William Byrd Analysis

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Ben Wills Music History Essay #1 William Byrd and Ave Verum Link to the music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFZZMF7SRRo ‘For Motets and musick of piety and devotion, as well as for the honour of our Nation, as the merit of the man, I prefer above all our Phoenix M[aster] William Byrd, whom in that kind, I know not whether any may equal, I am sure none excel, even by the judgment of France and Italy, who are very sparing in the commendation of strangers, in regard of that concept they hold of themselves. His Cantiones Sacrae, as also his Gradualia, are mere Angelicall and Divine; and being of himself naturally disposed to Gravity and Piety, his vein is not so much for leight Madrigals or Canzonets, yet his Virginella and some others in his first Set, cannot be mended by the best Italian of them all.’ These are the words of William Byrd's contemporary Henry Peacham, and this…show more content…
When one partakes in a Catholic communion, one is accepting the body of Christ. The greatest conflict and difference between the Catholic and Protestant churches is the question of transubstantiation versus consubstantiation; the Catholics and early Protestants had distinctive and unique beliefs about what happened during communion. The Catholics believed that every mass led to the miracle of transubstantiation, and the bread and wine actually became the body and blood of Christ. The Protestants saw it as more of a symbolic action. The first phrase of Ave Verum Corpus means ‘Hail true body’, and for Byrd, the most important word wasn’t Ave or Corpus, but Verum, because the word ‘true’ emphasized he was in the true presence of Christ when participating in the Eucharist. He emphasized verum using a very particular
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