Joseph Corfe was born at Salisbury, and was in all probability a relation of the two musicians of that name who were lay vicars of Winchester Cathedral near the end of the seventeenth century, and of a James Corfe who published some songs about 1730–50. Joseph Corfe received his early musical education from Dr. Stephens, the organist of the cathedral, and was for some time one of the choristers. On 1783 he was appointed one of the gentlemen of the Chapel Royal. He had previously been made a lay vicar of Salisbury, and in 1792 was given the post of cathedral organist there. In 1804 he resigned the post of organist in favour of his son, Arthur Thomas Corfe, and died in 1820. His chief original production is a volume of church music, containing a well-known service in B flat, and eleven anthems.