Music has been integral to the liturgy and central to the life of the Cathedral for centuries. This strong musical tradition is continued today with a Cathedral Choir of boys and male lay-clerks, an Abbey Girls' Choir, parish and young people's choirs and an orchestra. The Master of the Music oversees these choirs with the help of the Assistant Master of the Music and they are supported by an Organ Scholar.
The history of music in the Cathedral stretches back to monastic singing in the Benedictine abbey. During this time, Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521), one of the greatest composers of the 15th century, was Organist. He provided music for Henry VII's meeting with Francis I of France at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and is today buried in the Presbytery of the Cathedral.
In the twentieth century, the revolutionary design of the Cathedral Organ and the inception of the International Organ Festival and Competition by Peter Hurford (then Master of the Music), raised the profile of choral and organ music at the Cathedral, and consolidated the worldwide reputation of the Cathedral's musical foundation.
For details of this month's services sung by the Cathedral Choirs, please see our Service & Music List.