William Horwood (composer)

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William Horwood, also Horewud, was an English polyphonic vocal composer in the late-medieval period (c. 1430 – 1484). In 1470, he was a singer at Lincoln Cathedral, in 1476, he was a vicar choral at Lincoln, and from 1477 until 1484, he was the Cathedral choirmaster. He has three complete pieces and one incomplete piece in the Eton Choirbook, and one incomplete piece in a York manuscript.[1]

Horwood's "Magnificat secundi toni a 5" bears a strong resemblance to compositions of his near contemporary Josquin des Prez (c. 1440–1521), so much so that he might easily be mistaken for Josquin upon first audition. No mention is made of Horwood among the listing of Josquin's contemporaries in Grout;[2] neither is the Eton Choirbook mentioned in Grout.

A very scanty on-line article – only a thumbnail description of the composer – is present on (FM 99.5, New York) WBAI producer Chris Whent's Here of a Sunday Morning site. (The link Partial William Horwood Discography has no content.) Virtually no other information is available on the internet.


  • Eton 17. f. 30v-32: Salve regina mater misericordiae
  • Eton 36. f. 74v-76: Gaude flore virginali
  • Eton 37. f. 76v-77v: Gaude virgo mater Christi (incomplete)
  • Eton 71. f. 111v-113: Magnificat
  • York manuscript: Kyrie (incomplete)


  • Magnificat a 5 – on "Creator of the Stars: Christmas Music from Earlier Times",[3] reissued as "Old World Christmas", Archiv Produktion
  • Magnificat a 5 – Huelgas Ensemble, The Eton Choirbook, DHM
  • Gaude flori virginali – "Mediaeval Carols", Opus Anglicanum, Herald[4]


  1. ^ Hugh Benham Latin church music in England, c. 1460–1575 – Page 76 – 1980 "We know of five works by Horwood, four of them in Eton, one in the York manuscript. Two of these are incomplete, a Kyrie (York) and Gaude virgo mater Christi, whose text on five corporal Joys of the Virgin, the Annunciation, Nativity, ..."
  2. ^ Grout, Donald Jay, "A History of Western Music" (New York: Norton, 1960). pp 130–184
  3. ^ audio thumbnail
  4. ^ ASIN: B0000296VA, track number 10,