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Tudor Minute March 12, 1628: Composer John Bull Dies

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for March 12.

Today in 1628 the composer John Bull died in Antwerp, in the Spanish Netherlands. He is one of the English composers who bridged the gap between purely Renaissance music, and the keyboard music that morphed into the Baroque Style. His keyboard music is technically demanding, and while he did write vocal music, it’s his keyboard music that survives, with over 150 pieces still available. He was born around 1582 in Wales, and was educated as a chorister in the Chapel Royal. He became a doctor of music at both Oxford and Cambridge, but then he became a professor at the newly formed Gresham College – remember we talked about Gresham College in the context of Thomas Gresham, the financier and merchant who founded the Royal Exchange.

Bull left England to serve in Brussels, and in 1616 he became the organist at the Cathedral of Antwerp.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com where there is an episode on the music of the Elizabethan Renaissance.


Thomas Gresham episode

Music episodes
Dr. David Skinner interview on music of 16th century England