Robert White (Whyte) was one of the most significant figures of the generation of composers that immediately preceded William Byrd. The precise year of his birth is unknown, but surviving evidence points to a date around 1538. Probably the son of an organ builder, White received his early training under Thomas Preston at Trinity College, Cambridge, where his name occurs frequently in the bursars’ accounts for the period 1555-1562. He took his Cambridge BMus in 1561 and a year later he was appointed Master of the Choristers at Ely Cathedral, in succession to his father-in-law, Christopher Tye. After a period of employment at Chester Cathedral (1567-1569), White moved to Westminster Abbey, where he died of the plague in November 1574.