Reference Entry

Taverner, John

Paul Doe and Roger Bowers

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 | ISBN: 9780198601753
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:
Taverner, John

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  • High Renaissance Music (1500-1600)


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(b south Lincs., c 1490; d Boston, Lincs., Oct 18, 1545). English composer. He was the most important English composer of the first part of the 16th century, and is known chiefly for his sacred music.

Roger Bowers

Taverner’s career has been much misunderstood by his modern biographers, and the following account of his life relies on a re-examination of the sources. The date of his birth is unknown. Some point around the year 1490 would seem to be most consistent with the other known facts of his biography; the region in which his family was rooted lay somewhere in the vicinity of Boston, Lincolnshire. There is no evidence whatever to support the usual assertion that in boyhood he served as a chorister of the choir of the collegiate church at Tattershall, Lincolnshire. A good deal of this college’s archival material still survives for the period 1492–1507, which reveals the names of several choristers, but no John Taverner appears among them....

Reference Entry.  4212 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: High Renaissance Music (1500-1600)

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