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date: 02 June 2020

Tye, Christopherlocked

  • Paul Doe
  • , revised by David Mateer


(bc1505; d before March 15, 1573). English composer.

The date and place of Tye’s birth are unknown, but as he later spent much of his life in Cambridge, Ely and neighbouring parishes, he may well have been born in the eastern counties of England, where the name was common. The first certain references to him are in Cambridge: in 1536 he took the degree of BMus there, and in March 1537 became a lay clerk at King’s College. The Grace for the degree mentions his ten years’ study of the art of music, with much experience in composition and teaching boys. Since such documents never understated years of previous experience, Tye must have begun his adult musical career after 1525, which suggests a birthdate of about 1505 or even later.

The earlier date usually proposed is based on a probable misidentification. The account books of King’s College, Cambridge, record a ‘Tye’ as chorister in ...

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