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William Byrd (1540 or late 1539 –1623) was one of the most celebrated English composers in the Renaissance. He lived until well into the seventeenth century without writing music in the new Baroque fashion, but his superbly constructed keyboard works marked the beginning of the Baroque organ and harpsichord style. Byrd's life is interesting because of his Roman Catholic sympathies combined with his work in the court of the Anglican Queen Elizabeth I.
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