Thomas Tallis Research Paper

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Thomas Tallis was said to be born sometime around 1505 in Kent, United Kingdom. There is not a lot known about when Tallis was born or what his early life was like. He was born towards the end of King Henry VII’s reign. It is believed that when he was young, he was a choir boy of the Chapel Royal St.James palace. In 1532 he started as an organist at the Benedictine Priory in Dover. He then moved to London where he was an organist at St Mary-le-Hill in Billingsgate, London and then also at Waltham Abbey. The Abbey was shut down in 1540 and Tallis had no work. In 1541 he found work as a lay clerk at the Canterbury Cathedral. In 1543 he was appointed the Gentlemen of the Royal Chapel. In his position as the Gentlemen of the Royal Chapel he sang, played the organ, led the choir, and composed. He was very talented and was able to compose in Latin, English, Italian, French and a couple other languages. In 1575 Queen Elizabeth gave him and William Byrd a monopoly on printing music in England.This was 21 year monopoly on printing and publishing polyphonic music.With knowing so many different languages he was able to print music in the many languages he knew. Toward the end of his life he tutored Byrd in music and …show more content…

Most of his first compositions show this. They are mostly in Latin and have more than one melody at the same time. One of his most famous works Spem in alium (meaning “In No Other Is My Hope”) shows this style of music. He wrote this around 1570 which is after King Henry VIII broke away from Rome. So he wrote this work thinking of his religion and how the songs were composed and not those of the crown. Spem in alium is a 10 minute long motet for a total of forty voices that each sing their own melodic line. It is also noted for its very complex use of counterpoint. Another one of his more famous compositions is Cantiones Sacrae. He wrote this with his pupil William Byrd. They each selected seventeen motets to honor Queen Elizabeth

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