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Thomas Tallis

January 30, 1505 – November 23, 1585

Early Music Period

Born in England

Thomas Tallis was an important 16th-century English composer. After several early jobs as an organist, Tallis went on to work at the Chapel Royal where he played, sang, and composed under Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I. He is most known for writing Latin masses and hymns, English service music, and sacred works that reflect the religious and political turmoil that existed within the Church of England at the time. Liturgical music in England was going through a major transition, texts moving between Latin and the native English. Tallis is known as the teacher of another famous composer, William Byrd, with whom he shared exclusive rights to print and publish music in England.