Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Wallace McKenzie


The twenty anthems of Thomas Ford which are kept in Oxford, Christ Church Library (Mss. 56-60 and Mss. 736-738), provide the primary material for the present study. Fourteen of those pieces are full anthems written for three-voice chorus of contratenor, tenor, and bassus. Four three-voice verse anthems are incomplete because of missing instrumental parts, and the two six-voice anthems (one is a verse anthem, the other one is full anthem) are also missing bassus parts. Ford's brief biography and a survey of his works, found in Chapter I, provide a context for the study of his anthems. Chapter II contains an overview of the anthem literature from the middle of the sixteenth century to the middle of the seventeenth century. The anthem has undergone many changes since its inception, and the overview reflects these changes in anthem style, illuminating the place of Ford's works in the anthem literature of the period. In Chapter III, the sources of Ford's anthems, the editorial approach to transcriptions, and the anthem texts are described. Various aspects of melody, harmony, counterpoint, form, and rhetorical devise, as well as performance practice of Ford's anthems are presented. Some musical features of Ford's anthems are compared with features of his ayres, madrigals, and instrumental music in Chapter IV. In addition, Ford's anthems are compared with works of his contemporaries--Thomas Tomkins, Thomas Weelkes, Orlando Gibbons, Francis Pilkington, Robert Ramsey, and Martin Peerson. The comparative study highlights the compositional style of Ford's anthems demonstrating that some of them are masterful and comparable to great works of the seventeenth century. All are conscientious works of a skilled composer and they deserve a prominent place in the anthem literature.