Maurice Greene (composer)

Maurice Greene (composer)
Maurice Greene

Maurice Greene (12 August 1696 – 1 December 1755) was an English composer and organist.



Born in London, the son of a clergyman, Greene became a choirboy at St Paul's Cathedral under Jeremiah Clarke and Charles King. He studied the organ under Richard Brind, and after Brind died, Greene became organist at St Paul's.

With the death of William Croft in 1727, Greene became organist at the Chapel Royal, and in 1730 he became professor of music at Cambridge University.[1] In 1735 he was appointed Master of the King's Musick. At his death, Greene was working on the compilation Cathedral Music, which his student and successor as Master of the King's Musick, William Boyce, was to complete. Many items from that collection are still used in Anglican services today.

He wrote very competent music in the Georgian style, particularly long Verse Anthems. However his acknowledged masterpiece, 'Lord, let me know mine end', is a Full Anthem. Greene sets a text full of pathos using a polyphonic texture over a continuous instrumental walking bass, with a particularly effective Treble duet in the middle of the work. Both this section and the end of the anthem contain superb examples of the Neapolitan Sixth chord.


Greene wrote a good deal of both sacred and secular vocal music, including:

He also published keyboard music, including:

  • Choice Lessons, for harpsichord or spinet (London, 1733)
  • 6 Overtures … in Seven Parts, arranged for harpsichord or spinet (London, 1745)
  • A Collection of Lessons, for harpsichord (London, 1750)
  • Twelve Voluntarys, for organ or harpsichord (London, 1779)


  1. ^ Greene, Maurice in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  • Johnstone, H. Diack. "Greene, Maurice", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 4 October 2004).

External links

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Court offices
Preceded by
John Eccles
Master of the King's Music
Succeeded by
William Boyce
Cultural offices
Preceded by
William Croft
First Organist of the Chapel Royal
Succeeded by
James Nares
Preceded by
Richard Brind
Organist and Master of the Choristers
of St Paul's Cathedral

Succeeded by
John Jones
Preceded by
Thomas Tudway
Professor of Music, Cambridge University
Succeeded by
John Randall

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