Christopher Tye (c.1505-1573)
Christopher Tye was born in Cambridge and seems to have spent most of his life in The Fens. After a period as a lay clerk of King’s College, Cambridge, he was appointed Magister Choristarum of Ely Cathedral by 1543. He later gave up composing when he became Rector of Doddington, Cambridgeshire. His elaborate Latin-texted music from early in his career contrasts sharply with his later simple English settings as his Protestant leanings grew stronger. In particular, his Latin-texted music features bold harmonic gestures and unexpected cadences and he was clearly highly regarded in his lifetime (King Henry VIII is attributed to have said of Tye “England one God, one truth, one doctor hath for music’s art—and that is Dr Tye”).