Journal Article

William Mundy’s ‘Vox patris caelestis’ and the Accession of Mary Tudor

John Milsom

in Music and Letters

Volume 91, issue 1, pages 1-38
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0027-4224
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4631 | DOI:
William Mundy’s ‘Vox patris caelestis’ and the Accession of Mary Tudor

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The verbal text of William Mundy’s six-voice Vox patris caelestis, which is on the theme of the Coronation of the Virgin Mary, was previously thought to be anonymous. It is here revealed to be by the Catholic priest-musician William Forrest (fl. 1530–81), whose other writings largely address members of the Tudor royal family. Drawing on evidence within both Forrest’s text and Mundy’s musical setting, this study explores the possibility that Vox patris was written expressly for Mary Tudor following her proclamation as queen of England in July 1553. Close attention is paid to connections between Forrest’s text and the topics conventionally used in civic pageantry staged for the coronations of English queens. This leads to the hypothesis that Vox patris was composed specifically for use on the day before Mary’s coronation, when the queen and her entourage processed in triumph through the streets of London, stopping on the way to watch pageants and other performances mounted in her honour.

Journal Article.  21325 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music

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