Christopher Tye – Euge bone mass

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Christopher Tye seems to be primarily known (in England?) for his Actes of the apostles, so the liner notes on this record say. That is “actes”, not “acmes”, spellchecker! Spotify has no idea, and if I try to find it, it returns some biblical spoken word stuff. Wikipedia specifies it is actually a tune called Winchester old.

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Never heard of this, no matter how I try.

Christopher Tye was born in or around 1505, and was mainly active in Ely Cathedral. He was one of the few composers of his time to write for the newly formed Anglican Church, which makes him kind of important I guess.

The Euge bone mass was probably based on a song or motet of the same name, but that piece has never been found. It was very fashionable in the sixteenth century to create masses based on other tunes. These are now called parody masses. A better name might be imitation, but that name seems to have stuck. There is no humour attached here.

The Western Wind mass is likewise a series of variations on a secular theme concerning, guess what, the wind. Western more specific. The better known composer of the same time John Taverner also wrote a mass based on the same song.

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