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Locke, Matthew

LOCKE, MATTHEW (c. 1630-1677), English musician, perhaps the earliest English writer for the stage, was born at Exeter, where he became a chorister in the cathedral. His music, written with Christopher Gibbons (son of Orlando Gibbons), for Shirley's masque Cupid and Death, was performed in London in 1653. He wrote some music for Davenant's Siege of Rhodes in 1656; and in 1661 was appointed composer in ordinary to Charles II. During the following years he wrote a number of anthems for the Chapel Royal, and excited some criticism on the score of novelty, to which he replied with considerable heat (Modern Church Music; pre-accused, censured and obstructed in its Performance before His Majesty, April ist, 1666, &<;.; copies in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and the Royal College of Music). A good deal of music for the theatre followed, the most important being for Davenant's productions of The Tempest (1667) and of Macbeth (1672), but some doubt as to this latter has arisen, Purcell, Eccles or Leveridge, being also credited with it. He also composed various songs and instrumental pieces, and published some curious works on musical theory. He died in August 1677, an elegy being written by Purcell.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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