William Byrd was an English born composer.
He built himself a reputation of being one of the very best composers of his time. His exact date is not know but he is estimated to have been born in 1542 or 1543. This is the guessed date of his birth because in his will in 1622 he wrote that he was “in the 80th age of my life”. Although his assumed year of birth was around 1542 another document suggested that he was actually born around 1539 or 1549. He also had two brothers and four sisters.
William Byrd did not only spend time in his life writing music. He was married and total had five kids. Two of them might have been step-kids but that is not known for sure.
His spouse was named Juliana Birley. The two of them married in 1568 and were married for sixteen years, when Juliana died. William did not waste much time alone and married a second wife, named Ellen. Ellen was the women that had the two children that could have possibly been step kids to William.
It is not know if William and Ellen had the two children or it Ellen had the children when she was with a different man. The five children that William had were Christopher, Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary, and Rachel. Mary and Rachel were the two that are questioned if they are step children or not. Christopher is the oldest kid, with Elizabeth being the second oldest. The beginning of William’s musical training is not very clear. There are many theories of what his early musical training was but it is certain that his first arrangement was composed by him and two other men, John Shepherd and William Mundy. The three of them arranged a song for four male voices that was wrote about a psalm.
This song was composed to be sung during the week of Easter. There are also many more known pieces that Byrd wrote during his teenage years. The first known professional employment for music that Byrd had was in 1563 when he served as an organist and the head of choirs at Lincoln Cathedral. William was an active catholic and wrote the majority of his songs about religion.
One piece that William Byrd composed was . This song is