Survival of music from the period in England is sparse because most of it was destroyed during the ransacking of the monasteries carried out between 1536 and 1540 by Henry VIII. Frye wrote masses, motets and songs, including ballades and a single rondeau. All of his surviving music is vocal, and his best-known composition is an Ave Regina, a motet which occurs, unusually, in three contemporary paintings, even including notation. Some of his shorter pieces acquired an extraordinary fame in far-away areas, such as Italy, southern Germany, Bohemia and present-day Austria, including the rondeau Tout a par moy and the ballade So ys emprentid. These songs were often copied, rearranged and plagiarized, and appear in numerous collections in varied forms. Frye's masses, however, were his most historically significant contribution, for they influenced the music of Obrecht and Busnois.
Frye's style in his masses was typical of English music of the period, using full triadic sonorities, and sometimes isorhythmic techniques; he contrasted full-voiced textures with passages for only two voices, which became a characteristic sound of the polyphony of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Three masses have survived more or less complete: the Missa Flos Regalis (for four voices), Missa Nobilis et Pulchra (three voices), and the Missa Summe Trinitati (also for three voices). Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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