Boyce, William, c.1710–1779, English composer. After studying in London, he became a composer (1736) and later an organist (1758) of the Chapel Royal and Master of the King's Music in 1755. Although overshadowed by Handel, he was the foremost English-born composer of his day. He wrote symphonies, stage works, and much vocal music. His most important work is Cathedral Music (3 vol., 1760–78), a compilation of church music by English composers.