nov 6, 1706; d St Neots, Hunts., Oct 7, 1783). English psalmodist and theorist. He was the son of a labourer named Edward Tanzer, but generally used the spelling Tans’ur. The main facts of his life emerge from the prefaces to his publications. For many years he travelled to various parts of England as a teacher of psalmody, sometimes working also as an organist. Later he settled at St Neots as a stationer, bookseller and music teacher, but surprisingly he seems to have played no part in the music of the local parish church. His son, also named William Tans’ur, was a chorister at Trinity College, Cambridge, on which flimsy pretext the father signed some of his prefaces ‘University of Cambridge’. In reality he had no links with the upper strata of English musical life. His field was country church music, and here he established a dominance that extended as far as the American colonies....