Thomas Ravenscroft (c. 1588– 1635) was an English musician, theorist and editor, notable as a composer of rounds and catches, and especially for compiling collections of British folk music.
Little is known of Ravenscroft's early life. He probably sang in the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral from 1594, when a Thomas Raniscroft was listed on the choir rolls and remained there until 1600 under the directorship of Thomas Giles. He received his bachelor's degree in 1605 from Cambridge.
Ravenscroft's principal contributions are his collections of folk music, including catches, rounds, street cries, vendor songs, "freeman's songs" and other anonymous music, in three collections: Pammelia (1609), Deuteromelia or The Second Part of Musicks Melodie (1609) and Melismata (1611), which contains one of the best-known works in his collections, The Three Ravens. Some of the music he compiled has acquired extraordinary fame, though his name is rarely associated with the music; for example "Three Blind Mice" first appears in Deuteromelia.He moved to Bristol where he published a metrical psalter (The Whole Booke of Psalmes) in 1621.
As a composer, his works are mostly forgotten but include 11 anthems, 3 motets for five voices and 4 fantasias for viols.
As a writer, he wrote two treatises on music theory. The Briefe Discourse of the True (but Neglected) Use of Charact'ring the Degrees (London, 1614) includes 20 songs as examples: seven by John Bennet, two by Edward Pearce and the rest by Ravenscroft himself. Of these, the group of dialect songs 'Hodge und Malkyn' from the fifth a final section was nominated by Jeffrey Mark as the earliest example of a song-cycle in English music history.There is also A Treatise of Musick, which remains in manuscript (unpublished).
Thomas Campion was an English composer, poet, and physician. He was born in London, educated at Cambridge, studied law in Gray's inn. He wrote over a hundred lute songs, masques for dancing, and an authoritative technical treatise on music.
Maurice Greene was an English composer and organist.
Thomas Tallis was an English composer of High Renaissance music. His compositions are primarily vocal, and he occupies a primary place in anthologies of English choral music. Tallis is considered one of England's greatest composers, and is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship.
Michael Praetorius was a German composer, organist, and music theorist. He was one of the most versatile composers of his age, being particularly significant in the development of musical forms based on Protestant hymns.
William Cornysh the Younger was an English composer, dramatist, actor, and poet.
Johann Hermann Schein was a German composer of the early Baroque era. He was Thomaskantor in Leipzig from 1615 to 1630. He was one of the first to import the early Italian stylistic innovations into German music, and was one of the most polished composers of the period.
"Three Blind Mice" is an English nursery rhyme and musical round. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 3753.
Thomas Hastings was an American composer, primarily an author of hymn tunes of which the best known is "Toplady" for the hymn Rock of Ages. He was born to Dr. Seth and Eunice (Parmele) Hastings in Washington, Connecticut. He was a 3rd great-grandson of Thomas Hastings who came from the East Anglia region of England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634.
Sir Richard Runciman Terry was an English organist, choir director, composer and musicologist. He is noted for his pioneering revival of Tudor liturgical music.
John Bennet was a composer of the English madrigal school. Little is known for certain of Bennet's life, but his first collection of madrigals was published in 1599.
In music, a catch is a type of round or canon at the unison. That is, it is a musical composition in which two or more voices repeatedly sing the same melody, beginning at different times. Generally catches have a secular theme, though many collections included devotional rounds and canons.
Psalm 137 is the 137th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down". The Book of Psalms is part of the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. In the slightly different numbering system used in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate translations of the Bible, this psalm is Psalm 136. In Latin, it is known by the incipit, "Super flumina Babylonis". The psalm is a communal lament about remembering Zion, and yearning for Jerusalem while dwelling in exile during the Babylonian captivity.
"The Baffled Knight" or "Blow Away the Morning Dew" is a traditional ballad existing in numerous variants. The first-known version was published in Thomas Ravenscroft's Deuteromelia (1609) with a matching tune, making this one of the few early ballads for which there is extant original music. The song was included in such notable collections as Pills to Purge Melancholy by Thomas d'Urfey (1719–1720) and Reliques of Ancient English Poetry by Thomas Percy (1765).
The year 1609 in music involved some significant events.
A hymn tune is the melody of a musical composition to which a hymn text is sung. Musically speaking, a hymn is generally understood to have four-part harmony, a fast harmonic rhythm, with or without refrain or chorus.
Martin Peerson was an English composer, organist and virginalist. Despite Roman Catholic leanings at a time when it was illegal not to subscribe to Church of England beliefs and practices, he was highly esteemed for his musical abilities and held posts at St Paul's Cathedral and, it is believed, Westminster Abbey. His output included both sacred and secular music in forms such as consort music, keyboard pieces, madrigals and motets.
David Skinner is a British musicologist and choir director. He works at the University of Cambridge, where he is the director of music at Sidney Sussex College and is an affiliated lecturer, teaching historical and practical topics from the medieval and Renaissance periods. He is the founder of the vocal consort Alamire, and the cofounder of the vocal ensembles Magdala and The Cardinall's Musick. He has produced more than 25 recordings. He has been associated with a number of award-winning projects.
Psalm 21 is the 21st psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "The king shall joy in thy strength". The Book of Psalms is part of the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. In the slightly different numbering system used in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate translations of the Bible, this psalm is Psalm 20. In Latin, it is known by the incipit, "Domine in virtute tua". The psalm is attributed to David.
Psalm 36 is the 36th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart". The Book of Psalms is part of the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. In the slightly different numbering system used in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate translations of the Bible, this psalm is Psalm 35. In Latin, it is known as Dixit iniustus or Dixit injustus. The psalm is a hymn psalm, attributed to David.
Pammelia is an English collection of vocal rounds and canons, first published in England by Thomas Ravenscroft in 1609. It was the first collection of its type, and was followed by Deuteromelia, which was also published in 1609. It consists of 100 anonymous pieces for three to ten voices. A second edition was printed in 1618.