Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court View larger

Music and Poetry in the Early Tudor Court

9780521294171

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John Stevens’ book examines the complex interplay between lyrical and musical compositions in the courts of Henry VII and VIII.

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John Stevens


First published in 1962, John Stevens’ book examines the complex interplay between lyrical and musical compositions in the courts of Henry VII and VIII. One of the persistent problems for the reader of an English lyric is this: was the poem meant to be sung? and if so, how did music affect the writing, and how should it affect our reading of the poem? Stevens aims to answer these questions by challenging the notion of a traditional union between music and verse. He examines late medieval ideas about music and poetry and the impact of the Reformation on them, and uses the social information about music and musicians to interpret the evidence of the early Tudor songbooks. This book is supplemented by four appendices containing the texts of all the poems in the three main Tudor songbooks together with information about musical settings and related poems, an index of selected songs, a list of sources, and a bibliography of relevant books and articles. It is hoped that this volume will appeal to practising musicians and scholars, as well as anyone for whom music is a continuing intellectual interest and a pleasure.


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Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Part I. Music and Poetry: 1. The problem - assumptions and distinctions
  • 2. The tradition and the divorce
  • 3. Popular songs
  • 4. Ideas and theories, medieval and humanist
  • 5. The Reformation
  • 6. Music and the early Tudor lyric, I: song-books and musical settings
  • 7. Music and the early Tudor lyric, II: the literary lyric and its tunes
  • Part II. Courtly Love and the Courtly Lyric: 8. Introductory: a new company of courtly makers?
  • 9. The game of love
  • 10. The courtly makers from Chaucer to Wyatt
  • Part III. Music at Court: 11. Music in ceremonies, entertainments and plays
  • 12. Domestic and amateur music
  • 13. Professional musicians
  • Epilogue
  • Appendices
  • Index.

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