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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


BULL, John
b England, c1562
d Antwerp, 1628, aged sixty-six

He was a choirboy in the Chapel Royal of Elizabeth 1, became organist at Hereford Cathedral and then at the Chapel Royal. He was a doctor of music at both Oxford and Cambridge, and the first professor of music at Gresham College, London. Falling into trouble with the court, he went to Belgium, becoming organist at the royal chapel at Brussels, and then on to Antwerp, where he was cathedral organist for the last eleven years of his life. He was one of the founders of the keyboard repertoire, standing with Sweelinck at the beginning of the development of contrapuntal keyboard music which culminated with Bach. He is reputedly the originator of the melody 'God Save the Queen', but this is questionable. His works are represented in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book; he wrote a 'Star' Anthem, which was a geometrical puzzle canon, for voices and viola, one of many musical tricks he liked to play; 120 canons, much sacred vocal music and keyboard works on sacred and secular models, dances and fantasies. No chronological list of his works is available.

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