William Boyce (baptised 11 September 1711 – 7 February 1779) is widely regarded as one of the most important English-born composers of the 18th century.
Born in London to John Boyce, a cabinet-maker and joiner, and his wife Elizabeth Cordwell, Boyce was baptised in 1711 and was admitted by his father as a choirboy at St Paul's Cathedral in 1719, before studying music with Maurice Greene after his voice broke in 1727.
His first professional appointment came in 1734 when he was employed as an organist at the Oxford Chapel. He went on to take a number of similar posts before being appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1755 and becoming one of the organists at the Chapel Royal in 1758.
Boyce is best known for his set of eight symphonies, his anthems and his odes. He also wrote the masque Peleus and Thetis and songs for John Dryden's Secular Masque, incidental music for William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Cymbeline, Romeo and Juliet and The Winter's Tale, and a quantity of chamber music including a set of twelve trio sonatas.
He also wrote a set of 10 Voluntaries for organ or harpsichord, from which this piece was taken in a new and restituted edition by P. Gouin.
This voluntary consists of two parts:
Diapasons are indicated.
I played it on the Bourdon 8' and the Flute 4' of the RW, wanting a change of sounds.
Vox Humana and Diapasons indicated.
Played on the Vox Humana of the HW and the Bourdon 8' and prestant 4' of the Recit.