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William Mundy

William Mundy's career spanned the reign of Edward VI (1547-53), Mary's Catholic restoration and the re-establishment of the English service under Elizabeth I in 1558. Born in about 1529, he was a chorister at Westminster Abbey, became a Vicar-Choral at St Paul's Cathedral, London, and a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal. His surviving output almost entirely comprises Latin and English sacred music. He died in 1591.

From the 1540s, alongside the non-imitative, often florid style typified by the votive antiphon, composers for the Chapel Royal began to embrace imitative counterpoint, already well established in Continental Europe, alongside such features as block chordal writing and the scoring of some sections for fewer voices. Mundy's contemporaries included John Shepherd (c.1515-58/9), appointed a Gentleman of the Chapel by 1552, and Robert Parsons (c.1530-72) who, like Mundy, was apparently involved there before both were formally appointed as Gentlemen in 1563. All three drew on the new style to forge an expansive approach to Anglican service writing for the Chapel Royal despite the Catholic allegiance of the three composers - and contrary to the often-held perception that services as well as anthems at this time, even for the Chapel, conformed to an essentially functional note-against-note dictum.

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