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Boyce, William

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Born: 1710 AD
Died: 1779 AD, at 69 years of age.

Nationality: English
Categories: Composers

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1710 - Born on February 7th in London, England. He was one of the foremost English composers of church music, known also for his symphonies and stage music and as an organist and musical editor.

1736 - He became composer to the Chapel Royal, and many of his anthems and church services were written for use there and at other London churches of which he was organist.

1740 - He also composed secular music for the stage, such as his music for the masque Peleus and Thetis, first produced.

1743 - The serenata Solomon is among the best of his compositions for the theatre; it contains the once-popular tenor scena "Softly Rise, O Southern Breeze".

1747 - His next published work was Twelve Sonatas for Two Violins, with a Bass for the Violoncello or Harpsichord, which achieved an instant and lasting popularity.

1749 - He received his doctorate of music from the University of Cambridge for his setting of an ode by William Mason and for the anthem "O Be Joyful".

         - He wrote the music for The Chaplet, a musical entertainment that long remained popular.

1950 - Saw a revival of John Dryden's Secular Masque, with music by Boyce, including the "Song of Momus to Mars".

1755 - Boyce became master of the King's Band of Music.

1758 - He became one of the organists at the Chapel Royal.

1759 - He composed the music for David Garrick's pantomime Harlequin's Invasion, which includes his best-known song, "Heart of Oak".

1760 - Boyce's Eight Symphonys, orchestral pieces selected from his odes, operas, and other works, were published.

         - He had begun to publish Cathedral Music, 3 vol., the first collection of church music in England after the Restoration and the first to be printed in score. This collection, which covered three centuries, was not superseded until the mid-19th century.

1770 - When he published a second set, the Twelve Overtures, the more exciting symphonies of the Mannheim school were in vogue, and Boyce's shapely and tuneful “ancient style” symphonies were regarded as out of date.

1779 - Died on February 7th in London.

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Page last updated: 11:54pm, 10th May '07