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Matthew Locke.
"Up and Down This World Goes Round", three voice round by Matthew Locke.[1]

Matthew Locke (c. 1621 – August 1677) was an English Baroque composer and music theorist.


Saraband by Matthew Locke, one of his earliest known keyboard works, found in the manuscript Drexel 5611, a 17th-century manuscript in the Music Division of the New York Public Library

Locke was born in Exeter and was a chorister in the choir of Exeter Cathedral, under Edward Gibbons, the brother of Orlando Gibbons. At the age of eighteen Locke travelled to the Netherlands, possibly converting to Roman Catholicism at the time.

Locke, with Christopher Gibbons (the son of Orlando), composed the score for Cupid and Death, the 1653 masque by Caroline-era playwright James Shirley.[2] Their score for that work is the sole surviving score for a dramatic work from that era.[3] Locke was one of the quintet of composers who provided music for The Siege of Rhodes (1656), the breakthrough early opera by Sir William Davenant.[4] Locke wrote music for subsequent Davenant operas, The Cruelty of the Spaniards in Peru (1658) and The History of Sir Francis Drake (1659).[5] He wrote the music for the processional march for the coronation of Charles II.[6]

In 1673 Locke's treatise on music theory, Melothesia, was published. The title page describes him as "Composer in Ordinary to His Majesty, and organist of her Majesty's chapel"—those monarchs being Charles II and Catherine of Braganza. Locke also served King Charles as Composer of the Wind Music ("music for the King's sackbutts and cornets"), and Composer for the Violins. (His successor in the latter office was Henry Purcell,[7] who composed an ode on the death of Locke entitled What hope for us remains now he is gone?, Z. 472;[8] Locke was a family friend and may have had a musical influence on the young Purcell[9]). In 1675 Locke composed the music for the score of Thomas Shadwell's Psyche.

See also


  1. ^ Margaret Read MacDonald & Winifred Jaeger (2006). The Round Book: Rounds Kids Love to Sing, p.15. August House. ISBN 9780874837865.
  2. ^ Music In The Baroque Era (From Monteverdi to Bach) - Manfred F Bukofzer - Published by J.M Dent & Sons (First UK Edition 1948) - p186 "When the masque as a regular court institution fell with Cromwell's rise to power, it was an overripe and doomed form. The Commonwealth did not interrupt the musical life as severely as Burney and others have claimed. Although stage plays were forbidden, musical shows passed the censorship and music in the homes of the urban middle classes flourished more than ever. Shirley's masque Cupid and Death (1653) was privately performed with music by Christopher Gibbons and Locke."
  3. ^ Caldwell, p. 555.
  4. ^ The other four were Henry Lawes, George Hudson, Henry Cooke, and Charles Coleman
  5. ^ Susan Treacy, in Baker, p. 237.
  6. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Matthew Locke" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  7. ^ Henry Purcell (Glory Of His Age) by Margaret Campbell (Oxford University Press Paperback 1995) (ISBN 0-19-282368-X) p46 "...his appointment on 10 September 1677 as 'composer in ordinary with fee for the violin to his Majesty, in the place of Matthew Lock(e), deceased'...."
  8. ^ "What hope for us remains now he is gone?, Z472 (Purcell) - from CDA66710 - Hyperion Records - MP3 and Lossless downloads".
  9. ^ Henry Purcell (Glory Of His Age) by Margaret Campbell (Oxford University Press Paperback 1995) (ISBN 0-19-282368-X) p44 "The first mention is in Pepys diary: After dinner I back to Westminster-hall...Here I met with Mr Lock(e) and Pursell, Maisters of Musique; and with them to the Coffee-house into a room next the Water by ourselfs...Here we had a variety of brave Italian and Spanish songs and a Canon for 8 Voc:, which Mr Lock(e) had newly made on these words: "Domine salvum fac Regem", an admirable thing."


  • Baker, Christopher Paul, ed. Absolutism and the Scientific Revolution, 1600–1720: A Biographical Dictionary. London, Greenwood Press, 2002.
  • Caldwell, John. The Oxford History of Music: From the Beginnings to C. 1715. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Harding, Rosamund E. M. A Thematic Catalogue of the Works of Matthew Locke with a Calendar of the Main Events of his Life. Oxford, Alden Press, 1971.

External links

4 Annotations

First Reading

daniel  •  Link

Matthew Locke (1621-1677)

English musician, one of the the earliest English writers 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, etc.; 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.

-as adapted from the Encylopedia Britannica

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Pepys retained in his library:

Locke, Matthew, 1621 or 2-1677.
Observations upon a late book, entituled, An essay to the advancement of musick, &c. written by Thomas Salmon, M.A. of Trinity Colledge in Oxford. By Matthew Locke, Composer in Ordinary to His Majesty, and organist of Her Majesties chappel.
London : printed by W[illiam]. G[odbid]. and are to be sold by John Playford at his shop near the Temple Church, 1672.

8vo., [4], 39, [1] p. : music.
Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), L2776

PL 893(2)

The work was bound between:
Salmon, Thomas
An essay to the advancement of musick by casting away the perplexity of different cliffs. And Uniting all sorts of music ... In one universal character. 1672
Salmon, Thomas
A vindication of an Essay to the advancement of musick, from Mr. Matthew Lock’s Observations. 1672.

He owned also Dering's 'Cantata Sacra,' 1674, which incidentally included English anthems by Locke.…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Matthew Locke - a sample of his music

How Doth the City Sit Solitary,
that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary! (Lamentations 1:1)…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



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