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Music in the English Courtly Masque, 1604-1640



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Music in the English Courtly Masque, 1604-1640 by Peter Walls
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Those privileged enough to attend performances of masques at court in the early seventeenth century invariably commented on the sumptuousness of the music (and often had little to say about the literary aspects of the entertainments). Yet our view of the masque has been dominated by the texts, and indeed, the modern scholarship has tended to treat the masque first and foremost as a literary genre. This book is the first complete study of the multi-faceted view of its subject, piecing together a picture of what the music was actually like from musical score, documentary evidence, and the dramatic texts. Vocal music and dance in the Jacobean masque are treated separately - a division that reflects the way in which the music was originally composed, with one group of composers writing songs while violinist/dancing masters prepared dances. There are chapters offering a reconsideration of the musical and documentary evidence for the William Lawes masques, on Inigo Jones's musical priorities, and an investigation of French influence in the Caroline masques. The book also describes the departures from court norms in masques which took place away from Whitehall.
Release date NZ
May 23rd, 1996
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
8 pp plates, tables, and music examples throughout
Clarendon Press
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