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Thomas Weelkes

October 25, 1576 – November 30, 1623

Early Music Period

Born in England

Thomas Weelkes was an English composer known for his madrigals and church music. A madrigal is a piece for multiple voices, each of equal importance, set to fine poetry. Madrigals written around this time often used word painting, a term used to describe music that literally reflects a text’s meaning.

Weelkes worked early in his career for several noble patrons. He later went on to make a living as an organist at Winchester College from 1598-1602. Many of his madrigals were composed around this time. He then went on to work as organist and choirmaster at Chichester Cathedral, holding a clerkship on the side. His work in the church likely led to him writing English anthems and ten complete Anglican services.