Christopher Gibbons (1615 – 1676) was an English composer and organist of the Baroque period. He was the second son, and first surviving child of the composer Orlando Gibbons.
In 1638, Gibbons, himself already a noted organist and Gentleman Chorister of the Chapel Royal and Westminster Abbey, succeeded organist Thomas Holmes and began playing in Winchester Cathedral. However, the English Civil War - which began in earnest in 1641 - led to a suppression of Church music, and put an end to Gibbons' position. He fought for the Royalist cause but, after the execution of Charles I and the collapse of Royalist resistance following the Battle of Worcester (1651), Gibbons moved to London where he lived from late in 1651 to his death in 1676.
From 1653 until the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Gibbons made his living primarily as a music teacher and, more occasionally, as a composer of incidental music for the restricted theaters of Commonwealth London.
With the return of Charles II to the English throne, Gibbons, in part because of his loyalty to the crown, was immediately welcomed into the artistic fold of the new court and, with church music again flourishing, was swiftly reinstated as a Gentleman and Organist of the Chapel Royal. He subsequently became one of Charles' most important post-Interregnum composers, teachers and musical advisors.
His music is little known - and few examples exist of any - but it is as a teacher and upholder of the English musical tradition - before the almost 30-year interruption to it by those socioeconomic and cultural struggles that culminated in the English Civil War - that secures for him a substantial role in the rebirth of English music, particularly church music, during the second half of the 17th century.
This fine "Verse" or "Voluntary" show him in a fine and mannered work that flows forth with dignity and mastery.
The score is attached below, as well as two photos of Christopher Gibbons and one of Winchester Cathedral.