John Taverner was the leading composer of church music under Henry VIII. His contributions to the mass and votive antiphon are varied, distinguished and sometimes innovative; he has left more important settings for the office than any of his predecessors, and even a little secular music survives. Hugh Benham, editor of Taverner‘s complete works for Early English Church Music, now provides the first full-length study of the composer for over twenty years. He places the music in context, with the help of biographical information, discussion of Taverner‘s place in society, and explanation of how each piece was used in the pre-Reformation church services. He investigates the musical language of Taverner‘s predecessors as background for a fresh examination and appraisal of the music in the course of which he traces similarities with the work of younger composers. Issues confronting the performer are considered, and the music is also approached from the listener‘s point of view, initially through close analytical inspection of the celebrated votive antiphon Gaude plurimum.

chapter |4 pages


chapter 1|14 pages

The Life of John Taverner

chapter 2|18 pages

The Sources of Taverner's Music

chapter 3|8 pages

Some Performance Issues

chapter 5|10 pages

Taverner's Musical Background

chapter 10|43 pages

The Masses for Five and Four Voices

chapter 11|27 pages

Music for the Office

chapter 12|11 pages

The Songs, and Quemadmodum

chapter 13|18 pages