Page 8 - Chorister's Companion
P. 8

                                                                  The singing church
Systems of writing music were invented, people were taught to sing and small organs were built in the larger churches. Some cathedrals like Salisbury and Worcester were particularly famous for music in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. In all the old cathedrals and in several of the College Chapels at Oxford and Cambridge, there was a choir of gentlemen and boys, and to this day the tradition continues. People come from all over the world to hear our cathedral choirs.
One of the most famous choirs in the 16th century was the choir of the Chapels Royal. Many of the greatest composers such as Byrd, Tallis and Tomkins were associated with this choir. The choristers had an exciting life, doubling up very often as actors.
Even as late as Shakespeare’s time, the principal female parts in theatres were often taken by boy choristers.
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