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Lavishly produced, the 1575 Cantiones, quae ab argumento sacrae vocantur by Byrd and Tallis celebrated not only the composers’ acquisition of the royal patent for the printing and marketing of part-music and lined music paper, but also their mastery of the continental polyphonic style. Though the edition was only moderately successful, a number of Byrd’s 17 motets in 5 and 6 parts survived in manuscript sources until the Commonwealth period. Three motets were also adapted to English words.

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