William Byrd: Traditionalist and Innovator

Philip Brett

in William Byrd and His Contemporaries

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780520247581
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932838 | DOI:
William Byrd: Traditionalist and Innovator

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This chapter examines the qualities of English composer William Byrd as a traditionalist and innovator. It explains that while Byrd completely assimilated Continental techniques, he also strove to preserve various advantageous elements of insularity. He was a rather stubborn traditionalist in the matter of verse and voice, preferring the English tradition of setting the form of the verse to the new-fangled manner of reflecting its imagery and syntax, and is arguably the most ambitious and accomplished composer of purely instrumental music of his age.

Keywords: William Byrd; English composer; traditionalist; innovator; insularity; English tradition; instrumental music

Chapter.  2131 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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