Composer: Thomas Tallis

Thomas Tallis (c. 1505 – 23 November 1585) was an English composer. Tallis flourished as a church musician in 16th century Tudor England. He occupies a primary place in anthologies of English church music, and is considered one of England's greatest early composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. No contemporary portrait of Tallis survives: the earliest, painted by Gerard van der Gucht, dates from 150 years after Tallis died, and there is no certainty that it is a likeness. Little is known about Tallis's early life, but there seems to be agreement that he was born in the early 16th century, toward the close of the reign of Henry VII. Little is known about Tallis's childhood and his significance with mu… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Thomas Tallis (1561)
Meter: D
Incipit: 13333 445
Key: a minor


I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

To Mock Your Reign, O Dearest Lord

To mock your reign, O dearest Lord,
they made a crown of thorns;
set you with taunts along that road
from which no one returns.
They did not know, as we do now,
that glorious is your crown;
that thorns would flower upon your brow,
your sorrows heal our own.

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THIRD MODE MELODY is the third of nine tunes Thomas Tallis composed for Matthew Parker's The Whole Psalter (c. 1561). This magnificent tune is worth the trouble it may take to learn. Diephouse set the text with this tune in mind, since it kept coming to him as he was working on the text. Many may know the tune from Ralph Vaughan Williams's orchestral work "Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis." The "third mode" is the Phrygian mode, and THIRD MODE MELODY is one of the few tunes in that mode Included in the Psalter Hymnal (see also 51 and 100). This tune requires solid, yet rhythmically pliable organ support. The melody was originally in the tenor, and choirs may switch parts between tenors and sopranos. Another suitable tune for Psalm 62 is BETHLEHEM (497). Thomas Tallis (b. Leicestershire [?], England, c. 1505; d. Greenwich, Kent, England 1585) was one of the few Tudor musicians who served during the reigns of Henry VIII: Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth I and managed to remain in the good favor of both Catholic and Protestant monarchs. He was court organist and composer from 1543 until his death, composing music for Roman Catholic masses and Anglican liturgies (depending on the monarch). With William Byrd, Tallis also enjoyed a long-term monopoly on music printing. Prior to his court connections Tallis had served at Waltham Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral. He composed mostly church music, including Latin motets, English anthems, settings of the liturgy, magnificats, and two sets of lamentations. His most extensive contrapuntal work was the choral composition, "Spem in alium," a work in forty parts for eight five-voice choirs. He also provided nine modal psalm tunes for Matthew Parker's Psalter (c. 1561). --Psalter Hymnal Handbook


Instances (1 - 27 of 27)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #47
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #154Text
Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #778
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #719TextPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #191TextPage Scan
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #124
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #332TextFlexscorePage Scan
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #170Text
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #692Text
Hymnal: A Worship Book #251
Hymns to the Living God #222TextPage Scan
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #435FlexscoreAudio
Lutheran Worship #348TextPage Scan
Moravian Book of Worship #606TextPage Scan
New English Praise: a supplement to the New English Hymnal #609aText
New English Praise: a supplement to the New English Hymnal #609bText
Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #62C
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #62Text InfoTune InfoScoreAudio
Rejoice in the Lord #303Text
Singing the New Testament #119
Singing the New Testament #155
Small Church Music #1787Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #7335TextScoreAudio
The New Century Hymnal #178
The New Century Hymnal #509Page Scan
The New English Hymnal #373Text
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #124TextAudio
Include 6 pre-1979 instances
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